The DHR is the ACT’s new electronic medical records system. It will be used to safely store health information for patients who use any of the ACT’s public health services. Private health facilities are not included.
DHR will be live across the ACT from November 2022.
How is the DHR different to My Health Record?
The Digital Health Record is a more detailed record than what is collected in the My Health Record, which only holds a summary of key health information.
For example, the Digital Health Record will include data on observations performed by clinicians, details about who administered a medication and at what time, as well as information from devices such as heart rate monitors.
It will include information on what bed a person is assigned and operating theatre bookings including surgery staffing information.
Both the Digital Health Record and the My Health Record are useful and complementary. Relevant data from the Digital Health Record will be automatically uploaded to the My Health Record for people that have not opted out, as it is now from our current systems.
Why can’t a person opt out of the Digital Health Record?
There are laws that require health services to collect and store medical information. This is already done in the ACT, but currently the information is stored in mix of paper records and in many separate clinical IT systems.
In the future this information will be collected in the Digital Health Record. It’s important that staff are able to access your accurate health information quickly when you require care.
While people cannot choose whether their information is held in the Digital Health Record, some sharing functions will be optional. For example, people will be able to decide if they would like to share detailed information from the Digital Health Record with external members of their health care team such as their GP or private specialists.
Why is it important to have all of your information together?
Having information in the same location is quite crucial because when information is scattered between different systems, there are chances of missing things or if you’re transcribing from one system to another there is the potential for error.
What will be stored in the DHR?
Medication history, contact details, observations, surgical procedures, referrals – this information is already stored in other clinical documents – we’re not collecting new information, we’re just putting it together in a single place so clinicians can access everything about the patient when they need it.
How will you ensure privacy and security of information?
Most of the health information that will be collected in the Digital Health Record is already being collected, either on paper or in existing clinical IT systems.
The Digital Health Record will be designed from the ground up with privacy and security in mind with input from consumers.
There are government processes and laws that provide assurance that people’s sensitive information is protected. The ability to protect this sensitive information will be a critical factor in determining which solution is chosen.
The Digital Health Record is intended to make information more readily available to the health care team at the point of care, however who can access this information will be strictly controlled.
The DHR is hosted in multiple secure data centres in Canberra. These data centres have well established security controls that enable them to store secret data belonging to the Australian Federal Government.
Which company is supplying the Digital Health Record software?
ACT Health is partnering with Epic to implement a Territory-wide Digital Health Record system at all public health services including public hospitals, Walk-in Centres, community health centres and justice health services. Epic is a world-leading US based software company with four decades of experience in digitising medical records. Epic’s software has been successfully implemented in thousands of hospitals world-wide. In Australia, the Epic system has been implemented at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Royal Women’s Hospital and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.