Digital Health Record

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The Digital Health Record is an exciting initiative that will support health services in Canberra into the future. The Digital Health Record will transform the way health care is provided in ACT public health services.

The Digital Health Record will record all interactions between a person and ACT public health services. This will include Canberra’s major hospitals, community health centres and Walk-in Centres.

Each person will have a Digital Health Record that can be accessed by a person’s health care team at any service location. This will allow staff to have faster access to information which will improve care and reduce errors. Staff will have more time to focus on the person requiring care, rather than searching for key health information stored in different places.

People will be able to access their own Digital Health Record through a secure website or a mobile app. This will allow them to access and update their information from home and manage future appointments. They may also be able to access patient education materials tailored to their record. In the future we expect that people may be able to talk to their care team through video or phone appointments if they are unable to attend a service in person.

The Digital Health Record is expected to be available in 2022/23. The timeline will be confirmed following procurement. Work is underway to ensure the Digital Health Record will be safe, secure and will meet the needs of patients and staff as Canberra continues to grow.

This page will be updated with further information as the Digital Health Record project progresses.

If you have any questions, suggestions, comments, concerns or would like to join a mailing list to keep updated on progress please email us at DHR@act.gov.au or call 02 5124 9000.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is this Digital Health Record different to the My Health Record?

The Digital Health Record is a more detailed record than 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.

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.

Which company is supplying the Digital Health Record software system?

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 and will be expanded to the Royal Melbourne Hospital, Royal Women’s Hospital and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in the coming months.

Page last updated on: 19 Oct 2020