Pulse+IT Blog

Nice set of numbers for MyHR

It doesn't really reach the heights of Paul Keating's inimitable description of the 1989 national accounts as a “beautiful set of numbers”, but the federal government would be more than pleased with the headline figure of three per cent as the opt-out rate of the My Health Record so far.

Considering the relentless negative press that has accompanied the start of the opt-out period in mid-July, that just under 900,000 people have opted out is a pretty good outcome for the government and its agencies. The opt-out rate in the 2016 trials was 1.9 per cent but the government's own research shows that half the trial population didn't even know what a MyHR was before they got one, so that number is a bit rubbery, and three per cent will be accepted with alacrity.

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MyHR inquiry a predictable yawnfest

This week's proceedings in eHealth kicked off with yet another Senate committee inquiry into the My Health Record on Tuesday night, where we saw pretty much the same old faces repeating the same old things to the same old committee members.

One new face was former AMA president Kerryn Phelps, who delivered a pretty good speech on why she loathes the My Health Record with all her being, repeating arguments we have all heard before at numerous other Senate committee inquiries.

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Data sharing among consenting adults

Regular readers of Pulse+IT will remember an interesting move a couple of months ago by a group of four health IT companies in New Zealand to take their concerns about a new clinical information system developed by Auckland primary health organisation ProCare to the press, the public and the New Zealand Privacy Commissioner.

The complaining companies – secure messaging vendor HealthLink and GP software vendors Medtech, My Practice and Best Practice – made some quite serious claims about the potential for a breach of the data of the more than 800,000 patients enrolled with ProCare's general practices in the Auckland region.

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Canberra beckons Mr Popularity Contest

The week in eHealth kicked off with the return of an old face at the helm of the health ministry in Canberra with Greg Hunt – or Greg “I came third in a popularity contest with Steve Ciobo” Hunt as we like to call him – taking up his old position on the front bench.

How that is so after first throwing his hat into the ring with Peter Dutton, then declaring undying loyalty to Malcolm Turnbull before having to swear fealty to the new boss in Scott Morrison we don't know, but it just goes to show that no matter how diminished you are as a politician in the eyes of the electorate, the media and your own party, a cushy spot on the green leather lounge is still yours if no one else wants the portfolio.

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My Health Record's Macbeth moment

So, here we go again: yet another Senate inquiry has been called into the My Health Record and cynics that we are, we think it will simply be an exercise in thrashing out the same arguments we've all heard before.

There was the 2010 debate on how this thing would look, the 2011 debate on the legislation enabling it, the 2012 botched go live, the 2013 Royle review, the 2014 decision to keep it going, the 2015 decision to trial opt-out, the 2016 trials, the 2017 COAG approval for opt-out, and now here we are in 2018, in the middle of the opt-out period, and we get another inquiry.

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Former health minister putsch goes down in flames

Poor old Greg Hunt has certainly played a blinder of epically bad proportions this week, the former health minister having hitched his wagon to another former health minister in Peter Dutton in this week's shenanigans in Canberra and subsequently going down in flames.

At the instigation of yet another former health minister in Tony Abbott, Mr Dutton decided to take it upon himself to challenge Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull this week and in the process pretty much hand the next election to Labor. Like the last one, the next election will largely be swayed by people's concerns over healthcare and how to pay for it.

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Doctors burn out, MyHR flares up

Pulse+IT had hoped to keep our weekend edition a My Health Record-free zone this week considering all of the recent palaver, but it just keeps popping up saying “look at me, look at me” and we find we just can't seem to drag our eyes away.

We hold firm to the belief that the heat over the opt-out debate is dying down somewhat – Google Trends agrees with us, although as you'll see from the poll below, two-thirds of Pulse+IT readers don't – but we did expect an eruption to flare up now and then and it did so this week.

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