Today the federal government has announced that there will be a review of the privacy provisions for the My Health Record system in response to significant concerns raised by GPs and consumers.
The key issues that are prompting many to opt out of the system includes access by law enforcement and other agencies, the inability to delete records for many years, unclear secondary data access and use as well as fears that the insurance sector will at some stage be able to access patient information directly.
It is also of interest to consider how these issues might impact the roll-out of the Quality Improvement Practice Incentives Program (PIP) touted for May 2019 after the delay this year. Although program details have not been finalised, participation will likely require practices to extract clinical data, share this with their PHN and implement quality improvement activities based on the data.
On the back of significant global data and privacy breaches, it appears that people are becoming more aware and discerning about what happens to their online information and making more informed decisions about participation.
Whilst it is clear that shared health information and population data is extremely valuable in service planning, coordination and delivery, a clear, transparent and easily understood governance framework is crucial.
The next few months will be instrumental in either the roll out of a much needed system or the start of its ultimate demise - to be taken over by other stakeholders who are able to deliver truly person controlled health repositories.