Let’s make it to the tipping point says practice nurse

Practices are missing out by holding on to old ideas about the My Health Record, says one experienced nurse.

Lisa Collison says she is one of those who saw the progress being made and gave it a second chance.

"Right at the beginning I registered for my own My Health Record, and it wasn’t easy, and so I knew that it wasn't going to be easy for patients either.

"A lot of people attempted it and because it was hard the first time, they haven't tried again.

"But it's come a long way now. I often say to people you need to see a demonstration and see just how easy it is," she said.

As the Melbourne-based professional development coordinator for the Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association, Ms Collison takes a big picture view of the profession and digital health is firmly part of it.

"We need more practices to start using the My Health Record system because with more use not only will we find the potential problems but we will see more of the benefits too. We need to get to that critical tipping point."

Ms Collison said she saw the time-saving benefits of the My Health Record system while working as a practice nurse at a university General Practice even though at the time the practice was not accessing the My Health Record system through the clinical software (which is much easier) and it had to accessed through the patient portal.

"One aspect of our role was to get the healthcare worker students up to speed with all their immunisations, for example measles, mumps, rubella and pertussis or whatever they needed to enter the workforce and work with vulnerable patients.

"As students may be from regional areas, interstate and/or living in halls of residence, seeing many doctors and not having parents to produce their health record, having a My Health Record was amazingly time-saving and so important to the whole process."

Ms Collison said practices needed to see the value in what a My Health Record represented: "It is not to replace your record – it's the same as a patient coming in to you and saying I went to another doctor on the weekend because you weren't open, and then telling you what he did.

"This is even better, it's just another addition to information you are collecting about your patient."

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