‘Sharing by default’ to become mandatory

2 minute read

Pathology and diagnostic imaging will soon be required by law to be shared to the My Health Record, with other data to follow.

The Australian Digital Health Agency and the Department of Health and Aged Care are working with parliament to introduce legislation to mandate sharing-by-default reporting to the My Health Record within the next year.

First Assistant Secretary Daniel McCabe, alongside ADHA CEO Amanda Cattermole, announced the changes at the MedInfo23 conference this morning.

“Sharing by default in near real time no matter what care setting a patient presents in, with the appropriate security and consent arrangements in place, is Australia’s next frontier for connected healthcare,” Mr McCabe said.

“Over the next 12 months, we will support government to introduce legislative change to mandate the sharing of key health information with Australians, [commencing] with pathology and diagnostic imaging reports.

“We’re also looking at making the seven-day delay rule an exception rather than a default.”

Mr McCabe also announced that DoHAC was partnering with the ADHA to develop a FHIR standard for nationally requesting capabilities and support terminology to improve pathology and diagnostic imaging reforms.

“We’re investing in community development to establish Australia’s FHIR core. This will be done through community development, not by governments,” he said.

“Once established, we will assess the regulatory options to ensure we progress this important building block.”

Other planned improvements involved in the government’s $1.1 billion investment in digital health include improvements to capturing medication events, prescriptions, dispensing records, and the administration of medicines in in-care settings, Mr McCabe said.

The announcements come after the ADHA’s release of the Australian national healthcare interoperability plan 2023-28, which sets out 44 actions for digital health policy reform across five priority areas.

According to Ms Cattermole, the ADHA is also planning on publishing a digital health standards catalogue which will provide health professionals with access to the full range of existing digital health standards.

“The national digital health standards catalogue [will] create an open clear standards pathway that, use case by use case, further lays down the building blocks of an interoperable health system,” she said.

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