People living in rural and remote areas have reduced access to health services, greater distances to travel for medical attention, and generally have higher rates of ill health and mortality compared to those living in larger cities.
So when Northern Queensland Primary Health Network (NQPHN) was selected as one of only two regions in Australia to conduct the opt-out trial of the national My Health Record digital record system, it gave them the opportunity to improve the connectedness of care for their community, especially in improving health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
NQPHN’s, the fourth largest in geographical size in Australia, covers an twice the size of the UK. It is home to over 700,000 people, which includes more than 80,000 Indigenous Australians
It was important to trial this initiative in this region due to a high burden of chronic conditions and complex needs, alongside the tyranny of distance between various communities, including remote Indigenous communities. The challenges in delivering connected healthcare in urban, regional and very remote areas are significant throughout this PHN’s footprint, and an electronic health record is a key enabler for sharing information in this environment.
This presentation will share the strategies and methods by which NQPHN implemented the opt-out trial of the My Health Record on behalf of the Federal Government, including:
- an overview of the approach taken
- challenges faced during implementation
- lessons learned and alternative strategies developed
- key benefits for consumers and health professionals.