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16/Aug/2018

“You spin me right round, baby
Right round like a record, baby
Right round, round, round.” Dead or Alive 1985

If you’re all turned around and confused about My Health Record – what is it, is it secure, should I have one, should I opt-out – you’re not alone.

So we’ve put together some basic information to get you started. Now’s the time for you to get your research hat on and make some informed decisions about your health records. Because by the end of this year, all Australians will have a My Health Record, unless you opt-out by 15 November.

What is it?

My Health Record is the national digital health record system. It’s an online summary of your key health information. It aims to provide faster and more efficient care for you and your family.

You can decide what goes into your health record, and who can access it.

When you have a My Health Record, your health information can be viewed securely online, from anywhere, at any time. This is especially important in an emergency.

Your health record may include information such as:

  • allergies
  • medicines you’re taking
  • your medical conditions
  • test results (e.g. blood tests)
  • referrals to specialists
  • your Medicare claim history
  • if you’re an organ donor
  • reports on your scans and imaging (e.g. ultrasound or x-ray results)
  • emergency contact information.

You don’t need to be sick to benefit from having a My Health Record. It’s a convenient way to record and track your health information over time.

It will also mean you can access and view your own health records as soon as they’ve been uploaded.

It’s up to you

By the end of the year, everyone will have a My Health Record, unless you decide not to have one. So you have a choice to make.

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26/May/2018

It occurred to me today that I really don’t understand as much about my condition as I should. I see my doctor regularly, I take my meds, exercise and manage my pain as best as I can.

But I actually don’t understand exactly what’s happening to my body at the basic level. How my condition works, progresses, and the nitty gritty of potential causes.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to know the cellular level stuff – though some of you may want to know that – I just think I should know more, so that I can make informed decisions and play a more active role in the management of my health.

So where to start?

There’s information everywhere and it can be overwhelming. It can sometimes be difficult to work out what information is good and helpful, and what information is wrong, misleading and even dangerous.

As a general rule, libraries, your health professionals, peer support groups, reputable websites/social media sites and peak organisations like Musculoskeletal Australia can give you great information to help you learn about, and understand, your condition.

And the information they provide will help in different situations. For example, your doctor can provide evidence-based information about your condition and treatment options, whereas members of a peer support group can give you practical information about the experience of living with a chronic condition.

I also find that asking lots of questions and being sceptical is key. The information you get – from any source – could potentially affect your health, so you should be cautious.

Some questions I ask when looking at new health information:

  • Who wrote/gave me the information? Do they have the proper qualifications?
  • Where does the information come from? Does it have the scientific evidence to support it?
  • Is the information balanced? Does it give me a variety of options, or provide only one?
  • Does the information provide links to scientific evidence? Or does it only use personal anecdotes from satisfied customers or celebrity endorsements?
  • Is the information up-to-date?
  • Is the information regularly reviewed and updated?

Information is power. So use it to take control over your health and your body.

And if you get confused about any information you find, talk with your doctor. You can also contact our MSK Help Line on 1800 263 265 for information and support.

“Information can bring you choices and choices bring power – educate yourself about your options and choices. Never remain in the dark of ignorance.” – Joy Page




Musculoskeletal Australia (or MSK) is the consumer organisation working with, and advocating on behalf of, people with arthritis, osteoporosis, back pain, gout and over 150 other musculoskeletal conditions.

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