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My Health Record in general practice

Clinical content in My Health Record - Chapter Shared Health Summary

Content added by general practices

Last revised: 18 Apr 2023

Content added by general practices

The My Health Record is not a replacement for local clinical information systems. It does not replace or substitute for communications which occur directly between providers.

If a consumer specifically asks a healthcare provider organisation not to upload particular documents or information to their My Health Record, the healthcare provider organisation must comply with the person’s request. This is a condition of your organisation’s registration with the My Health Record system. For more information, visit the Agency’s website

A Shared Health Summary is a clinical document in My Health Record that provides an overview of specific health information about the consumer at a particular point in time. It includes information on the consumer’s:

  • current medicines
  • past medical history
  • allergies and adverse reactions
  • immunisations/vaccinations.

Who can create a Shared Health Summary?

Under the My Health Records Act 2012 (Cwlth), a Shared Health Summary should be created and uploaded by a consumer’s nominated healthcare provider. Typically, this person is the consumer’s GP or another healthcare provider who provides them with regular care.

The nominated healthcare provider must be:

  • a medical practitioner
  • a registered nurse, or
  • an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander health practitioner who has a Certificate IV in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care (Practice).

A consumer’s nominated healthcare provider is decided on by mutual agreement between the consumer and the healthcare provider. Only one person can serve as the nominated healthcare provider at any given time.

It is important to note that there are no technical constraints built into My Health Record to restrict any authorised healthcare provider from creating and uploading a Shared Health Summary.

When can a Shared Health Summary be created?

A Shared Health Summary can be created during any consultation. The nominated healthcare provider may feel it is useful to create and upload a new Shared Health Summary:

  • when completing a patient health assessment (i.e., a GP management plan or health check)
  • when there have been significant changes to a patient’s medical conditions, medicines, allergies, adverse reactions or immunisations.

How is a Shared Health Summary created?

The information within a Shared Health Summary is similar to the information found within a GP health summary. The time it will take to create a Shared Health Summary will depend, in part, upon the quality and currency of the information already available in the consumer's local record. It will also depend on the complexity of the consumer's health conditions and management.

If the nominated healthcare provider believes omitting certain information from the document on the request of a consumer might mislead other healthcare providers, they may decline to upload the Shared Health Summary to the consumer’s My Health Record.

Once a Shared Health Summary has been created, the consumer’s nominated healthcare provider can upload the summary to My Health Record from their clinical information system.

While it is best practice to do so, there is no legal requirement for a healthcare provider to give a patient the opportunity to review their Shared Health Summary prior to uploading it to My Health Record.

How is the information in a Shared Health Summary updated?

Documents in a consumer’s My Health Record cannot be edited. The only way to update a Shared Health Summary is by creating and uploading a new Shared Health Summary.

An Event Summary is a standalone document in My Health Record which provides information about a healthcare event relevant to a consumer's ongoing care (i.e.; a clinical intervention, treatment commencement or cessation, or a change in clinical status).

An Event Summary can be created when a significant healthcare event has occurred, or where there has been a change in a person’s health status, but it is not appropriate to create a Shared Health Summary.

Typically, Event Summaries are created and uploaded to My Health Record in situations where a consumer is seeing a healthcare provider who is not their usual GP. Creating  and uploading an Event Summary does not replace the need for the relevant healthcare provider to communicate directly with the consumer’s usual GP or general practice.

An Event Summary should contain sufficient information to appropriately communicate a change in a person’s health, along with any further observations or actions taken by the relevant healthcare provider. The information should be presented in such a way that it can be easily understood by another healthcare provider.

Event Summaries contain a free text field to provide a clinical synopsis and may include information on the consumer’s:

  • allergies and adverse reactions
  • Medicines
  • Diagnoses
  • Interventions
  • Immunisations/vaccines
  • diagnostic interventions.

Who can create an Event Summary?

Any authorised healthcare provider who is working in an authorised healthcare organisation can create and upload an Event Summary.

When can an Event Summary be created?

An Event Summary may be created for a consumer who is:

  • receiving care from an after-hours GP service
  • a transient/holidaying consumer
  • a consumer who is receiving an immunisation/vaccine from someone other than their usual GP.

Can I edit an Event Summary that has been uploaded to My Health Record?

An Event Summary that has been uploaded to My Health Record cannot be edited. Instead, a new Event Summary can be created to supersede the original version.

The healthcare provider who created and uploaded the Event Summary can delete the summary from My Health Record if it contains a mistake or was uploaded in error.

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