My Health Record in general practice

Emergency access function

Last revised: 18 Apr 2023

Emergency access function

The default setting for all documents in a consumer’s My Health Record is for general access. This allows all relevant healthcare providers to view all documents within a record, except for information entered in the ‘Personal health notes’ section, or any documents that have been removed or hidden by the consumer or their representatives.

In certain situations where there is a need to minimise potential harm to a consumer who has chosen to limit access to their record by setting a RAC or LDAC [link to section ‘Restrict access to their My Health Record, or specific documents within their record], healthcare providers can use the Emergency Access function to view information within the consumer’s My Health Record without requiring any passwords.

Once Emergency Access is granted, it is available for five days before the record reverts back to original restricted settings.

You will need to maintain accurate records of the circumstances that triggered your use of the emergency access function, so that you can refer to this information if further information is requested (e.g., to respond to a patient enquiry or a request for information by the Australian Digital Health Agency or the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC)).

More information on the Emergency Access function can be found here.