Page 927 - Week 03 - Thursday, 30 March 2023

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The Digital Health Record is intended to make information more readily available to the healthcare team at the point of care. However, who can access this information is strictly controlled. Sensitive patient information, such as mental health or sexual health interactions, is stored behind something called “break the glass” functionality. This means that sensitive health records are in a secure area that clinicians can access only if they have a legitimate reason for doing so. Access to this information requires additional steps to just clicking on a record.

Although people cannot choose whether their information is held in the Digital Health Record, as it is a requirement of the health service, some sharing functions are optional. For example, people can decide if they would like to share detailed information from the Digital Health Record with external members of their healthcare team, such as their GP or private specialists. The Digital Health Record has been designed from the ground up with privacy and security in mind and with input from consumers, including mental health consumers, to ensure that the right protections are in place to address concerns about privacy and security.

Clinicians are trusted by consumers to act appropriately. However, in the instance whereby a clinician inappropriately accesses or uses information in health records, they are in breach of the Health Records (Privacy and Access) Act 1997. This may mean they can be subject to penalties within the legislation, which include imprisonment or fines. In addition to this, people who inappropriately access patient data can be taken to professional boards and lose their registration.

The implementation of the Digital Health Record has been an immense step forward in the way clinical care is provided in the ACT. It has not all been smooth, and we know there will continue to be bumps in the road for some teams; but the focus for the future of the Digital Health Record will be on working with all stakeholders to optimise the system and continually improve to ensure that public health services are supported through digital innovation to provide quality, person-centred care.

I look forward to providing further updates to the Assembly as our health services continue to embed and mature their use of the Digital Health Record.

I present the following paper:

Digital Health Record Update—Ministerial statement, 30 March 2023.

I move:

That the Assembly take note of the paper.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Human Rights Commission Amendment Bill 2023

Ms Stephen-Smith, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

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