My Health Record in Emergency Departments Project

The aim of this project was to investigate what ED clinicians need to support their use of the My Health Record system and how content can be applied to clinical decision-making.

Supporting clinical decision-making in emergency departments

The largest research project about My Health Record in emergency departments (EDs) has been published. The Australian Digital Health Agency engaged the Commission for this project, which covered almost 130,000 patients across 4 hospitals and states, and involved more than 1,000 ED staff.

Led by a senior emergency physician, the project found that the My Health Record system is a vital tool that can improve the quality of decision-making by ED clinicians to support safer patient care. Of those who accessed the system, more than a third of ED clinicians stated that their clinical decision-making had been influenced by My Health Record content.

Other findings from the project include:

  • Patients with the most complex healthcare needs often had the most content in their My Health Record.
  • ED clinicians considered medication-related documents and diagnostics tests as high-value content.
  • ED clinicians want to see electrocardiograms, advance care plans and specialist (or outpatient) letters in My Health Record.
  • Improved and intuitive My Health Record viewing platforms, which enhance usability and on-screen presentation of content, would improve ED clinicians’ user experience.

A national My Health Record adoption model and checklist emerged from the project findings. Many of the 30 recommendations contained in the report have already been implemented with longer term recommendations under consideration.

Real-life case studies throughout the report show the potential system-wide benefits of My Health Record, especially if scaled nationally to the 8 million patients seen in Australian EDs each year.

It is expected that stakeholders, particularly hospitals, will leverage project findings to inform local evaluative studies of how their clinicians use the My Health Record system.

Download the report

Background to the project

As part of this project, a literature review was conducted that focused on two research questions:

  • What are the benefits of using Electronic Health Records (EHRs) in hospital emergency departments?
  • What barriers and enablers affect the routine use of EHRs by clinicians in hospital emergency departments?

Download the literature review