ACT’s Digital Health Record fast-tracked to help deliver COVID-19 vaccinations

The ACT Government’s investment in a new Digital Health Record is already making a difference on the frontline, helping to manage the COVID-19 vaccination rollout.

In the 2018‑19 Budget, the ACT Government committed $151 million to the Digital Health Record project, including a $106 million capital investment. In July 2020, global software company Epic was announced as the ACT Government’s partner in this project.

Epic’s world-leading software will be rolled out across Canberra’s public health services, including hospitals, community health centres, nurse-led walk-in centres and our new walk-in health centres.

Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith said the new Digital Health Record system was due to be completed in 2022-23 but the vaccination capability was brought forward to help roll out the ACT’s COVID-19 vaccination program to people who are eligible under phases 1a and 1b.

“It’s great that we have been able to leverage Epic’s world-leading Digital Health Record system to support the COVID-19 vaccine rollout for Canberrans,” Minister Stephen-Smith said.

“Our hard-working ACT Health team has been able to bring the vaccination capability online early and have it in use from the very start of the ACT’s COVID-19 vaccination program – the fastest implementation of Epic’s vaccination capabilities anywhere in the world.

“The technology was fast-tracked to book appointments, guide nurses through pre-vaccine check lists, record vaccination details, report to the Australian Immunisation Register and provide digital confirmation to consumers about their vaccination status.

“Soon, eligible Canberrans will be able to make their own bookings for ACT Government vaccination hubs and access their vaccine related activity through a secure MyDHR web portal.

“When the full Digital Health Record is implemented, the MyDHR portal will provide direct patient access to information and help consumers to make appointments and manage their interaction with ACT Government health services.

“It’s important for people to understand that MyDHR won’t create new information or store information anywhere it wouldn’t already be. All health records will continue to be managed in accordance with the Health Records (Privacy and Access) Act 1997.

“The initial access to MyDHR will only include COVID-19 vaccination activity, with the remaining functionality coming online when the Digital Health Record is fully implemented in late 2022.

“The fast-tracking of the vaccine capability is a remarkable achievement, and I look forward to sharing more about the Digital Health Record and how it empowers consumers to manage their own health care as the project continues,” Minister Stephen-Smith said.

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