New Resource to Teach School Children About Digital Health Records

Schools are being given the opportunity to teach students about their rights in managing their digital health records, using a new resource designed by the National Children’s Commissioner, Megan Mitchell.

Under the My Health Record system, children aged 14 years and over can manage their own records. They may do so independently, or they can grant access to parents or guardians. They may also choose to cancel their digital records at any time.

The lesson plans, being launched Thursday March 12, are aimed at students in Years 5 to 10 and teach young people about their rights, helping them make sensible and informed decisions about how to manage their personal health records.

Commissioner Mitchell said, “These are important decisions for teenagers, so it’s necessary for them to be aware of their rights, and how to manage information about their medical history.”

“The lesson plans for younger children prepare them for the decisions they will make once they’re 14, while those for older teenagers help them understand the implications of their decisions,” Commissioner Mitchell said.

The lesson plans are aligned with the Australian Curriculum, including areas such as Health and Physical Education, Digital Technologies and Civics and Citizenship. They were co-designed by school students and are available to all teachers in Australia.

The resources use realistic scenarios about healthcare to prompt children to explore a range of different issues. They also help prepare children for conversations with healthcare providers, parents and other adults involved in their care.

The Australian Human Rights Commission designed the resources in partnership with the Australian Digital Health Agency, System Operator of the My Health Record system. There are now 22.65 million Australians with a My Health Record.

The Agency’s Interim CEO, Bettina McMahon said, “These lesson plans build digital health literacy in Australia and support young people’s access to the improvements to healthcare that our digital health system can provide.”

Students from Albert Park Flexible Learning Centre (QLD), Canterbury Girls High School (NSW), Goulburn Street Primary School (TAS) and Narrabeen Sports High School (NSW) helped co-design the lesson plans.

The lesson plans are available on the Australian Human Rights Commission’s website: https://www.humanrights.gov.au/education/teachers/my-health-record-2020