Printouts and faxes for pathology results almost history

Test results from more than 95 per cent of Australian public pathology laboratories are now available online providing secure and convenient access for patients and clinicians.

All public pathology laboratories in New South Wales, the Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia are now connected to the My Health Record system and work is progressing to complete connections in the ACT and Victoria.

CEO of peak organisation Public Pathology Australia, Jenny Sikorski, said public pathology labs support the delivery of health care from major teaching hospitals to the most remote locations across Australia.

“Since January, public pathology labs have fast tracked new technologies, collection and testing processes to support patients being screened for COVID-19,” she said.

“Patients can count on public labs to share pathology information with them and their clinicians.”

The latest lab to connect is Northern Pathology Victoria which is the first new public pathology service to be established in Victoria in more than 30 years.

Director of Northern Pathology Victoria, Dr Prahlad Ho, said there were significant advantages in having pathology results stored within My Health Record.

“You can share results both with your GP or hospital-based healthcare professionals,” he said.

“Accessing your results immediately in the convenient My Health Record platform will give clinicians a fuller picture of the patient’s medical history, aiding quicker diagnosis and treatment.”

Dr Steve Hambleton, a Brisbane based GP and Clinical Reference Lead for the Australian Digital Health Agency, said “private sector doctors welcome having direct access to pathology tests done in public hospitals. It saves time, reduces the number of phone calls my practice needs to make and it can save patients whole sets of repeated tests”.

The Agency is working to ensure patients always have a choice to have their medical test results uploaded to their My Health Record and is working with pathology and diagnostic imaging organisations across the country to assist them to securely connect to the system. Private pathology labs are also working towards sending results to the My Health Record, with plans to extend their early connections across their networks.

Interim Chief Executive Office of the Agency, Bettina McMahon, congratulated all pathology labs that had connected to the My Health Record system and said the focus was now on supporting the remaining private sector laboratories to connect.

“Australians are more engaged in managing their health than ever before. More patients are using My Health Record to see their pathology results with 140,000 people doing so in March. That’s a 76 per cent increase from February,” she said.

More than 3.8 million pathology reports were uploaded in March, an 11 per cent increase on the number of February uploads. There are now nearly 43 million pathology reports uploaded to My Health Record.

A full list of the pathology providers currently uploading to My Health Record is available here.

While reports are immediately available in My Health Record to healthcare providers, patients can only view the results seven days after the report is uploaded. This gives healthcare providers time to review the report and contact their patient to discuss the results if needed.

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