Legislative changes have been made to the My Health Records Rule 2016 in relation to participation agreements.
These changes took effect on 1 March 2016.
What has changed?
Healthcare provider organisations, as well as contracted service providers and other entities, were previously required to enter into a participation agreement with the My Health Records System Operator in order to register (and remain registered) to participate in the My Health Records system.
Healthcare provider organisations, contracted service providers and other entities are no longer required to enter into participation agreements.
The obligations of the participation agreements are now addressed through other means. Several obligations have been incorporated into the My Health Records Rule 2016 including:
- ensuring that any record uploaded is accurate, up-to-date and not defamatory or misleading;
- notifying the My Health Record System Operator of non-clinical errors; and
- providing assistance to the My Health Record System Operator in relation to inquiries or investigations.
Others have been addressed as set out below:
- The participation agreement imposed an obligation for healthcare provider organisations to notify the My Health Record System Operator if the My Health Record system was compromised by their employees or by the use of their equipment. This is no longer necessary because the My Health Records Act 2012nowrequires all participants, including registered healthcare provider organisations, to notify the My Health Record System Operator of actual or potential data breaches.
- Healthcare provider organisations previously granted a license to the My Health Record System Operator to use, copy, etc. information the organisation uploaded, and to grant such a license to other participants in the system. This ensured that information in the My Health Record system could be used without infringing someone’s copyright. This is no longer necessary because a copyright exception has been established in the Copyright Act 1968 which allows information in the My Health Record system to be used without infringing copyright.
Why has this change been made?
This change has been made to reduce administrative burden on organisations.
The participation agreements were contracts so it was necessary for organisations to choose the type of contract suited to their organisation’s legal structure. This was often time-consuming and sometimes complex.
This change will save time for organisations that are applying to register to participate in the My Health Record system from 1 March 2016 because they will not need to enter into a participation agreement. They will still need to complete an application to register.
What if my organisation already entered into a participation agreement?
All participation agreements entered into by registered healthcare provider organisations and other entities before 1 March 2016 remain valid. Since they are a legal contract they cannot simply be cancelled by one party to the contract. The My Health Record System Operator will contact these participants regarding the termination of their participation agreements, and it is expected that this process will be complete by mid-2016.