Two major pharmacy groups have announced they will be connecting to My Health Record system in 2018, which will see all community pharmacy software vendors now signed up to the Community Pharmacy Software Industry Partnership.

Chemist Warehouse, representing 30 per cent of the community pharmacy market, and Corum representing 1,000 pharmacies, announced their commitment last week, along with some of Australia’s largest pathology labs including Primary Health Care and Australian Clinical Labs.

It is understood the Australia Digital Health Agency made a private sector market offer to support other pathology software vendors, which included labs managing their own software to update and connect with My Health Record.

Pharmacists can upload dispense records and view hospital discharge summaries, shared health summaries, and allergy information, which will ultimately enhance patient health outcomes.

Corum Group CEO David Clarke said that content and accessibility are the first steps to realising the potential of My Health Record.

“At Corum we are determined to take a leading role in the connected, integrated world of digital health for the benefit of our customers, and the millions of Australians who value their expertise.

“For My Health Record to succeed, the health software industry needs to support the concept, build the enabling infrastructure, and advocate its use and adoption. We are encouraged with the Australian Digital Health Agency’s collaborative approach and that the pharmacy sector has embraced this initiative,” Mr Clarke said.

Connection to My Health Record is an important step to enabling pharmacists to play a more integrated role in medications management and coordinated care. Pharmacists can have timely information on a person’s current medications, whether dispensed at hospital discharge, or through any community pharmacy in the country.

Chemist Warehouse Managing Partner and Director Mark Finocchiaro said the company sees great potential to improve the health of Australians through technologies such as My Health Record.

“My Health Record will enable our health professionals to make informed decisions through improved access to relevant and timely health information, assisting our patients to enjoy better health outcomes, and allowing our pharmacies to offer new and innovative services,” Mr Finocchiaro said.

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) National President Shane Jackson said My Health Record is a game changer in the clinical care delivered by pharmacists.

“The connection of Chemist Warehouse and Corum to My Health Record will increase the amount of valuable information that health practitioners can access in order to provide clinical and timely care for their patients,” Dr Jackson said.

Chemist Warehouse and Corum will join Minfos, POS Works, and RxOne who recently connected with My Health Record, while Fred IT integrated its Fred Dispense product in 2013.

Other software providers are well advanced in their development work and are expected to integrate with My Health Record system in the near future.