Usability and E-health Literacy Demands of Australia’s My Health Record

Article Title: The E-health Literacy Demands of Australia’s My Health Record: A Heuristic Evaluation of Usability

Aims and Method: To evaluate the usability of components of Australia’s My Health Record and its information website. A heuristic evaluation method outlined in the US Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion’s Health Literacy Online Checklist was applied.

Results: The heuristic analysis of 35 health literacy criteria identified 16 violations in the My Health Record. After users logged on to their My Health Record, introductory information was not provided to guide use of the system. Instructions that were present were inconsistent across users and the passive language case used affected readability. Six of the violations related to poor clarity in information display in the Record. User navigation of the Record was limited by the absence of a search function and ambiguous links.

Similarly, analysis of the MyHR website identified 12 violations of health literacy criteria. Key information was frequently hidden in chunks of text made up of long sentences and jargon that was not defined. While the website included a disability access function, users were unable to use this function. The over-use of text-based information and the lack of multimedia resource material about My Health Record meant that the website was not user-friendly.

Implications: Usability problems with the Australian My Health Record and inaccessibility of the information on the Australian government website about the My Health Record ( present significant barriers to widespread use of the MyHR.

Our onward queries: The Australian Government has moved to an opt-out system to increase use of the Australian MyHR. Will this improve actual use of the MyHR system, or will usability issues continue to stand in the way of effective implementation of MyHR?

Full reference of article
Walsh, L., Hemsley, B., Allan, M., Adams, N., Balandin, S., Georgiou, A., Higgins, I., McCarthy, S., & Hill, S. (2017). The e-health literacy demands of Australia’s My Health Record: A heuristic evaluation of usability. Perspectives in Health Information Management, 17, 1-28. doi:

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