Why and when your consent is necessary?
When you register as a patient of our practice, you provide consent for our GPs and practice staff to access and use your personal information so they can provide you with the best possible healthcare. Only staff who need to see your personal information will have access to it. If we need to use your information for anything else, we will seek additional consent from you to do this.
Why do we collect, use, hold and share your personal information?
Our practice will need to collect your personal information to provide healthcare services to you. Our main purpose for collecting, using, holding and sharing your personal information is to manage your health. We also use it for directly related business activities, such as financial claims and payments, practice audits and accreditation, and business processes (eg staff training).
What personal information do we collect?
The information we will collect about you includes:
- names, date of birth, addresses, contact details
- medical information including medical history, medications, allergies, adverse events, immunisations, social history, family history and risk factors
- Medicare number (where available) for identification and claiming purposes
- healthcare identifiers
How do we collect your personal information?
Our practice may collect your personal information in several different ways.
- When you make your first appointment our practice staff will collect your personal and demographic information via your registration.
- During the course of providing medical services, we may collect further personal information. Information can also be collected through electronic transfer of prescriptions (eTP), My Health Record, eg via Shared Health Summary.
- We may also collect your personal information when you send us an email or SMS, telephone us, make an online appointment or communicate with us using social media.
- In some circumstances personal information may also be collected from other sources. Often this is because it is not practical or reasonable to collect it from you directly. This may include information from:
- your guardian or responsible person
- other involved healthcare providers, such as specialists, allied health professionals, hospitals, community health services and pathology and diagnostic imaging services
- your health fund, Medicare, or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (as necessary
Why and with whom do we share your personal information?
We sometimes share your personal information:
- with third parties who work with our practice for business purposes, such as accreditation agencies or information technology providers – these third parties are required to comply with APPs and this policy
- with other healthcare providers
- when it is required or authorised by law (eg court subpoenas)
- when it is necessary to lessen or prevent a serious threat to a patient’s life, health or safety or public health or safety, or it is impractical to obtain the patient’s consent
- to assist in locating a missing person
- to establish, exercise or defend an equitable claim
- for the purpose of confidential dispute resolution process
- when there is a statutory requirement to share certain personal information (eg some diseases require mandatory notification)
- during the course of providing medical services, through eTP, My Health Record (eg via Shared Health Summary, Event Summary
Only people who need to access your information will be able to do so. Other than in the course of providing medical services or as otherwise described in this policy, our practice will not share personal information with any third party without your consent.
We will not share your personal information with anyone outside Australia (unless under exceptional circumstances that are permitted by law) without your consent.
Our practice will not use your personal information for marketing any of our goods or services directly to you without your express consent. If you do consent, you may opt out of direct marketing at any time by notifying our practice in writing.
Our practice may use your personal information to improve the quality of the services we offer to our patients through research and analysis of our patient data.
We may provide de-identified data to other organisations to improve population health outcomes. The information is secure, patients cannot be identified and the information is stored within Australia. You can let our reception staff know if you do not want your information included.
How do we store and protect your personal information?
Your personal information may be stored at our practice in various forms. The majority of our records are in electronic format. Any correspondence, received in an alternative method eg: post, are then scanned into your personal records and the paper document is then shredded. X-rays, Ct scans etc are not held by the practice and are the responsibility of the patient. Our practice stores all personal information securely. All electronic patient records, personal information, financial information etc are securely stored using individual passwords, confidentiality agreements for any staff and or contractors entering the premises. This system is maintained both within the practice, and via our IT consultants. Encrypted Back-ups of all data are performed daily and held securely in the event of a fire etc
How can you access and correct your personal information at our practice?
You have the right to request access to, and correction of, your personal information.
Our practice acknowledges patients may request access to their medical records. We require you to either complete a Medical Record Access Form or put this request in writing addressed to the Practice Manager and our practice will respond within a reasonable time (usually within 30 days). You may be asked to attend a consultation with one of our doctors to discuss the information contained in you medical record.
An administration fee/printing charge may apply for this service which is not Medicare claimable. You will be advised of the charge at the time. The charges are dependent on the size of the file.
Our practice will takes reasonable steps to correct your personal information where the information is not accurate or up-to-date. From time-to-time, we will ask you to verify your personal information held by our practice is correct and up-to-date. You may also request that we correct or update your information.
Photo ID is required in order to collect any patient information from reception. If a third party such as a friend or a family member comes in to collect something on your behalf please make sure you let our receptionists know the name of that person. . If clinical information is involved, we will require a written authority from you. This is to ensure we have been given your consent to release the information to that person in line with privacy regulations. You must also provide, within your initial request, a statement identifying that the request is not required for any legal matters.
How can you lodge a privacy-related complaint, and how will the complaint be handled at our practice?
We take complaints and concerns regarding privacy seriously. You should express any privacy concerns you may have in writing. We will then attempt to resolve it in accordance with our resolution procedure.
You may also contact the OAIC. Generally, the OAIC will require you to give them time to respond before they will investigate. For further information visit www.oaic.gov.au or call the OAIC on 1300 363 992. [You could also provide details to contact your relevant state or territory health authorities/ombudsman, if they also have jurisdiction.]
Letters should be addressed to:
The Practice Manager
Drovers Medical Centre
12/1397 wanneroo Road ,Wanneroo WA 6065
Alternatively you can email the Practice Manager: email@example.com.
The Practice will respond to your enquiry, generally within 7 days.
You may also contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner. For further information visit www.oaic.gov.au or call the OAIC on 1300 336 002.
Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC). For further information, please call 1800 043 159 or visit http://www.hccc.nsw.gov.au . A complaint must be in writing. You can lodge a complaint online or download a complaint form. Alternatively you can write a letter and send it to the Commission via mail, email or fax.
Health Care Complaints Commission
Locked Mail Bag 18
STRAWBERRY HILLS NSW 2012
Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Authority (AHPRA). For further information, please call 1300419495 or visit http://www.ahpra.gov.au. AHPRA encourages all complaints to be submitted via their online website. Alternatively, you may download and complete a PDF form via their website and post the form to:
G.P.O. Box 9958
Sydney NSW 2000
If you wish to complain to us regarding a breach of privacy, access your information held by us, correct any of your information held by us or find out more about how we handle personal information we can be contacted through email: firstname.lastname@example.org