Why and when your consent is necessary
When you register as a patient of our practice, you provide consent for our Doctors 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; and health fund details.
- Details of your past medical practitioners or pathology or radiology to assist your management
Dealing with us anonymously
You have the right to deal with us anonymously or under a pseudonym unless it is impracticable for us to do so or unless we are required or authorised by law to only deal with identified individuals.
How do we collect your personal information?
Our practice will collect your personal information:
When you make your first appointment our practice staff will collect your personal and demographic information via your registration and letters from your practitioners and pathology/ radiology providers – if applicable.
During the course of providing medical services, we may collect further personal information.
We may also collect your personal information when you visit our website, 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 Veteran’s Affairs (as necessary).
Who do we share your personal information with?
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
- with schools or allied health professionals
- 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. Only people that 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 only share your personal information outside Australia during the course of overseas typing/transcription and secretarial support, (unless under exceptional circumstances permitted by law).
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.
How do we store and protect your personal information?
Your personal information may be stored at our practice as electronic records. With an electronic medical record, access is limited to staff who have a legitimate “need to know” for treatment, payment or operations purposes and activity is monitored on a regular basis. All access to electronic medical records is controlled through user passwords. Our computer system has appropriate virus and malware protection, and stores all personal information securely.
We take reasonable steps to safeguard patient information when sending information to patients, health organisations or third parties by standard unencrypted emails.
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 at a time convenient to both yourself and the practice.
Our practice acknowledges patients may request access to their medical records. We require you to put this request in writing to the Practice Manager and we will respond within 30 days. We may impose a charge for photocopying or for staff time involved in processing your request.
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, and you should make such requests in writing to practice manager at firstname.lastname@example.org
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 can write to us at the address at the top of this statement.
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 336 002.
Privacy and our website
We may collect personal information from you digitally via our website and/or email. Our website may also use data analytics, cookies etc. This information will be kept securely for our own use only.
Of course! Our friendly and knowledgeable customer services reps are available to answer your questions 24/7/365.