Controlled document - valid until April 2021
Current from 12/4/2018
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 your:
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
health fund details.
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 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, which will be stored securely within our medical software. Information may also be collected through electronic transfer of prescriptions (eTP), My Health Record or via Shared Health Summary. We may also collect your personal information when you register as a patient via our website, send us an email or telephone us.
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).
When, 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) or specialist telehealth consultations via Skype.
Only people who need to access your information will be able to do so. Other than while 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.
How do we store and protect your personal information?
Your personal information is stored at our practice in password-protected, electronic form only. If we receive paper documents form outside sources these are scanned in to your file and the original is destroyed securely. We use an accredited document destruction service for this purpose.
Our computer produces an encrypted back-up of all patient files each day and this is stored on an external hard drive which is held off-site. This ensures the integrity of your medical record in the unlikely event that the clinic is destroyed
Our practice stores all personal information securely. All staff have signed strict confidentiality agreements.
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 put this request in writing to “The Practice Manager” at 115 Gavan St Bright or email@example.com and our practice will respond within 30 days.
Our practice will take 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 that your personal information held by our practice is correct and current. You may also request that we correct or update your information and you should make such requests in writing to the above address.
Of course, if you simply want a copy of a recent result or a specialist letter then the following procedure will apply.
Our front desk staff will be able to give you a copy of your results where the doctor has filed the result, indicating no further action. We charge 20c per page and all the money collected is donated to Planet Ark as part of our environmental policy.
For those results where your doctor has requested a follow up appointment, you may ask your doctor for a copy at that time. It is our practice policy not to provide copies of these results over the counter, until you have attended your follow up appointment.
There are some very limited circumstances where we can refuse access to your results, if we believe that seeing them may endanger your life or that of someone else. This would be a very unusual circumstance.
In summary, you are entitled to receive copies of every piece of information which we hold about you.
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. Please contact “The Practice Manager” at 115 Gavan St Bright or firstname.lastname@example.org and our practice will respond within 30 days.
You may also contact the OAIC. Generally, the OAIC will require you to give us time to respond before they will investigate. For further information visit www.oaic.gov.au or call the OAIC on 1300 363 992
Privacy and our website
We do not collect any information about you from our website other than via the new patient registration form should you choose to complete it online. This registration form is transmitted by regular email to Bright Medical Centre, where it is reviewed by our practice nurse prior to your first appointment.
Policy review statement