Current as of: Feb 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 (e.g. 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
- healthcare identifiers
- 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. If you choose to deal with us anonymously, you will be required to pay privately as this method does not attract a medicare rebate.
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. This may include collection through electronic transfer of prescriptions (eTP), My Health Record Shared Health Summary or Event Summary. 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 in other ways.
- 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, 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.
How do we store and protect your personal information?
Your personal information may be stored at our practice in various forms. These include electronic records, paper records that may be scanned to your file, records on discs, visual records such as photos with your consent
Our practice stores all personal information securely. Our electronic storage is a protected information system. All of our staff and contractors who have access to your personal information are held to a confidentiality & privacy agreement. Our computers and programs are protected by passwords that are only shared with our staff that need to access your information.
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 with your signature and given to our administration staff. Our practice will respond within a reasonable time of 15 days (RACGP states that 30 or less is reasonable. You may be charged a reasonable fee to cover the administration time, clinical time & resources used. The 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 Practice Manager, Healthcare Plus Medical Centre. When it is simple information such as a change of mobile or address, please let our reception know as soon as possible. They will guide you as to whether your record can be updated immediately or if we need it in writing.
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 write a letter or fill our one of our complaint forms, available at reception. We will investigate your complaint and respond to you within 30 days.
Please hand your written complaint or concern to our staff or post to;
1151 Creek Rd,
Shop MM8, Inside Terry White Chemmart
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.
Privacy and our website
We do not collect any personal information through the use of our website. If you make you make an appointment online from the appointment making icon on our website, you will be asked to provide personal information that we will then be provided, in order to make your appointment.
Policy review statement