Our Policy for Protecting the Privacy of your Health Information
Collection & Use of Personal & Health Information
Information about your current and past medical and family health history is required to assist us with providing you accurate and comprehensive medical care.
If important personal and health information is not provided by you this may in turn compromise the quality of health care the clinic is able to provide you.
Our clinic adheres to the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012, which amends the Privacy Act 1988 and the Guidelines on Privacy in the Private Health Sector developed by the Office of the Federal Privacy Commissioner. The foundation of these guidelines derives from the Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Act 2000.
Personal health information is generally collected directly from the patient, and otherwise with the patient’s consent.
Our clinic will only collect information that is considered relevant to your medical care and deemed reasonably necessary to complete various administrative functions. If you are uncertain as to why information is being requested, ask your Doctor or ask to speak to the Practice Manager.
Storing of your Personal & Health Information
Our clinic stores your personal health information within a secure computerised medical record.
All hardcopies of personal & health information received from other health care providers, organisations and agencies are viewed by your Doctor and scanned into your computerised medical record in a timely manner. All hardcopies of personal and health information that has been scanned into your computerised medical record is then destroyed via a secure and confidential system.
Only authorised persons at our clinic have access to your personal and health information.
If you have any concerns in relation to this access please discuss your concerns with your Doctor or ask to speak to the Practice Manager.
It is necessary for our clinic to store your personal and health information for as long as required by law after your last attendance at this clinic.
Disclosure of your Personal & Health Information
To ensure that accuracy, quality and continuity of medical care is maintained it may be necessary to share relevant personal and health information with other health care providers and/or services involved in your health care. This includes however is not limited to; hospitals, allied health professional and/or services, other doctors i.e. specialists, surgeons etc.
In all but exceptional circumstances, personal and health information will not be disclosed without your prior written and/or verbal consent.
Only relevant information is provided to Medicare and Private Health Funds (if applicable), for billing and medical purposes.
Our clinic will disclose personal and health information in circumstances which include however is not limited to;
You have consented to the disclosure; or
This disclosure is necessary because you are at risk of harm without treatment and/or you are unable to give consent. For example you might be unconscious after an accident ; or
Your doctor is legally obliged to disclose the information (e.g. notification of certain infectious diseases or suspected child abuse, or a subpoena or court order); or
This disclosure is necessary to undertake a review of our clinics processes and systems for the purpose of improving the quality of care provided and the activity has been approved under Commonwealth, State or Federal legislation or any other reputable agency and/or organisation.
In the event that you wish to transfer your personal and health information to another service provider this will be completed upon receiving the relevant signed request for the transfer of medical records from the other health service provider.
If you have any concerns in relation to the disclosure of personal and health information please discuss this with your Doctor or ask to speak to the Practice Manager.
Access to your Personal & Health Information
You have access to the information contained in your medical record.
While not required to give reasons for your request to access your personal and health information, you may be asked to clarify the scope of your request.
If you would like to lodge a request to access your personal and health information please speak to our friendly administration team who will provide you with the necessary request form to complete and submit.
Your request will be processed by the Practice Manager and your Doctor in a reasonably timely manner.
There are some instances in which access may be denied, however in such an event, you will be advised in writing of the reason.
No fee will be charged for lodging a request to access your personal and health information. However, a reasonable administrative fee may apply to access your personal and health information depending on the method of access chosen.
There are a number of options available to you as to how you can access this information, and this will be discussed with you at the time of lodging your request.
Children and other dependents also have the right to privacy of their personal and health information. Therefore, access by other individuals such as parents, guardians, carers etc will be determined by the professional judgement of the doctor and is consistent with privacy legislation. Each request for access will be addressed individually.
If you have any concerns in relation to the access to your personal and health information please speak to your Doctor or ask to speak to the Practice Manager.
Correcting information contained in your medical record
If you find that the information in your medical record is not accurate, complete or up-to-do, you can request to have this information amended.
If you have any further concerns in relation to correcting information contained in your medical record please speak to your Doctor or ask to speak to the Practice Manager.
It is important to us that your expectations about the way in which we handle your personal and health information are the same as ours.
We encourage you to discuss any concerns, questions or complaints about any issues related to the privacy of your personal and health information with your Doctor or ask to speak to the Practice Manager.
If you are still dissatisfied you can make a complaint to the Office of the Health Services Commissioner whose contact details are provided below;
Health Services Commissioner
Telephone: 1300 582 113
Fax: (61 3) 9032 3111
Or write to:
Health Services Commissioner
570 Bourke Street