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 identifiers
Dealing with us anonymously
You have the right to deal with us anonymously or under a pseudonym unless it is impracticle 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. Systems include electronic transfer of prescriptions (eTP), My Health Record and Shared Health summaries.
- 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 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).
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 in various forms, including electronically recorded clinical notes, clinical images, xrays.
Our practice stores all personal information securely. All data is stored electronically in a protected information system within a secure location. All users sign a confidentiality statement and require passwords to access the system.
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 and our practice will respond within a reasonable time (usually within 30 days). Fees will be incurred to comply with your request as per the Victorian Health Records Act (2001).
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 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 Practice Manager – email@example.com.
How can you lodge a privacy-related complaint, and how will the complaint be handled at our practice?
We take complaints and concerns regarding your 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 contact The Practice Manager via firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning the clinic on 039782 6666 or via our postal address – P O Box 8023, Carrum Downs, Victoria 3201. Your concerns will be reviewed and responded to within 30 days.
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. Alternatively you may wish to contact the Victorian Health Commissioner on 1300 582 113.
Privacy and our website
Our practice actively engages in social media, however your personal information is never disclosed and is only used to advertise our practice and it’s services and events.
Policy review statement
This policy is reviewed regularly in accordance with any changes that may occur. We will notify you of any changes via notices in our waiting rooms or via our website or social media pages.
Our online booking and recalls partner – HotDoc
Our email address is email@example.com. This email address connects you with our practice, including all of our doctors and staff. However, please be advised of the following:
We are unable to make, change, or cancel appointments via email. Please phone us on (03) 9782 6666 or login to the HotDoc app to make changes to appointments.
Please note that email is not a secure method of communication. Due to this, we do not encourage patients or providers to email us with personal information. Sometimes, we may use email to ensure continuity of care during emergency situations or under time constraints.
For professional communications from other health providers, we use Argus, HealthLink and ReferralNet.