Why and when your consent is necessary
When you register as a patient of our practice, you provide consent for residing 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
• 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.
How do we collect your personal information?
Our practice may collect your personal information in several different ways.
1. When you make your first appointment our practice staff will collect your personal and demographic information via your registration.
2. During the course of providing medical services, we may collect further personal information.
3. 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.
4. 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.
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.
Our practice may use your personal information to improve the quality of the services we offer to our patients through research and analysis of our patient data.
We may provide de-identified data to other organisations to improve population health outcomes. The information is secure, patients cannot be identified and the information is stored within Australia. You can let our reception staff know if you do not want your information included.
How do we store and protect your personal information?
Your personal information may be stored at our practice in various forms. This includes:
• Electronically in Best Practice, our clinical software.
• Electronically in HotDoc, our online booking and recall system.
Our practice stores all personal information securely. We only store personal information electronically. We do not maintain paper (hard copy) records for any patient. Access to all personal information is password protected by the personal logins to all clinical and other practice software.
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 via a Patient Information Request Form (supplied on demand) and our practice will respond within 5 business 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 Practice Manager, or simply attend the practice and request and information update with the Reception team.
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.
Complaints can be made to the Practice Manager and be in the form of an email or a letter. If you would prefer to discuss your matter, you can organise a time to discuss in person with the Practice Manager or by telephone.
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 will only collect very simple information about you if you choose to contact us via our website. This will include your name, email address and phone number so we can get in contact with you. This information is never shared with any third-parties and is directed to the Practice Managers email address only. We do not collect any personal information by any other means on our website, nor by social media. If you contact us via social media, we will only have vision of the information you share on the social media application. We will never request any personal information from you via social media, unless you willingly supply it.
Policy review statement