Why and when your consent is necessary
When you register as a patient of our practice, you provide consent for our doctors and practice staff to access and use your personal information so they can provide you with the best possible care. Only staff who need to see your personal information will have access to it and 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 when applicable
- Healthcare identifiers when applicable
- Health fund details when applicable
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.
- Directly from you when you provide your details to us. This might be via a face to face discussion, telephone conversation, registration form or online form.
- When you make your first appointment our practice staff will collect your personal and demographic information.
- During the course of providing medical services, we may collect further personal information.
- 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).
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.
Email & SMS
Our practice utilises email and SMS as methods of communication to patients. Such communication may include:
- Confirmation of appointments
- If we are unable to reach a patient over the phone
- Surgical / procedure quotations
- Updates from the practice, including newsletters
- Copies of requests i.e. pathology, radiology, audiology requests
The total security of communication via email and SMS cannot be guaranteed. By providing an email address and mobile phone number, a patient acknowledge the risks and consent for their email and mobile phone number to be used for this purpose.
How can you access and correct your personal information?
You have a right to seek access to, and correction of the personal information which we hold about you.
For details on how to access and correct your health record, please contact our practice as noted below under ‘Contact Details’:
We will normally respond to your request within 30 days.
How do we store and protect your personal information?
Your personal information may be stored at our practice in various forms, such as:
- Paper records
- Electronic records
- Photos / Videos
- Audio recordings
Our practice stores all personal information securely.
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 to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will then attempt to resolve it in accordance with our resolution procedure. We will normally respond to your request 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.
Updates to this Policy
This Policy will be reviewed from time to time to take account of new laws and technology, changes to our operations and other necessary developments. Updates will be published on the practice’s website.
Address: Ground Floor, 65 Hume Street, Crows Nest NSW 2065 Australia
Phone: 02 9439 9293