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?
- 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?
- 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.
- My Health Record, eg via Shared Health Summary, 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 with us using social media.
- 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?
- 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 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.
How do we store and protect your personal information?
Your personal information may be stored at our practice in various forms e.g. electronic records, visual records (X-rays, CT scans, videos and photos), audio recordings.
Our practice stores all personal information securely.
Patient records are in electronic format, in protected information systems in a secured environment. All staff, clinicians and contractors are required to use individual passwords and signed confidentiality agreements.
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.
- it would unreasonably impact the privacy of another
- it may threaten the life, health or safety of another or the public.
Refusal to grant access will be communicated in writing with the reasons and the process for lodging a complaint.
When a patient is provided with access to their medical record, it is desirable for the usual treating GP to be available to clarify its contents and to discuss any concerns with the patient.
Our practice will take reasonable steps to correct your personal information where the information is not accurate or up to date. At each appointment and 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 Email: 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 privacy seriously. You should express any privacy concerns you may have in writing. We will then attempt to resolve it within 30 days in accordance with our resolution procedure. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org You must include your mailing address and contact number.
You may also contact the OAIC. Generally, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) who 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.
Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme
- personal information is
- lost (eg laptop containing medical records is stolen)
- accessed by an an unauthorised person (eg hackers taking control of medical records)
- disclosed to an unauthorised person (eg a fax containing medical information is sent to the wrong person; and
- this is likely to result in serious harm to someone; and
- the practice can’t take steps to prevent the risk of serious harm.
- Whose personal information? Certain people i.e. young persons and vulnerable individuals may be at more risk
- How many individuals were involved?
- Is the personal information encrypted, anonymised, or otherwise not easily accessible?
- What parties have gained, or may gain access to, the personal information?
- Organisations identity and contact details
- A description of the data breach
- A description of the personal information involved
- Recommendations to individuals about the steps they should take to minimise the impact of the breach
- Notify all individuals whose personal information was part of the data breach
- Notify only those individuals at risk of serious harm
- If neither option 1 or 2 above is practicable, we will publish a notification on our website and take reasonable steps to publicise the contents of the statement
Notification of individuals can use any method (eg telephone call, SMS, physical mail, social media post or in-person conversation) and must provide the same information as provided in the statement to OAIC
Policy review statement