Your privacy is very important to us and we healthplus. are committed to treating your personal information we collect in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles in the Privacy Act 1988.
As part of our commitment to preserving the confidentiality of the information contained in your medical record, we follow the strict guidelines outlined in the “Handbook for the Management of Health Information in Private Medical Practice” (authored and published by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and the Committee of Presidents of Medical Colleges).
Your electronic records are accessible only by staffs of healthplus. and are protected by a security password. Your paper records will be archived electronically and accessible only by practice staff. Each member of staff is well versed in the principles and importance of doctor-patient confidentiality.
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 (e.g. staff training).
What personal information do we collect?
The information we will collect about you which include, but not limited to:
- Names, date of birth, addresses, contact details
- Medical information including medical history, medications, allergies, adverse events, immunizations, social history, family history and risk factors
- Medicare number (where available) for identification and claiming purposes
- Healthcare identifiers
- Health fund details
- Notes made during the course of all medical consultations
- Referrals to other health service providers
- Results and reports received from other health services
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 authorized by law to only deal with identified individuals.
How do we collect your personal information?
Our practice will collect your personal information which includes, but not limited to:
- 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.
- 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 Veteran’s Affairs (as necessary).
Who do we share your personal information with?
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 (e.g. 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 (e.g. some diseases require mandatory notification)
- During the course of providing medical services, through Electronic Transfer of Prescriptions (eTP), MyHealth Record/PCEHR system (e.g. via Shared Health Summary, Event Summary).
Only people that 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?
We take reasonable steps to ensure your personal information is protected from misuse and loss and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. We hold and store your information in electronic form. Paper copy of your personal & health information is scanned and upload into your electronic medical record file. It is then destroyed or de-identified.
To ensure your personal information is kept safe from damage, loss or theft, complete backup of the electronic medical record is performed on a daily basis and the backup drive is stored securely. Any access to electronic medical record is password protected and the passwords changed on a regular basis.
No data or transmission over the internet can be guaranteed to be secure. Hence, we cannot provide any assurance regarding the security of transmission of information you communicate to us online. We also cannot guarantee that the information you supply will not be intercepted while being transmitted over the internet. Accordingly, any personal information or other information which you transmit to us online is transmitted at your own risk. We cannot guarantee the protection of information that a person transmits when accessing this website.
We may measure and record information about the number of visitors and their use of the site for trends and statistics for marketing purposes or for the purpose of making the website more relevant and user-friendly.
Our website may provide links to other websites. We are not responsible for the privacy practices of the operators of those websites and are not liable for their conduct. The terms and conditions of those websites should be checked carefully before any personal information is disclosed on any linked website.
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 5 business days of receipt.
Our practice will take reasonable steps to correct your personal information where the information is not accurate or up-to-date. Upon arrival at each consultation, we will ask you to verify your personal information held by our practice to ensure it is correct and up-to-date. You may also request that we correct or update your information, and you should make such requests in writing to our staff.
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. It is our practice policy that any formal complaint is required to be made in writing, addressed to our practice manager either through post or email, and marked private and confidential. We will make our best endeavour to respond to complaints within 10 business days of receipt.
The response will detail the outcome decision, the reason for the decision, and any follow-up action that can be taken by the patient.
If you are still not satisfied with the outcome, 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 336 002