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:
- 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 in accordance with Australian Privacy Principle 2
How do we collect your personal information?
Our practice will 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. A collection statement is attached to the patient registration form for your signature.
- During the course of providing medical services, we may collect further personal information. Eg. eRx(transfer of prescriptions. My health Records (Shared health summary)
- We may also collect your personal information when you, send us an email or SMS, telephone us, make an online appointment.
- 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 (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 Electronic Transfer of Prescriptions My Health Record (eg 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?
Your personal information may be stored at our practice in various forms including paper records, electronic records and as visual (X-rays, CT scans, videos and photos).
Our practice stores all personal information securely. All paper records are kept where staff supervision is easily provided and kept out of view and access of the public. All electronic information is password protected and members of the practice team have different levels of access to
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 or alternatively we have a Request for Personal Health Information form available at reception for you to complete. Once received the form will be viewed by your GP and actioned accordingly. Our practice will endeavor to respond within 30 days. A non-Medicare rebate fee may be charged – the fee will be determined by the individual doctor and may vary depending on the time required to comply with your request. This payment will be due and payable by the patient prior to receipt of requested information.
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 your personal information held by our practice 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 the Practice Manager, Victoria Street Clinic, PO Box159, Ulverstone. 7315 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 :
Practice Manager, Victoria Street Clinic, PO Box 159, Ulverstone 7315 or email us on email@example.com Ph: 6425 2900. We will endeavor to respond to your correspondence within 10 working days. We take your concerns, suggestions and complaints seriously. Please feel free to talk to your doctor or the Practice Manager.
If you wish to take the matter further and feel that you need to discuss the matter outside of the surgery there are several options available including Health Care Complaints Commission, GPO Box 960, Hobart 7001 - www.healthcomplaints.tas.gov.au - Ph: 03 6166 4566 or Regional Free call number Ph: 1800 001 170. Human Rights Commission – www.hreoc.gov.au, Commonwealth Ombudsman – www.combo.gov.au.
The National Privacy Commissioner is able to receive complaints concerning privacy issues. Complaints will have a response within 28 days. Privacy hotline 1300 363 992
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.
Policy review statement
Victoria Street Clinic Policy - Drugs of Addiction
Due to an increasing request for scripts of drugs of addiction we will not we have put the following policy in place:
- No scripts for Drugs of Addiction will be prescribed on the first appointment. There is no exception to this policy.
- Where drugs of addiction have been prescribed, there will be regular review and a plan to reduce and cease these medications will be put in place.
We acknowledges that drugs of addiction have an important role to play in:
- Pain related to cancer
- Chronic pain - based on the individual case
- Acute pain where the treatment will be short term