Privacy of Health Information Policy. 2021
Why and when you consent is necessary.
When you register as a patient of our practice, you provide consent for our GP’s and practice staff to access and use your personal information so they can provide you with the best possible healthcare. Only staff you 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 person information do we collect?
The information we will collect about you includes:
- Name/s, 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 to do so or we are required or authorised by law to only deal with identified individuals.
How do we collect your personal information?
Our practice will collect your personal information:
- When you make your first appointment our practice staff will collect your personal and demographic information via your registration.
- During providing medical services, we may collect further personal information. The information may be collected through Electronic Transfer of Prescriptions, My Health record uploads/access to Shared Health summaries, and/or Event Summary.
- We may also collect your personal information when you visit our website, send us and 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 a specialist, 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)
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 re 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 serious threat to a patient’s life, health or safety or public health or safety, or it is impractical to obtain the patients consent
- To assist in locating a missing person
- To establish, exercise or defend and equitable claim
- For 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 systems.
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 the 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 of 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. All patient records are electronic in nature and all correspondence into our practice is scanned into the patient record. X-Rays, Ultrasound and other radiology images are held in a secure folders until collection by the patient.
Once incoming correspondence is scanned it is shredded immediately.
Our practice stores all personal information securely. We keep health information for a minimum of 7 years from the date of the last entry in the patient record (unless the patient was a child in which case records must be kept until the patient attains or would have attained 25 years of age.) This is because we are required to maintain such records under some laws.
Because of the sensitive nature of the information collected by us to provide our services, extra precautions are taken to ensure the security of that information. Our electronic files are password protected on several levels, and the computer back up tapes are stored securely, with further security codes. We have firewalls installed on our main server and our anti-virus protection is current and up to date.
We require all our employees and contractors to observe obligations of confidentiality during their employment/contract. We require independent contractors to sign a confidentiality undertaking.
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 by email to firstname.lastname@example.org and our practice will aim to respond within 5 days to you. Our practice will take reasonable steps to correct your personal information where the information is not accurate or up-to -date. You may also request that we correct or update your information, and you should make such request in writing to our practice admin or email to email@example.com
How you can 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. Please address any complaints to:
Dr San Ku
Forest Lake Local Doctors
Location: 4/85 Joseph Banks Ave, Forest Lake, Qld 4078
We will aim to respond to your complaint and/or concern within 14 days to discuss your concerns and endeavour to resolve the matter to your satisfaction.
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.
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