Current as of: 30 May 2019
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 your:
• Names, date of birth, addresses, email and contact details
• Appointment and billing details
• Medical information including medical history, specialist reports and test results, medications, allergies, adverse events, immunisations, social history, family history and risk factors
• Medicare number, DVA number and other government identifiers (where available) for 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?
Our practice may collect your personal information in several different ways.
1. When you make your first appointment our practice staff will collect your personal and demographic information via your registration.
2. During the course of providing medical services, we may collect further personal information. Information can also be collected through electronic transfer of prescriptions (eTP), My Health Record, eg via Shared Health Summary, Event Summary.
3. 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.
4. 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
• from third parties where the Privacy Act or other law allows it, this may include but is not limited to: other involved healthcare providers, such as specialists, allied health professionals, hospitals, community health services, pathology and diagnostic imaging services, the My Health Record system, electronic prescription services and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
• 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 to provide health services to you:
• 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, also mandatory reporting under applicable child protection legislation)
• If you have a My Health Records to upload your personal information to, and download personal information from, the My Health Record System
• Information can be disclosed through an electronic transfer of prescriptions service.
• To obtain, analyse and discuss test results from diagnostic and pathology laboratories
• For consultations with other doctors and allied health professionals involved in your healthcare
• To help us manage our accounts and administrative services including billing, pursuing unpaid accounts, management of our ITC systems
• To liaise with your health fund, government and regulatory bodies such as Medicare, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) (If you make a privace complaint to the OAIC), as necessary.
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?
Our Staff are trained and required to respect and protect your privacy. We take reasonable steps to protect information held from misuse and loss from unauthorized access, modification or disclosure.
Your personal information may be stored at our practice in various forms eg as paper records, electronic records, visual records (X-rays, CT scans, videos and photos), audio recordings.
Our practice stores all personal information securely. Our electronic data is secured by firewalls and passwords and our electronic data backups are encrypted. Paper records are stored in a secure environment. All staff and contractors sign 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.
Our practice acknowledges patients may request access to their medical records. We require you to put this request in writing to your Doctor or the Practice Manager, please provide a colour copy of your photo ID (eg driver’s licence) and our practice will respond within a reasonable time (30 days). We will advise the cost of providing this information to you once the request has been received.
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 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 the Practice Manager, deliver directly to reception or post to PO Box 49 Terrigal, NSW, 2260. You may also be requested for a copy of photo identification.
We may disclose your personal information to the following overseas recipients:
• Any practice or individual who assists us in providing services (such as where you have come from overseas and had your health record transferred from overseas or have treatment continuing from an overseas provider)
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 in accordance with our resolution procedure. Please put your complaint or concern in writing to the Practice Manager, Terrigal Medical Centre/Avoca Beach Medical Centre, PO Box 49 Terirgal NSW 2260, telephone 02 4385 3150. Your complaint/concern will be responded to 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.
Privacy and our website
Policy review statement
If you have any comments about this policy please contact the Practice Manager, 02 4385 3150