PRIVACY ACT 1988 – PATIENT INFORMATION SHEET
We are committed to protecting the privacy of patient information and to handling your personal information in a responsible manner in accordance with the Privacy Act 1998. This Information Sheet explains how we collect, use and disclose your personal information, how you may access that information and how you may seek the correction of any information. It also explains how you may make a complaint about a breach of privacy legislation.
The privacy Act 1988 requires medical practitioners to obtain consent from their patients to collect, use and disclose the patient’s personal information. We will collect information that is necessary to properly advise and treat you, such information may include:
- Full medical history
- Family medical history
- Contact details
- Medicare/private health fund details
- Genetic information
- Bill/account details
The information will normally be collected directly from you. There may be occasions when we will need to obtain information from other sources for example:
- Other medical practitioners such as a former GP or Specialist
- Other health care providers, such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, pharmacies, dentists, nurses, and hospitals including day surgery units.
Both our practice staff and medical practitioners may participate in the collection of this information.
In emergency situations, we may need to collect personal information from relatives or other sources where we are unable to obtain your prior express consent.
USE & DISCLOSURE
With your consent, the practice staff will use and disclose your information for purposes such as:
- Account keeping and billing purposes
- Referral to another medical practitioner or health care provider
- Sending of specimens, such as blood samples or tissue samples for analysis
- Referral to hospital for treatment and or advice
- Advice on treatment options.
- The management of our practice
- Quality assurance, practice accreditation and complaint handling
- To meet our obligations of notification to our medical defence organisations or insurers
- To prevent or lessen a serious threat to an individual’s life, health or safety and
- Where legally required to do so, such as producing records to court, mandatory reporting of child abuse or the notification or diagnosis of certain communicable diseases.
DATA QUALITY AND SECURITY
We will take reasonable steps to ensure that your personal information is accurate, complete, up to date and relevant. For this purpose, our staff may ask you to confirm that your contact details are correct when you attend a consultation. We request that you let us know if any of the information we hold about you is incorrect or out of date.
- Personal information that we hold is protected by:
- Securing our premises
- Placing passwords and varying access levels on databases to limit access and protect electronic information from unauthorised access
- Providing locked cabinets and rooms for the storage of physical records
If you believe the information that we have about you is not accurate, complete or up to date, we ask you contact us in writing to notify us of this.
You are entitled to access your own health records at any time convenient to both yourself and the practice.
Access can be denied in the following circumstances:
- To provide access would create a serious threat to life or health
- There is a legal impediment to access
- The access would unreasonably impact on the privacy of another
- Your request is frivolous
- The information relates to anticipated or actual legal proceedings and you would not be entitled to access the information in those proceedings and
- In the interests of national security
We request that you put your request in writing and we will respond to it within a reasonable time. There may be a fee for the administrative costs of retrieving and providing you with copies of your medical records.
If you have a complaint about the privacy of your personal information, we request that you contact us in writing. After receiving a complaint, we will consider it in detail and attempt to resolve it in accordance with our complaints handling procedures. If you remain dissatisfied with our handling of a complaint, or the outcome, you may make an application to the Australian Information Commissioner or the Privacy Commissioner in WA