Why and when your consent is necessary?
When you register as a patient of our practice, you provide consent for our doctors 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 that we will collect about you includes:
- Names, date of birth, addresses, contact details
- Medicare number for identification and claiming purposes
- Other healthcare identifiers (such as DVA number if applicable)
- Health fund details
- Health information about you including notes of your symptoms or diagnosis and the treatment provided to you, test results, medical history, medications, prescriptions, allergies, adverse events, immunisations, social history, family history and other risk factors, and appointment and billing details.
How do we collect 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.
- Prior to your first appointment at our practice, when you will be asked to complete our patient registration form to provide us with personal information relevant to your medical management.
- When we receive a referral letter from your General Practitioner or another specialist regarding you.
- During the course of providing medical services, we will collect further personal information.
- When we receive a correspondence from you in the form of an email, SMS, or telephone call.
- In some circumstances personal information may also be collected from other sources where the Privacy Act (1988) or other law allows it. This may include, but is not limited to:
- Your guardian or responsible person
- Other involved healthcare providers, such as general practitioners, specialists, 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 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)
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.
Our practice staff and any contractors have signed a confidentiality agreement to ensure that your personal information is protected.
How do we hold 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 and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.
Your personal information may be stored at our practice in various forms. We use electronic medical records software to store your personal information, including all consultation notes, letters and correspondence, and test results (including pathology imaging results). We may also use paper medical records to store your personal information.
Our practice stores all personal information securely. Electronic medical records are held within a secure encrypted database, which is regularly backed up to ensure that it is protected. Paper medical records are stored in a lockable cabinet.
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 reasonable time. We will normally respond to your request within 30 days. A fee may be charged to cover administrative costs in providing access to your records.
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 our practice manager either via postal letter or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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 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. We will normally respond to your concern within 30 days.
Please address all privacy-related complaints or concerns to our practice manager:
Phone: 08 8267 1766
Post: 220 Melbourne Street, North Adelaide, SA 5006
You may also contact the Office of Australian Information Commission (OAIC). For further information visit www.oaic.gov.au or make contact:
Phone: 1300 363 992
Post: GPO Box 5218, Sydney NSW 2001
Privacy, our website, and email communication
Your personal information will be collected if you are communicating with your doctor or practice staff via email or through our website.
You should be aware that with any communication via electronic means, including via email or through our website, there is some risk of a privacy breach. This is because this data is not encrypted, and therefore total security cannot be guaranteed.
Policy review statement
Further information on privacy related issues?
Telephone: 08 8267 1766
Post: 220 Melbourne Street, North Adelaide, SA 5006