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.
Note: New patient registration form includes a section for patients to provide consent.
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, 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.
Note: If you wish to take this option, please advise staff so that we are able to provide you with this option, in a confidential and private manner.
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. Our new patient registration forms provide a section that requires your consent to collect this information.
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. This practice utilized the My Health Record with patient consent. If you have a My Health Record, your doctor will discuss any Shared Health Summary with you and seek your permission before any Summary is uploaded to your My Health Record.
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. Our Website does not have provision for you, the patient, to contact the practice via the website. The same recommendation applies to our facebook page. This is not a safe medium and we prefer that you Contact the practice by phone. Likewise, email is not a safe medium and again we would ask that you contact the practice by phone. Your privacy and confidentiality is our prime concern. We will only send SMS messages if you have provided us with permission to do so, via the patient registration form.
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
• 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 Veterans’ Affairs (as necessary).
When, why and with whom do we share your personal information?
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 eTP, My Health Record (eg via Shared Health Summary, Event Summary). The practice participates in Shared Health Summaries with your permission and consent.
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. We do not share your personal information with anyone outside Australia but if this became necessary at any time, your consent would be sought and documented in your health record prior to this occurring. 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. Direct marketing is not the usual practice of Grange Road Medical.
How do we store and protect your personal information?
Your personal information may be stored at our practice in various forms.
[All patient records at Grange Road Medical are electronic. However, we do collect paper records on a frequent basis – this includes: specialist correspondence, discharge summaries from some providers, some Xrays and videos. As often as possible, we request electronic correspondence which does directly you’re your record once viewed by your GP. All paper correspondence is scanned into your record by specially trained staff. Prior to being scanned, paperwork in stored in a special folder away from an area of public view. Only appropriate staff have access to this area. This paper is then collected by a Document Shredding company on site on a regular basis.
While waiting for the collection, all paperwork is stored in a locked bin, kept in a locked room. It is only accessed once the collection team arrive on site. Any old paper medical records that are still required to be kept for the designated time are stored in a special compactus which is kept locked at all times and not accessible to the public. Archiving is carried out on a regular basis and anything not required to be kept is dealt with by our Document Shredding provider.
Our practice stores all personal information securely.
All personal information in electronic format is stored in a protected information system . This information is protected by the use of individual passwords, secure cabinets ( servers kept in locked cabinets, out of public view and access), confidentiality agreements for staff and contractors, user setup in Software allowing user to access only that information relating to their job description. We also secure the services of an IT Specialist who provides extra checks on the servers, for example, firewalls and virus protection in addition to providing updates as required to operating software and troubleshooting.
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 the practice manager and your usual treatment GP and our practice will respond within a reasonable time, ie 30 days. You will be advised if there is any charges for the photocopying of any information. This charge will not be excessive and is designed only to cover processing costs of such a request.
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 via the practice email address of firstname.lastname@example.org or by post.
You can also update your information with our reception staff in person or by phone.
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.
Contact details are:
The Practice Manager,
Grange Road Medical,
92 Grange Road,
Eastern Heights, 4305.
The contact phone number is 07 3281 9133.
The practice email is email@example.com.
You must include your mailing address and contact number.
We would see to address any complaint with 30 days (we would attempt to seek resolution sooner than this if possible) and will respond in writing outlining our complaint handling process.
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
We do not collect personal health information via our website or facebook page.
Policy review statement
The practice Policy statement is available on request within the practice and can also be found on our website. It will be reviewed on a quarterly basis and any changes will be advised on the website. We welcome feedback from our patients.