Current as of March 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 (e.g. 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.
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. For example, we may receive information from eHealth services such as My Health Record.
3. We may also collect your personal information when you visit our website or telephone us.
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 (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)
• during the course of providing medical services, through electronic transfer of prescriptions (eTP), and My Health Record (e.g. via Shared Health Summary, Event Summary).
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 does not outsource transcription services. 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. This mostly includes paper and electronic records and visual records (X-rays, CT scans, photos). Video surveillance systems record activity in open areas such as in carparks, building entrances and walkways. Recordings are kept for a limited time to ensure the safety of people on our property and the security of our premises and your personal records. We do not record activity in waiting rooms or in private areas such as consultation or treatment rooms. We may store further audio and video recordings when you consent to us doing so. Our practice stores all personal information securely: Your hard copy records are stored at secure premises under lock and key, surveillance and alarms. Electronic records are stored on a secure network protected by access controls. Off-network backups are encrypted.
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. Our preferred means of granting access is through personal attendance and joint examination and discussion of the content of the records with one of our doctors. Whilst not required to give reasons for their request, a patient may be asked to clarify the scope of the request. Requests may also be made in writing. In certain cases, we may charge a fee to cover reasonable costs of complying with your 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 at any time.
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 address correspondence to: Boonah & Kalbar Medical Centres 86 High St Boonah QLD 4310 Telephone: 07 5463 1200 We will endeavor to respond to your concerns 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
In addition to this policy, the following applies to our Web site and online services: Sharing of your personal information We may need to use other companies to provide Web services on our behalf, for example online appointment bookings. Those companies will be permitted to obtain only the personal information they need to deliver the Web service. We will take reasonable steps to ensure that these organisations are bound by confidentiality and privacy obligations in relation to the protection of your personal information.
For online services we provide directly, we collect personal information necessary to provide the service - such as Full Name, Date of Birth and Address. We use the information only to perform the service or transaction you request and we do not permanently store personal information on our Web site or external hosting provider. For each visitor to reach the Web site, we collect non-personally identifiable information, including but not limited to browser type, version and language, operating system, pages viewed while browsing the site, page access times and referring website address. This collected information is for the purpose of gauging visitor traffic, trends and delivering personalized content to you while you are at the site.
Policy review statement
This document will be reviewed at each accreditation cycle (every 2 years); or sooner if we need to make clarifications or corrections; or if for business or statutory reasons we need to make changes to the way we handle your personal information.