The provision of quality health care is our principle concern. It requires a doctor-patient relationship of trust and confidentiality. Your doctor regards patient health information as confidential and will only collect this information with patient consent.
Every effort will be made to discuss these matters with patients at the time personal health information is collected from patients attending this practice. Because there will be occasions when it is not practical to make patients aware of these matters at the time of collection, this policy sheet is designed to outline how this practice endeavours to protect the privacy of patients’ personal health information.
Collection, Use and disclosure of your information
Information about a patient’s medical and family health history is needed to provide accurate medical diagnoses and appropriate treatment. We will be fair in the way we collect information about our patients. This information is generally collected from the patient, if otherwise, with the patient’s consent. However, from time to time we may receive patient information from others. When this occurs we will, wherever possible, make sure the patient knows we have received this information. Clinical photos and video may also be collected to provide optimal diagnostic information.
Medical care requires full knowledge of patient health information by all members of a medical team. To ensure quality and continuity of patient care, a patient’s health information has to be shared with other healthcare providers from time to time. Some information about a patient is also provided to Medicare, and private health funds if relevant, for billing and medical rebate purposes.
The doctors in this practice are members of various medical and professional bodies including medical defence organisations. There may be occasions when disclosure of patient information is required for medical defence purposes. There are also circumstances where a medical practitioner is legally bound to disclose personal information. An example of this is the mandatory reporting of communicable diseases.
Should a notifiable data breach occur, we acknowledge there is a legal obligation to notify the patient concerned and also the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC)
It is necessary for us to keep patients’ information after their last attendance at this practice for as long as is required by law or is prudent having regard to administrative requirements.
The doctors in this practice are involved in teaching and the collection of data may be required for clinical research and audit. You have the right for any images/videos and personal health information and outcomes to be withheld from any teaching, research or data analysis. Please let us know if you do NOT consent for your non-identified images or data to be used for such purposes.
A patient has a right to access their information. They may ask to view the information or ask for a copy of a part or the whole record. While not required to give reasons for their request, a patient may be asked to clarify the scope of the request. There are some circumstances in which access may be denied but in such an event, the patient will be advised of the reason. A charge may be payable where the practice incurs costs in providing access. This will depend on the nature of the access. The material over which the doctor has copyright might be subject to conditions that prevent further copying or publication without the doctor’s permission.
If a patient finds that the information held on them is not accurate or complete, the patient may have that information amended accordingly. Upon request, a patient’s health information held by this practice will be made available to another health service provider.
Parents/Guardians and Children
The right of children to privacy of their health information, based on the professional judgement of the doctor and consistent with the law, might at times restrict access to this information by parents or guardians. We will require written consent from an adult child to disclose any information to their parent/guardian.
It is important to us that your expectations about the way in which we handle your information are the same as ours. Please do not hesitate to discuss any concerns, questions or complaints about any issues related to the privacy of your personal information with your doctor. If you are still dissatisfied you can complain to the Federal Privacy Commissioner.