Current as of: 11th May 2023
Why and when your consent is necessary
When you register as a patient of the practice, you provide consent for your doctor, and other doctors supported by us, and practice staff to access and use your personal information so you can receive the best possible healthcare. Only those who need to see your personal information to provide you with care will have access to it. If they need to use your information for anything else, they will seek additional consent from you to do this.
Why does the practice collect, use, hold and share your personal information?
The practice will need to collect your personal information to enable your doctor to provide healthcare services to you. The main purpose for collecting, using, holding and sharing your personal information is to manage your health. It is also used for directly related business activities, such as financial claims and payments, practice audits and accreditation, and business processes.
What personal information gets collected?
The information collected 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 the practice anonymously
You have the right to deal with the practice anonymously or under a pseudonym unless it is impracticable for your doctor to do so or unless your doctor is required or authorised by law to only deal with identified individuals. The practice and your doctor are required to identify you for the purposes of you consulting with and being treated by a GP under Medicare. This may include where a diagnosis of a disease must be recorded and notified under a public health law. An example of when you have the right to deal with the practice anonymously or under a pseudonym is where you may wish to make a complaint or a suggestion.
How does the practice collect your personal information?
The practice may collect your personal information in several different ways.
- When you make your first appointment the practice staff will collect your personal and demographic information via your registration.
- During the course of supporting the provision of medical services to you, the practice may collect further personal information. The practice and the doctors it supports participate in the My Health Record program and the electronic transfer of prescriptions.
- The practice may also collect your personal information when you send us an email, telephone us or make an online appointment.
- 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 does the practice share your personal information?
The practice sometimes share your personal information:
- with third parties who work with the practice and your doctors 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 eTP, 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 as described in this policy, the practice and your doctor will not share personal information with any third party without your consent.
The practice will not share your personal information with anyone outside Australia (unless under exceptional circumstances that are permitted by law) without your consent.
The practice will not use your personal information for marketing any 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 the practice in writing.
How does the practice store and protect your personal information?
Your personal information may be stored at the practice in various forms. This includes paper records, electronic records and visual records e.g. X-rays, CT scans.
The practice stores all personal information securely. The electronic records are stored in password protected information systems or, if in a hard copy, a secured environment. All of the staff and contractors are bound by signed confidentiality agreements.
How can you access and correct your personal information at the practice?
You have the right to request access to, and correction of, your personal information.
The practice acknowledges patients may request access to their medical records. The practice requires you to put this request in writing via a hard copy with a signature and the practice will respond within a reasonable time frame e.g. up to 30 days. If the record being supplied is more than 10 pages, there is a small fee to cover the costs of copying and supplying the record.
The practice will take reasonable steps to correct your personal information where the information is not accurate or up to date. From time to time, the practice will ask you to verify that your personal information held by the practice is correct and current. You may also request that the practice correct or update your information, and you should make such requests in writing to the Practice Manager, Cleveland Central Medical Centre.
How can you lodge a privacy-related complaint, and how will the complaint be handled at the practice?
The practice takes complaints and concerns regarding privacy seriously. You should express any privacy concerns you may have in writing. The practice will then attempt to resolve it in accordance with the resolution procedure. The contact email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. The mailing address is 177 Bloomfield Street, Cleveland. The turnaround timeframe for any complaints/concerns regarding your privacy is up to 30 days. Your complaint/concern will be handled by the Practice Manager.
You may also contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner. 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.
Policy review statement