Consent: why and when
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.
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 we collect
The information we will collect about you includes:
- 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
Your right to anonymity
- When you make your first appointment our practice staff will collect your personal and demographic information via your registration.
- During the course of providing medical services, we may collect further personal information. i.e. My Health Record.
- 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 Veteran’s Affairs (as necessary).
Sharing your 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), My Health Record/PCEHR system (e.g. via Shared Health Summary, Event Summary).
Your personal information may be stored at our practice in various forms e.g.: Electronic records, x-rays, CT scans, photos and paper records when needed.
Our practice stores all personal information securely by password secured electronic format and secured document cabinets.
Access to your information
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 via the practice ‘Request for Medical Records’ form and our practice will respond within 10 working days. 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 by informing reception.
We take complaints and concerns regarding privacy seriously. You should express any privacy concerns you may have in writing to reception desk or by mail to ‘The Practice Manager’ Po Box 553 Nowra NSW 2541. We will then attempt to resolve it in accordance with our resolution procedure.
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 336 002.
Communicating with you
When you call our practice, we will verify your identity before discussing any of your private information. We will not discuss the appointments or information of any other patient with you unless you are the care provider for that patient or they have authorised us to do so. We will contact you via telephone, or electronic messaging (with your consent) if the doctor wishes to discuss results with you. In return we ask you do not send any personal information to our reception email as it is not regularly monitored or securely encrypted. Please contact us via telephone.