Current as of: 9th May 2023
Why and when your consent is necessary
When you register as a patient of this practice, you provide consent for the GPs and practice staff to access and use your personal information so they can confirm your identity and provide you with the best possible healthcare. Only staff who need to see your personal information will have access to it. If they need to use your information for anything else, additional consent will be obtained from you to do this.
Automation technologies are used through Best Practice and HotDoc to improve efficiency and effectiveness of patient outcomes. Patient consent will be obtained for any automated SMS or email messages or actions. Patient consents are updated at the request of the patient. Reception will confirm mobile numbers and email addresses at time of check in.
Why is your personal information collected, used, held and shared?
This practice will need to collect your personal information to provide you with healthcare services. The main purpose for collecting, using, holding and sharing your personal information is to safely and accurately 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 (eg. staff training).
What personal information is collected?
The practice holds patient health records which include:
- 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.
Dealing with the practice 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. You can do this via phone, leaving a sealed envelope in our letter box or at reception, or via the feedback form on our website.
How is your personal information collected?
The practice will collect your personal information:
- When you make your first appointment, staff will collect your personal and demographic information via your registration.
- During the course of providing medical services, further personal information may be collected – the practice uses eTP (Electronic Transfer of Prescriptions), eReferrals, My Health Record .
- Your personal information may also be collected when visiting the website, contacting the practice via email, SMS, or telephone, making an online appointment or communicating via the practice’s social media accounts.
- 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).
Who is your personal information shared with?
Your personal information is sometimes shared:
- with third parties who work with this 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 Electronic Transfer of Prescriptions (eTP), eReferrals, MyHealth Record system (eg via Shared Health Summary, Event Summary).
Only people that 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, the practice will not share personal information with any third party without your consent.
Your personal information will not be shared with anyone outside Australia (unless under exceptional circumstances that are permitted by law) without your consent. This Practice does not send any information overseas unless express consent has been obtained.
The practice will not use your personal information for marketing any goods or services directly to you without your express consent. If you do not 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. The practice stores all personal information securely.
- Your information is stored electronically on secure, password protected systems. Each doctor and staff member has their own individual password that is not shared.
- Paper files predating the implementation of the computer system are held in a locked compactus.
- All official documents are securely stored.
- Passwords are required to access the computers.
- Permissions are given for staff to access areas of your file according to their job role.
- Confidentiality Agreements are in place for all staff and individual practitioners.
- See the Computer, Internet and Social Media policy for more information.
How can you access and correct your personal information at this 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.
- Patients are required to make an appointment with their regular GP to discuss and access or adjust their personal information as needed.
- A request to forward Medical Records on to another surgery requires the patient to sign appropriate forms at their chosen practice. This is then forwarded to this practice. A response will be provided within 7 days – unless it was considered more urgent – with a current Health Summary for which there is no charge. This would be sent via fax or encrypted email. A letter indicating costs for any further information is sent at that time.
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, you will be asked to verify that your personal information held by the practice is correct and up-to-date.
- You will be asked to verify name, address and contact details each time you arrive for an appointment to verify identity and ensure the information is correct.
- You may also request corrections or updates to your information. Please inform the reception team or send an email to make this request.
How can you lodge a privacy related complaint, and how will the complaint be handled?
Complaints and concerns regarding privacy are taken very seriously. You should express any privacy concerns you may have in writing to the following:
The Practice Manager
Wellers Hill Medical Centre
16 Denham Terrace
Wellers Hill, Qld. 4121
Staff will then attempt to resolve it in accordance with resolution procedures within 7 days.
You may also contact the OAIC (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 336 002.
Privacy and the website
The website does not capture or store any patient information. A feedback form is available online for patients to enter a name, email and message. This may be done under a pseudonym. Completed forms are emailed to the Assistant Office Manager and deleted once actioned.
Policy review statement