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Privacy Policy

Introduction  

The Privacy Act 1988 and the Australian Privacy Principles require me to have a document that clearly sets out my policies on handling personal information, including health information.

This privacy policy is to provide information to you, my patient, on how your personal information (which includes your health information) is collected and used within my practice, and the circumstances in which I may share it with third parties.

My privacy policy is on my practice website, and is readily presented to anyone who asks.

Why and when your consent is necessary

 

When you register as a patient of my practice, you provide consent for me and my practice staff to access and use your personal information so we can provide you with the best possible healthcare. Only staff who need to see your personal information will have access to it. If I need to use your information for anything else, I will seek additional consent from you to do this.

Why do we collect, use, hold and share your personal information?

I will need to collect your personal information to provide healthcare services to you. My main purpose for collecting, using, holding and sharing your personal information is to manage your health. I 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 I will collect about you includes your:

·         names, date of birth, addresses, contact details

·         medical information including medical history, medications, allergies, adverse events, immunisations, social and family history and risk factors

·         Medicare number (where available) for identification and claiming purposes

·         healthcare identifiers

·         health fund details.

Dealing with me anonymously

You have the right to deal with me anonymously or under a pseudonym unless it is impracticable for me to do so or unless I am required or authorised by law to only deal with identified individuals.  

How do we collect your personal information?

My practice may collect your personal information in several different ways.

When you make your first appointment my practice staff will collect your personal and demographic information via your registration.

1.       During the course of providing medical services, I may collect further personal information. Information may also be collected through electronic transfer of prescriptions (eTP), My Health Record, electronic sharing of health information with other health professionals via Medical Objects and secure messaging services with Queensland Health facilities.

2.       I may also collect your personal information when you send me an email or SMS, telephone me, or make an online appointment.

3.       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:

o   your guardian or responsible person

o   other involved healthcare providers, such as specialists, allied health professionals, hospitals, community health services and pathology and diagnostic imaging services

o   your health fund, Medicare, or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (as necessary).

When, why and with whom do we share your personal information?

I will sometimes share your personal information:

·         with third parties who work with my 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 eTP, My Health Record (e.g. via Shared Health Summary, Event Summary), Medical Objects, Secure Transfer Service (Qld Health).
 

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, my practice will not share personal information with any third party without your consent.

I will not share your personal information with anyone outside Australia (unless under exceptional circumstances that are permitted by law) without your consent.

My 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 my practice in writing.

My practice may use your personal information to improve the quality of the services I offer to my patients through research and analysis of my patient data.

I may provide de-identified data to other organisations to improve population health outcomes. The information is secure, patients cannot be identified, and the information is stored within Australia. You can let my reception staff know if you do not want your information included.

How do we store and protect your personal information?

Your personal information will be stored at my practice in electronic form.

The practice stores all personal information securely.

Personal information that I hold is protected by: 

·         securing the premises;

·         placing passwords and varying access levels on databases to limit access and protect electronic information from unauthorised interference, access, modification and disclosure; and

·         providing locked cabinets and rooms for the storage of physical records.

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.

My practice acknowledges patients may request access to their medical records. I require you to put this request in writing and the practice will respond within 30 days.

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, I will ask you to verify that your personal information held by the practice is correct and current. You may also request that I correct or update your information, and you should make such requests in writing to my practice manager.

 

How can you lodge a privacy-related complaint, and how will the complaint be handled at our practice?

I take complaints and concerns regarding privacy seriously. You should express any privacy concerns you may have in writing. I will then attempt to resolve it in accordance with our resolution procedure.

Please address complaints to:

The Practice Manager

Neighbourhood Medical

1A Stuartholme Road

Bardon. Q 4065

admin@neighbourhoodmedical.com.au

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.

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