Your Privacy, Our Business
What personal information do 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
• health fund details.
How do we collect your personal information?
Our practice will collect your personal information:
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.
We may also collect your personal information when you visit our website, send us an email or SMS, telephone us, make an online appointment or communicate with us using social media.
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).
Why and when your consent is necessary
When you register as a patient of Sale Medical Centre, you provide consent for 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. Why do we collect, use, hold and share your personal information? Sale Medical Centre 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.
Who do we share your personal information with?
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 (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), MyHealth Record/PCEHR 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, our practice will not share personal information with any third party without your consent. We will not share your personal information with anyone outside Australia (unless under exceptional circumstances that are permitted by law) without your consent. Sale Medical Centre 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 our practice in writing.
How do we store and protect your personal information?
Your personal information may be stored at our practice in various forms. As paper records, as electronic records, as visual (X-rays, CT scans, videos and photos), as audio recordings. Sale Medical Centre stores all personal information securely. Information in electronic format, is stored in protected information systems. Hard copy format records are stored in a secured environment. We use passwords, secure cabinets, for electronic data and confidentiality agreements for staff and contractors.
Dealing with us 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.
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. We acknowledge patients may request access to their medical records. We require you to put this request in writing either by letter or email and we will respond within 30 days. Sale Medical Centre 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, and you should make such requests in writing to the reception team at firstname.lastname@example.org
How can you lodge a privacy related complaint, and how will the complaint be handled at our practice?
Sale Medical Centre is dedicated to providing our patients with the highest standards of clinical professionalism, expertise and care. If you are not satisfied that we have met these standards, please send an email with the details of your concerns to our Practice Manager: email@example.com. All complaint emails are acknowledged immediately and an internal investigation commences upon receipt of a complaint. A formal response is issued within 10 days from the receipt of the initial complaint. Any actions identified in the investigation will be followed up within 28 days.
If after this process there are still unresolved concerns about the level of care received at Sale Medical Centre, you can lodge a complaint with the OAIC and find further information about the complaints process in the accompanying links. Generally the OAIC will require you to give them time to investigate, before they will respond. For further information visit www.oaic.gov.au or call the OAIC on 1300 336 002.