To ensure patients who receive care from Parfrey Place Medical Centre are comfortable in entrusting their health information to our Practice. This policy provides information to patients as to how their personal information (which includes their health information) is collected and used within the Practice and the circumstances in which we may disclose it to third parties.
Our Practice will:
- Provide a copy of this Policy upon request.
- Ensure staff comply with the Australian Privacy Principals (APP) and deal appropriately with enquiries or concerns.
- Take such steps as are reasonable in the circumstances to implement practices, procedures and systems to ensure compliance with the APP and deal with enquiries or complaints.
- Collect personal information for the primary purpose of managing a patient’s healthcare and for financial claims and payments.
Our Practice’s staff will take reasonable steps to ensure patients understand:
- What information has been and is being collected.
- Why the information is being collected and whether this is due to a legal requirement.
- How the information will be used or disclosed.
- Why and when their consent is necessary.
- Our Practice’s procedures for access and correction of information and responding to complaints of information breaches including by providing this policy.
Our Practice will only interpret and apply a patient’s consent for the primary purpose for which it was provided. Our Practice staff must seek additional consent from the patient if the personal information collected may be used for any other purpose.
Collection of Information:
Our Practice will need to collect personal information as a provision of clinical services to a patient of our Practice. Collected personal information will include patient’s:
- Name, address and contact details.
- Medicare number (where available and for identification and claiming purposes).
- Healthcare identifiers.
- Medical information including medical history, medications, allergies, adverse events, immunisations, social history, family history and risk factors.
A patient’s personal information may be held at our Practice in various forms:
- As paper records.
- As electronic records.
- As visual (xrays, CT scans and photos)
Our Practice’s procedure for collecting personal information is set out below:
- Practice staff collect patient’s personal and demographic information via registration when patients present to our Practice for the first time.
- During the course of providing medical services, our Practice’s healthcare practitioner will consequently collect further personal information.
- Personal information may also be collected from the patient’s guardian or responsible person (where practicable and necessary) or from any other involved healthcare specialist.
Our Practice hold all personal information securely in protected electronic format.
Use and Disclosure of Information:
Personal information will only be used for the purpose of providing medical services and for claims and payments, unless otherwise consented to. Some disclosure may occur to third parties engaged by or for our Practice for business purposes such as accreditation or for the provision of information technology. These third parties are required to comply with this policy. Our Practice will inform the patient where there is a statutory requirement to disclose certain personal information (for example some diseases require mandatory notification).
Our Practice will NOT disclose personal information to any third party other than in the course of providing medical services without full disclosure to the patient or the recipient, the reason for the information transfer and full consent from the patient. Our Practice will not disclose personal information to anyone outside Australia without need and without patient consent.
Exceptions to disclose without patient consent are where the information is:
- Required by law.
- 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 a confidential dispute resolution process.
Our Practice will not use any personal information in relation to direct marketing to a patient without that patient’s express consent. Patients may opt-out of direct marketing at any time by notifying the Practice in a letter or email.
Our Practice evaluates all unsolicited information it received to decide if it should be kept, acted on or destroyed.
Access, correction and privacy concerns
Our Practice acknowledges patients may request access to their medical records. Patients are encouraged to make this request in writing and the Practice will respond within a reasonable time.
Our Practice will take reasonable steps to correct personal information where it is satisfied they are not accurate or up to date. From time to time, our Practice will ask patients to verify their personal information held by the Practice is correct and up to date.
Our Practice takes complaints and concerns about the privacy of patient’s personal information seriously. Patients should express any privacy concerns in writing. Our Practice will then attempt to resolve it in accordance with its complaint resolution procedure.