We collect information that is necessary and relevant to provide you with medical care and treatment, and manage our medical practice. This information may include your name, address, date of birth, gender, health information, family history, credit card and direct debit details and contact details. This information may be stored on our computer medical records system and/or in hand written medical records. Wherever practicable we will only collect information from you personally. However, we may also need to collect information from other sources such as treating specialists, radiologists, pathologists, hospitals and other health care providers. We collect information in various ways, such as over the phone or in writing, in person in our [insert clinic/practice/centre/rooms] or over the internet if you transact with us online. This information may be collected by medical and non-medical staff. In emergency situations we may also need to collect information from your relatives or friends. We may be required by law to retain medical records for certain periods of time depending on your age at the time we provide services.
Use and Disclosure
We will treat your personal information as strictly private and confidential. We will only use or disclose it for purposes directly related to your care and treatment, or in ways that you would reasonably expect that we may use it for your ongoing care and treatment. For example, the disclosure of blood test results to your specialist or requests for x-rays. There are circumstances where we may be permitted or required by law to disclose your personal information to third parties. For example, to Medicare, Police, insurers, solicitors, government regulatory bodies, tribunals, courts of law, hospitals, or debt collection agents. We may also from time to time provide statistical data to third parties for research purposes. (Avant – Guide to Privacy Reforms Page 20) We may disclose information about you to outside contractors to carry out activities on our behalf, such as an IT service provider, solicitor or debt collection agent. We impose security and confidentiality requirements on how they handle your personal information. Outside contractors are required not to use information about you for any purpose except for those activities we have asked them to perform.
Data Quality and Security
We will take reasonable steps to ensure that your personal information is accurate, compete, up to date and relevant. For this purpose our staff may ask you to confirm that your contact details are correct when you attend a consultation. We request that you let us know if any of the information we hold about you is incorrect or out of date. Personal information that we hold is protected by:
- securing our 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. Corrections If you believe that the information we have about you is not accurate, complete or up-to-date, we ask that you contact us in writing (see details below).
You are entitled to request access to your medical records. We request that you put your request in writing and we will respond to it within a reasonable time. There may be a fee for the administrative costs of retrieving and providing you with copies of your medical records. We may deny access to your medical records in certain circumstances permitted by law, for example, if disclosure may cause a serious threat to your health or safety. We will always tell you why access is denied and the options you have to respond to our decision.
If you have a complaint about the privacy of your personal information, we request that you contact us in writing. Upon receipt of a complaint we will consider the details and attempt to resolve it in accordance with our complaints handling procedures. If you are dissatisfied with our handling of a complaint or the outcome you may make an application to the Australian Information Commissioner or the Privacy Commissioner in your State or Territory. (Avant – Guide to Privacy Reforms Page 21 Overseas Transfer of Data) We will not transfer your personal information to an overseas recipient unless we have your consent or we are required to do so by law.
Dr Chris Lehane
Level 5, Wales Medical Centre
66 High Street