The purpose of our policy is to provide information to you, our patient, on how your personal information (which includes your health information) is collected and used within our practice, and the circumstances in which we may share it with third parties.
When you register as a patient of our practice, you provide consent for our GP’s 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.
Our practice will need to collect your personal information to provide healthcare services to you. Our main purpose for collecting, using, holding and sharing 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 (eg staff training).
The information we will collect about you includes:
Your full name, date of birth, residential address and contact details.
Medical information including medical history, medications, allergies, adverse events, immuisations, social history, family history and risk factors
Medicare or DVA number (where available) for identification and claiming purposes
Health fund details
Health or pension card number (if applicable)
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 information.
Information can also be collected through ‘MyHealth Record system’.
We may also collect your personal information when you send us an email, telephone us or make an online appointment.
In some circumstances personal information may 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, hospital, community health services and pathology and diagnostic imaging services.
Your health fund, Medicare, or the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (as necessary).
Personal information collected by us may be used or disclosed:
For the purpose the patient was advised of at the time of collection of the information by us;
As required for delivery of the health service to the patient;
As required for the ordinary operation of our services (i.e. to refer the patient to a medical specialist or other health service provider);
As required under compulsion of law; or
Where there is a serious and imminent threat to an individual’s life, health, or safety; or a serious threat to public health or public safety.
Other than as described in this Policy or permitted under the National Privacy Act, Leongatha Healthcare uses its reasonable endeavours to ensure that identifying health information is not disclosed to any person.
Third Party Consent
Third parties such as government departments (ie: Centrelink) or insurance companies may seek information or medical reports from your doctor about your health information. Unless we are required to by law, no patient information is to be released to a 3 Party unless the request is made in writing and provides evidence of a signed authority to release the requested information. Where the signed authority is more than three months old or if a complete record is requested we will also phone the patient to ensure that the consent is still current.
To comply with safety recommendations from the Health and Safety Commission into Healthcare you will be asked to provide three points of identification at each interaction with the clinic including when making an appointment, arriving at the clinic or when seeing a doctor or nurse. Approved identifiers include:
Your full name
Your residential address
Your date of Birth
Some patients have indicated that they are not comfortable giving this information out at the front desk. If this is the case for you, please write this information down on a card and have it ready with your full name, Date of Birth & address ready for use at the front desk.
Health Information Security
Leongatha Healthcare is an Accredited Practice and complies with:
The RACGP Handbook for the Management of Health information in General Practice
The RACGP Computer & Information Security Standards
The AMA Privacy Handbook
Additional precautions are taken on all computerised medical records including screen savers, screen locks, multi-layered passwords; access controls systems and computer security systems.
Where possible, health information such as pathology and radiology results, are transferred via an encrypted secure messaging system. Any other documents and correspondence are scanned into the patient record and the original paper copy destroyed via a contracted Secure Document Service.
Our clinic has therefore adapted the AMA recommendations for paper based records of 7 years after the last entry for an adult and for a child’s record, 7 years after their 25 birthday. Any paper records deemed for destruction are reviewed by the treating doctor before being destroyed via a contracted Secure Document Service.
Our clinic fosters a culture of privacy and confidentiality amongst our clinical and administrative teams through:
Requiring all staff to sign a confidentiality agreement.
A code of behaviour to maintain privacy & confidentiality
Ongoing professional development and training in maintaining patient privacy and health information security
Accessing your Medical Record
Patients at this clinic have the right to access their personal health information under the Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Act 2000. To access part of your medical record such as a copy of your latest test results, please ask your treating doctor. To access a complete record or significant amount of your medical record, please direct your request in writing to your treating doctor. A fee may be charged for this service.
More information about accessing your medical record and health information is available from the Practice Manager or your doctor.
Please contact the Practice Manager or your doctor if you would like to know more about: your Privacy & Health Information