Current as of: Feb 2019
Why and when your consent is necessary?
When you register as a patient of our practice, you provide consent for our Ophthalmologists 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?
Our practice 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 (eg staff training).
What personal information do we collect?
The information we will collect about you includes your:
- 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.
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.
In the medical context this is not likely to be practicable or possible for Medicare and insurance rebate purposes. It could also be dangerous to your health.
How do we collect your personal information?
Our practice may collect your personal information in several different ways.
- 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 Veterans’ Affairs (as necessary).
- We may receive unsolicited information about you from referrers such as GP’s, other specialists or optometrists when we are sent referrals. We may use or disclose the unsolicited personal information for the purposes of determining if we could have collected the information from you in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles or if we could not have collected the personal information from you,
i.e. it is an intentional referral or the referral is addressed to the wrong practice/medical practitioner. In the latter case we will as soon as practicable, and lawful and reasonable to do so, advise the sender and destroy the information or ensure that the information is de-identified.
When, why and with whom do we share your personal information?
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)
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, 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.
Your health information may be used for research, trials and audits. This research and statistical data may be presented at conferences overseas and/or published in international journals. No information that personally identifies you will be disclosed outside the practice. Should information that may identify you be presented at a conference or in a journal, your express consent will be sought for this purpose.
Our 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 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 i.e. paper or electronically.
Precision Eye Clinic stores medical records in an electronic format, in protected information systems, password protected using firewalls and access is monitored. Hard copy format is kept in a secured environment. We have confidentiality agreements with all staff and visiting professionals and access is by authorised personnel only.
Your privacy is important to us. Whilst we take every appropriate measure to store and protect your personal information, in compliance with the Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Act 2017, we will notify you and the Australian Information Commissioner when there is a data breach that is likely to result in serious harm to you.
A data breach occurs when personal information held by an organisation is lost or subjected to unauthorised access or disclosure. Examples of a data breach include when:
- a device containing patient/customer’s personal information is lost or stolen
- a database containing personal information is hacked
- personal information is mistakenly provided to the wrong person.
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.
Our practice acknowledges patients may request access to their medical records. We require you to put this request in writing and addressed to our practice manager and our practice will respond within 30 days.
All requests must be approved by the treating doctor. Where access is denied or needs to be limited due to concerns about your health and wellbeing or that of another person, this will be discussed with you. Other access options, such as a review of the record with the treating doctor, may be offered to you rather than providing you with a copy of the record. You will not be charged for making a request for access to your information; however, reasonable fees may be charged for providing the information to you (e.g. administration time in preparing the information and photocopying records).
If you are requesting access to the information of another patient, we may not grant access without that person’s consent. This can include access to a family member’s health information. We recognise that children over the age of 15 can request that information about their health care is kept confidential. This will be managed on a case by case basis as assessed by the treating doctor.
Our practice 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 that your personal information held by our practice is correct and current. You may also request that we correct or update your information.
How can you lodge a privacy-related complaint, and how will the complaint be handled at our practice?
We take complaints and concerns regarding privacy seriously. You should express any privacy concerns you may have in writing. We will respond within 30 days.
The Practice Manager
80 Queen Street, Sandy Bay, 7005.
T: 03 6288 8188
On receipt of your complaint we endeavor to review it as soon as practicable and contact you within 30 days. Please note in your correspondence how you would like to be contacted. 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.
Privacy and our website
We collect no personal information about you when you visit our website unless you choose to provide this information to us. However, certain information about site visitors is automatically collected and stored
Policy review statement