The purpose of this policy is to ensure patients who receive care from Adelaide Health Care are comfortable in entrusting their personal information to the Practice.
This policy document provides information to patients as to how their personal information (which includes their health information) is collected and used within Adelaide Health Care and the circumstances in which we may disclose it to third parties.
Adelaide Health Care will:
- Provide a copy of this policy to a patient upon request.
- Ensure Staff comply with the Australian Privacy Principles (APP) and deal appropriately with inquiries or concerns.
- Take such steps as are reasonable in the circumstances to implement practices, procedures and systems to ensure compliance with the APPs and deal with inquiries or complaints.
- Collect personal information for the main purpose of managing a patient’s healthcare and for billing and receiving payments for services rendered.
Why and when your consent is necessary
When you register as a patient of our practice, you provide consent for our 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?
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:
- 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.
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.Information may also be collected through Electronic Transfer of Prescriptions (eTP), MyHealth Record/PCEHR system, eg via Shared Health Summary, Event Summary.
We may also collect your personal information when you visit our website, send us an email or SMS, telephone us or make an online appointment.
- 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).
- A patients personal information may be held at Adelaide Health Care in various forms including:
- as paper records
- as electronic records
- as visual records – for example x-rays, CT scans, videos and photos
- as audio recordings
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.
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?
Personal information will only be used for the purpose of providing medical services and for managing the billing and receipting processes associated with the cost of the patient’s healthcare unless otherwise consented to.
Your personal information may be stored at our practice in various forms.
Adelaide Health Care stores information, eg as paper records, as electronic records, as visual (x-rays, CT scans, videos and photos), as audio recordings.
Our practice stores all personal information securely.
We store and protect personal information, eg electronic format and in hard copy format in a secured environment. Computer access is password protected.
Confidentiality agreements for all doctors and staff are also in place.
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 our practice will respond within 30 days.
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 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 Business Manager, Adelaide Health Care, 43 Carrington Street, Adelaide SA 5000.
Privacy Concerns and Complaints
The Practice takes complaints and concerns about the privacy of patient’s personal information seriously. Patients should express any privacy concerns in writing to the Business Manager of Adelaide Health Care. The Business Manager will then attempt to resolve it in accordance with our obligations under the Act and within a reasonable time frame and no later than within 30 days after the complaint is made to the Practice.
If a patient feels that their complaint about the privacy of their personal information has not been adequately addressed by the Practice they are encouraged to refer the matter to the Federal Privacy Commissioner at:-
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC)
GPO BOX 5218
Sydney NSW 2001
Privacy Hotline 1300 363 922
Changes to Privacy Statement