Current as of: April 2018
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.
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 or Veterans Affairs card (where available) for identification and claiming purposes
- healthcare identifiers
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 patient registration form.
- During the course of providing medical services, we may collect further personal information.
Information can also be collected through Electronic Transfer of Prescriptions (eTP), MyHealth Record, eg via Shared Health Summary and an 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).
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 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?
Your personal information may be stored at our practice in various forms. These forms may be as an electronic record, paper records or visual x-rays.
Our practice stores all personal information securely.
All data both electronic and paper are stored and managed in accordance with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Computer and Information Security Standards (CISS) and the requirements of the Grant Street Clinic Business Continuity Plan. All employees and third parties have confidentiality agreements in place.
How can you access and correct your personal information at our practice?
You have the right to access and correct your personal information.
Our practice acknowledges patients may request access to their medical records. We require you to put this request in writing on the application form available from the Practice and our practice will respond within a reasonable time. Response will be within 14 days for electronic records. There may be a fee applicable. This fee is detailed on the application form. 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 Practice Manager, 15-17 Grant Street, Ballina 2478.
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 then attempt to resolve it in accordance with our resolution procedure.
Grant Street Clinic
15-17 Grant Street
This will be dealt with within 30 days of lodgement.
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 336 002
Email Usage Policy
Grant Street Clinic does not transfer patient health information via email unless it is encrypted or password protected.
General email is not considered to be a secure form of transmission and for this reason we encourage all patients NOT to send personal health information to the practice via email. In the interests of your care and the confidentiality of your personal information we do not answer clinical questions via email.
All patients are encouraged to make an appointment to see their preferred GP to discuss any medical matters. It should also be noted that emails may only be checked once each day and for this reason email should ONLY be used for non-urgent administrative purposes.
Privacy and our website
Policy review statement