Privacy Policy

Introduction

This privacy 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.

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

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:

  1. When you make your first appointment our practice staff will collect your personal and demographic information via your registration.
  2. During the course of providing medical services, we may collect further personal information. Our practice participates in eHealth services and information may also be collected through Electronic Transfer of Prescriptions (eTP) and MyHealth Record system (formerly known as PCEHR) eg via Shared Health Summary, Event Summary.
  3. We may also collect your personal information when you telephone or fax us or send us an email.
  4. 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:
    1. your guardian or responsible person
    2. other involved healthcare providers, such as specialists, allied health professionals, hospitals, community health services and pathology and diagnostic imaging services
    3. Medicare or the Department of Veteran’s Affairs

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.

The doctors of this practice are mindful that only relevant medical information should be included in your referral letters to specialists and allied health professionals. It is the policy of this practice that doctors ask patients to review and approve the automatically generated health summary within their referral.

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.

Our practice stores information as electronic records, as visual records (X-rays, CT scans and photos) and as paper records.

Our practice stores all personal information securely.

We securely store and protect personal information, eg electronic format – in protected information systems and hard copy format – in a secured environment. All information is secure and protected by the use of passwords, secure cabinets, confidentiality agreements for staff and contractors.

Mandatory data breach notification

From February 2018, the Privacy Act has imposed a mandatory data breach notification scheme for ‘eligible data breaches’. An eligible data breach is an authorised access, disclosure or loss of personal information by our practice resulting in serious harm to our patients.

If we believe an eligible breach has occurred resulting in serious harm to our patients, the mandatory notification law requires us to:

  • prepare as soon as practicable a statement for the OAIC detailing the breach
  • subsequently notify each affected patient of the content of that statement (if not practical, our practice must publish a copy of the statement on our website).

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 to the Practice manager and our practice will respond within 30 days.  A fee may be charged to cover the cost of complying with the request eg. An attendance cost and photocopying costs.

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 our practice manager.

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.

Our practice contact details follow:

Miranda Central General Practice

Suite 1, 601 Kingsway

Miranda  NSW  2228

Phone: 02 9526 1233      Fax: 02 9540 4985

Email: office@mirandagp.com.au

You may also contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC). Generally the OAIC will require you to give them time to respond, before they will investigate. For further information their contact details are as follows:

Phone: 1300 363 992

Email: enquiries@oaic.gov.au

Website: www.oaic.gov.au

Postal Address: GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 2001

Policy review statement

This privacy policy will be reviewed regularly to ensure it is in accordance with any changes that may occur.

July 2019