Why and when your consent is necessary
When you register as a patient of our Group, 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 Group 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, accreditation and business processes (e.g. staff training).
What personal information do we collect?
The information we will collect about you includes, but is not limited to:
- Names, date of birth, addresses, contact details.
- Next of kin, emergency contacts and ethnicity.
- 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 impractical for us to do so or unless we are required or authorized by law to only deal with identified individuals.
Please note if you do not provide us with your personal information we may not be able to provide the requested services to you; either to the same standard or at all. Your treatment or diagnosis may be incomplete or inaccurate.
How do we collect personal information?
Our Group will collect your personal information:
- When you make your first appointment. Our practice staff will collect your personal and demographic information via your registration form, including basic health information.
- During the course of providing medical services, we may collect further personal information, including collection through MyHealth Record/PCEHR system, e.g. via Shared Health Summary, Event Summary.
- We may also collect your personal information when you visit our website, send us an email, telephone us or make an 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:
- You 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 Department of Veteran’s Affairs (as necessary).
Who do we share your personal information with?
We sometimes share personal information:
- With third parties who work with our Group for business purposes, such as accreditation agencies or information technology providers – these third parties are required to comply with APPs and this policy.
- Your employer either current or prospective; government agencies, legal or insurance firms etc.
- With other healthcare providers.
- When it is required or authorised by law (e.g. court subpoenas).
- When it in 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 patients 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 (e.g. some diseases require mandatory notification).
- During the course of providing medical services, through Electronic Transfer of Prescriptions (eTP), MyHealth Record/PCEHR system (e.g. via shared Health Summary, Event Summary).
Only people that need to access your health information will be able to do so. Other than in the course of providing medical services or as otherwise described in this policy, our Group will not share personal information with any third party without your consent.
We will provide a summary of your record if you choose to transfer your medical care to another doctor. A written request is required with the appropriate consent prior to this occurring. A full copy of your medical record may involve you attending for a consultation or incur a reasonable administration charge.
We will not share your information with anyone outside Australia (unless under exceptional circumstances that are permitted by law) without your consent.
Our Group will not use your personal information for marketing of our goods or services directly to you without your express consent. If you do consent, you may opt-out of direct marketing at anytime by notifying our Group in writing.
Our Group does send reminders and letters of recall, should you wish to not receive these you will need to notify your Doctor in writing.
How do we store and protect your personal information?
Your personal information may be stored by our Group in various forms, including paper and electronic records. Our Group stores all personal information securely.
Health information is kept for a minimum of 7 years for adults from the last date of consultation. If the person was under 18 at the time of their last consultation these records are retained until the person reaches the age of 25 years. Records which are not required or valid will be destroyed or archived securely in accordance with legislative requirements.
How can you access and correct your personal information with our Group?
You have the right to request access to, and correction of, your personal information.
Our Group acknowledges patients may request access to their medical records. We will require you to put this in writing and our Group will respond within 30 days. A reasonable administration charge or consultation fee may apply for provision of records. Please note a Medicare rebate is not applicable for the cost of accessing your record.
Our Group 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.
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 to:
The Practice Manager
Lindsay Street Medical Group
62 Lindsay Street
TOOWOOMBA QLD 4350
We will then attempt to resolve it in accordance with our resolution procedure.
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 visit www.oaic.gov.au or call the OAIC on 1300 336 002.
Privacy and our website
Policy review statement
This policy will be reviewed regularly to ensure compliance with any legislative changes. Old policies will be reviewed and destroyed at this time.