CRVMC is committed to best practice in relation to the management of information we collect. This practice has developed a policy to protect patient privacy in compliance with the Privacy Act 1988.
This means that we will collect information that is necessary to properly advise and treat you. Such information may include the following:
- Contact details- phone numbers, address, email
- Date of birth
- Next of kin details / emergency contact person
- Ethnicity and country of birth
- Medicare / Individual Healthcare Identifier / Private Health Fund details
- Full medical history
- Family medical history
- Genetic information
- Billing / Account details
This information will be collected directly from you. There may be occasions where we will need to obtain information from other sources, such as:
- Other medical practitioners, former GP’s and specialists
- Other health care providers, such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, pharmacists, dentists and nurses.
- Hospital and Day Surgery Units
- E-Health record (Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record)
Practice staff and the medical practitioners may participate in the collection of this information which will be securely filed on your individual electronic patient file.
Consent to obtain information from relatives or other sources, is not required in emergency situations, where we are unable to obtain your prior express consent.
By law, health care providers are able to collect personal information prior to your consent when they reasonably believe that it is necessary to lessen or prevent serious threat to your life, health or safety or the general public’s health and safety.
USE AND DISCLOSURE
With your consent, the practice staff will use your information for purposes such as:
- Account keeping and billing
- Referral to another medical practitioner or health care provider
- Sending of specimens, such as blood samples or pap smears for analysis
- Referral to a hospital for treatment or advice
- Advice on treatment options
- The management of our practice
- Quality assurance, practice accreditation and complaint handling
- To meet our obligations of notification to our medical defence organisations or insurers
- To prevent or lessen a serious threat to an individual’s life, health or safety or to the general public’s safety
- Where legally required to do so, such as providing records to court, mandatory reporting of child abuse or the notification of diagnosis of certain communicable diseases; and
- Teaching of medical students and General Practice Registrars.
Patient’s information will not be disclosed to recipients overseas.
ACCESSING YOUR MEDICAL RECORDS
You are entitled to access your own health records at any time convenient to both yourself and the practice. Access can be denied where;
- To provide access would create a serious threat to life, health or safety of an individual or another person.
- A serious threat to public health or safety
- There is a legal impingement to access
- The access would unreasonably impact on the privacy of another
- Your request is frivolous
- The information relates to anticipated or actual legal proceedings and you would not be entitled to access the information in those proceedings; and
- In the interests of national security.
At CRVMC, we ask that your request be in writing. We may impose a charge for photocopying or for staff time involved in processing your request. Where you dispute the accuracy of the information we have recorded, you are entitled to correct that information. It is our practice policy that we take all steps to record all of your corrections, and place them with your file, but we will not erase the original record.
CRVMC will advise in writing if access to your medical record is refused and the reasons for the refusal along with the mechanisms available to complain about the refusal.
PRIVACY COMPLAINT HANDLING PROCESS
Complaints regarding privacy breaches are serious and need to be made in writing addressed to:
The Practice Manager
24 Harvey Street
COLLIE WA 6225
If you are not satisfied with your response, you may refer the complaint to the Australian Government- Office of the Australian Information Commissioner in the following ways:
By Phone: 1300 363 992
Post: Sydney Office, GPO Box 5218 SYDNEY, NSW 2001