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 GP’s 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 (e.g staff training).
What personal information do we collect?
The information we will collect about you includes your:
-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
-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. Patients are advised that anonymity may have a significant impact on our ability to provide timely and appropriate communication and health care.
How do we collect your personal information?
Our practice may collect your personal information in several different ways.
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.
3. We may also collect your personal information when you visit our website, send us an email or SMS,
telephone us, make an online appointment or communicate with us using social media.
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:
-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 Veterans’ Affairs (as necessary).
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. St Clair Medical Centre stores information as electronic records. 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.
When, why and with whom do we share your personal information?
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 (e.g 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 (e.g some diseases require mandatory notification)
-During the course of providing medical services, through eTP, My Health Record (e.g via Shared Health Summary, Event Summary).
Only people who 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. Our practice may use your personal information to improve the quality of the services we offer to our patients through research and analysis of our patient data. We may provide de-identified data to other organisations to improve population health outcomes. The information is secure, patients cannot be identified and the information is stored within Australia. You can let our reception staff know if you do not want your information included.
All due care will be taken to ensure the protection of patient privacy during the transfer, storage and use of personal health information. Retention of medical records is for a minimum of 7 years from the date of last entry into the patient record unless the patient is a child in which case the record must be kept until the patient attains the age of 25 years of age.
Parent/Guardians and Children
To protect the rights of a child’s privacy, access to a child’s medical information may at times be restricted for parents and guardians. Release of information may be referred back to the treating Doctor where there professional judgement and the law will be applied.
St Clair Medical understands the importance of confidentiality and discretion with the way we manage and maintain the personal information of our patients. Our Practice takes complaints and concerns about the privacy of patient’s personal information seriously. Patients should express any privacy concerns in writing. We will then attempt to resolve it in accordance with our resolution procedure.
All complaints can be sent via email or in writing to St Clair Medical Centre, Shop 11/14-40 Cheltenham
Parade, St Clair, SA 5011. You can also contact the Practice Manager on (08) 8463 1388. We will endeavor 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 Website www.oaic.gov.au Privacy Hotline 1300 363 922
All employees of St Clair Medical Centre are required to observe the obligations of confidentiality in the course of their employment and are required to sign Confidentiality Agreements. In the instance where you are dissatisfied with the level of service provided within the clinic, we encourage you to discuss any concerns relating to the privacy of your information with the Practice Manager or your Doctor.
We Respect Your Privacy