North Coast Vascular (“Dr Deepak Williams”) Patient’s Private Policy
Why and when your consent is necessary
When you register as a patient of our practice, you provide consent for our Doctor/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, refunds and payments, practice audits and accreditation, and business processes (eg staff training, student 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
- 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 may collect your personal information in several different ways.
- When you make your first appointment with our practice staff they will collect your personal and demographic information via your registration.
- During the course of providing medical services, we may collect further personal information through electronic transfer of prescriptions (eTP), My Health Record, eg via Shared Health Summary, Event Summary or your previous Practice.
- We may also collect your personal information when you send us an email, 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 Veterans’ Affairs (as necessary).
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 Australian Privacy Principles and this policy
- with other healthcare providers
- medical students
- 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 eTP, My Health Record (eg 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.
How do we store and protect your personal information?
Your personal information may be stored at our practice in various forms.
- If in paper form, received and stored in a secure, lockable location;
- If in electronic form, protected from theft, loss or corruption;
- Accessible by staff only on a “need to know” basis;
- Protected from viewing or access by unauthorised persons; and
- Not taken from this practice offices unless authorised and for a specified purpose.
- We will destroy or permanently de-identify personal information that is no longer required by this practice.
- We will ensure that all personal information transmitted electronically will be appropriately encrypted before transmission. Our practice stores all personal information securely.
- Practice records are to be maintained, handled and stored in a manner which will prevent:
- Breaches of confidentiality
- Unauthorised access
- Maintain Privacy/Confidentiality from others (e.g. patients, public and staff) under all circumstances including patient:
- Telephone number
- Written/telephone requests – always follow the correct procedure.
- Ensure appropriate disposal of documents including patient files, accounts and business records.
- This practice maintains an accurate recording system to update and track files, especially changes of name or address. Correct disposal requirements must be observed.
- Staff members, temporary staff and contractors that require access to the practice’s systems are required to sign confidentiality agreements before commencing work.
- Electronically held data will be protected from exploitation by organisations that may sell the data for commercial purposes. Disks, faxes and computer printouts are positioned or stored out of sight when not in use.
- Computer equipment is located in physically secure areas within the practice or is secured by anti-theft and data loss protection devices (lockable cables, drive locks).
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 addressed to the Practice Manager or your treating Doctor and our practice will respond within 30 days of receiving the request.
There will be no fee associated with lodging a request for access, however, an administration fee may be charged as set out in the Request for Access application.
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 that your personal information held by our practice is correct and current. You may also request that we correct or update your information, and you should make such requests in writing to the Practice Manager.
A patient may ask to have their personal health information amended if he/she considers that is not up to date, accurate and complete. Our practice will try to correct this information. Corrections are recorded in the progress notes.
Where there is a disagreement about whether the information is indeed correct, our practice attaches a statement to the original record outlining the patients’ claims.
It is the policy of this practice that identified errors are not permanently removed. It will be noted in the record that the information has been deemed incorrect, incomplete or not up-to-date, add changes to correct the information and initialled and dated by the author with an explanatory note included. Thus the reason for the incorrect entry is clearly documented with the new entry underneath or in the next available position.
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. We require you to put this request in writing addressed to the Practice Manager or your treating Doctor and our practice will respond within 30 days of receiving the request.
The Practice email address is email@example.com
Postal address is St Vincent’s Medical Suites, Level 1, 20 Dalley Street, LISMORE NSW 2480
You may also contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner. 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 363 992
Policy review statement
This policy will be reviewed annually. Any changes will be notified through the Health Newsletter printed monthly.