Our practice recognises the importance of privacy protection.
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 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
· 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.
Pendle Hill Family Medical Practice will only be able to provide general advices and will not be able to deliver you healthcare services when you deal with us anonymously.
The nature of general practice and the provision of healthcare do not easily accommodate the notions of anonymity and pseudonymity. Medical histories are required and identities need to be confirmed before a GP can make a diagnosis or prescribe medications. GPs are obliged by law to report communicable diseases and child abuse.
Where practical, offering the option of anonymity and pseudonymity will be integrated into usual practice. A telephone service for general or referral advice or providing general assistance (for basic information or on issues such as quitting smoking or mental health) are examples of when anonymity or pseudonymity may be supported at our practice.
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 which includes through electronic transfer of prescriptions (eTP), accessing your My Health Record, eg via Shared Health Summary, Event Summary.
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).
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 (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 including electronic and hard copy formats. Pendle Hill Family Medical Practice holds your personal information primarily in electronic form in our practice clinical management software. Any information collected in hard copy formats will eventually be scanned and stored electronically in which case the hard copy will be destroyed as de-identifiable.
Our practice stores all personal information securely. Our practice takes all reasonable steps to ensure that your personal information is protected from loss and misuse. Access to the information is protected by use of individual user access accounts with password controls. When your personal information is no longer needed it is destroyed or de-identified.
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 at our practice and our practice will respond within a reasonable time, generally within 30 days from the receipt of the request. There is generally no cost for accessing the personal information we hold about you, unless the request is complex or resource-intensive. If there is a charge, it will be reasonable and only for the costs of complying with the request and we will let you know what it is going to be so that you can agree to it before we go ahead.
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, attention to Practice Manager, Pendle Hill Family Medical Practice.
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 Practice Manager, Pendle Hill Family Medical Practice.
We will then attempt to resolve it in accordance with our resolution procedure. If you make a complaint about privacy, we will acknowledge receipt of your complaint, and try to investigate and respond to you within 30 days.
All communications related to complaints can be made to the Practice Manager at following contacts.
Address: Shop 1, 29-33 Joyce Street, Pendle Hill NSW 2145
The Practice Manager can be contacted on 02 7909 6553.
You may also contact the 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 363 992.
Privacy and our website
Your personal information may be collected via our practice website by use of website analytics, cookies etc or when contacted by patients digitally including social media or by email.
We may share information about your use of our website with our social media, advertising and analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you have provided to them, or that they have collected from your use of their services.