In accordance with legislative requirements, Privacy Commissioner requires that all health care facilities implement procedures to protect the privacy, confidentiality and the rights of our patients.
This facility implements procedures to protect the privacy of our patients. We do not release any information regarding our patients without the written consent of our patients.
Please read this information and the Consent to Use Personal Information given to you carefully. If you do not understand any of this information, please discuss it with our staff. Do not sign the consent to use information unless you have had all of your questions addressed to your satisfaction.
We may hold the following information about our patients:
- Name, Date of Birth, Address, Telephone Numbers, Email Address, Occupation
- Health Fund Membership
- Medicare and other identification numbers provided by the patient
- Details of family, next of kin and emergency contact details
- Medical History
- Details of any physical examination of the patient
- Details of previous treatments and operations
- Relevant family medical history
- Details of allergies, sensitivities and adverse reactions to drugs
- Other Health Information
- Details of investigations and results
- Details of previous operations
- General Practitioners name
- Referring Doctors name
- The names of other doctors past or present involved in your care
- Religious beliefs or affiliations
- Returned Service Organisations
- Financial details and transaction details associated with services the Centre has provided
- Additional information provided to us by the patient
- Information provided through patient questionnaires and survey
What we do with the personal information of our patients:
We use our patient’s personal information to:
- Provide appropriate medical treatment and care
- Provide your general practitioner with a summary of the admission and recommendations for ongoing treatment if required
- Assist other medical, nursing and allied health professionals in providing care and treatment to you now and in the future. This includes providing necessary information that they may need for follow up and ongoing care
- Assist us with any calls from our patients
- For our internal administrative requirements
- Process private Health Fund Claims
- To Third Party Bodies bound by us in agreement to the Privacy Principles. These bodies audit our facility for compliance to Australian Standards, Codes and Legislation for the purposes of accreditation
- Specialist Sub Contractors and Consultants bound by the Privacy Principles who assist us in the management of our facility
- For benchmarking and clinical indicator reporting in a de-identified form
- To provide data in both an identified and de-identified form to government agencies in compliance with numerous legislative requirements
- For purchasing purposes in a de-identified form.
Perfect Vision offers you a unique lifetime commitment plan for your treatment. Contact us to find out more.
Storage of your personal information
The personal information about patients is contained in both paper based documents stored and protected within the facility and, in electronic records on our computer system that are maintained in a secure environment.
These records are only accessible by those persons employed by us who require restricted access to the personal information for the purpose of carrying out their employment.
All personnel sign Privacy and Confidentiality Agreements binding them to comply with the Privacy Principles outlined in the Privacy Act.
Access to your records
Patients may request access to personal information with a written request.
Patients do not have to provide a reason for requesting access. Where we hold information that patients are entitled to access, we will endeavour to provide a suitable range of choices as to how you may access it. All requests must be referred to the Practice Manager and the doctor should be notified of the request. The Centre must respond within 30 days unless the record is very large and/or very old.
The Australian Privacy Principles oblige health care providers to take reasonable steps to ensure that individuals requesting information are in fact the individuals to whom the information relates or a ‘person responsible, so proof of identification is required.
Information will be checked prior to release for accuracy and completeness and to ascertain whether any information should be withheld. The treating medical practitioner is to be informed of any request prior to the information being released.
Reasons for withholding information include:
- Access would pose a serious threat to the life or health of any individual,
- The information contains information about another person,
- The request is frivolous or vexatious (for example, there has been repeated requests by the same person),
- The information is relevant to existing or anticipated legal proceedings and the individual would not be able to access the information in the course of those proceedings,
- The law requires that access be denied,
- Law enforcement or national security authorities have an interest in the information requested.
Information, that is required to be withheld, should be removed from the record provided to the patient and to the patient notified that information has been withheld and the reasons.
All requests received and records of the outcome must be retained in the patient’s medical record.
Access to Medical Records by the Person Responsible
If the patient is incapable of giving or communicating their consent, request for access to personal information can be made by a person responsible which includes:
- A partner
- A family member
- A carer
- A guardian
- A close friend
- A person exercising power under an enduring power of attorney.
Personal information disclosed to a ‘person responsible’ is limited to that which is reasonable and necessary to the care and treatment of the individual to whom the information relates and proof of identity of the person, and their relationship to the patient are required.
Child Patients who are between 16-18 years of age may give consent. Patients aged 14-16 may be assessed by the Medical Officer to give consent or have a parent or legal guardian give consent on their behalf.
Amendment of information
If the patient believes that personal information we hold about them is incorrect, incomplete or inaccurate, they may request amendment of it in writing. This request will be reviewed by the attending doctor and the request and the outcome will be documented in the medical record.
Medico-Legal Request form Information
Confidential information from medical records are only released to solicitors or other third parties upon receipt of a current written consent by the patient, or where appropriate, their legal representative who has the power of attorney. The request should specify the dates of treatment pertinent to the information being sought and must be the original signed version, not a copy.
All medico-legal requests for information are handled by the Practice Manager who may, as appropriate, involve the treating health practitioner in the preparation of reports for solicitors. All written requests for information (with consents) are filed in the patient’s medical record.
The subpoena should be given directly to the Practice Manager who will contact the medical indemnity insurer and/or solicitor for advice in relation to the proper conduct to be followed in accordance with legal requirements and who else should be notified e.g. VMO. The Board and Medical Advisory Committee will be advised of any cases that may involve the Centre and/or the treating health professional. Subpoenas are to be acted upon within the stated timeframe.
The organisation is under an obligation to produce only those documents covered by the description set out in the subpoena. A copy of the requested sections of the patient’s medical record is to be provided promptly to the court. The original record is retained at the Centre. Information regarded as sensitive, correspondence and any notes that are not relevant to the case should be removed from the medical record before it is copied. The subpoena and a record of the release of the medical record is added to the patient’s medical record.
Questions and Complaints
Any questions about this policy, or any complaint regarding treatment of a patient’s privacy by this facility should be made in writing by the patient to the Practice Manager.
If a patient’s complaint cannot be resolved directly with the Practice Manager or other appropriate internal personnel, it should be referred to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
Internet Advertising and Data collection
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- That certain data can be tracked by analytics code and that this data can be collected for targeted advertising.
- That this data may be used by third parties to target advertising on other sites based on our users’ online activity.
- Instructions on how users can opt out of receiving targeted advertising vary according to the device and browser being used by the user. To opt out of Chrome for instance, click on the Settings tab, then the Show Advanced Settings tab. Next, select Content settings and check the box for Block third-party cookies and site data.