Balingup Doctors Surgery complies with the Privacy Act 1988 (Australian Privacy Principles).
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 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:
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.
How do we collect your personal information?
Our practice will collect your personal information:
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. This may include collection through Electronic Transfer of Prescriptions (eTP) and the MyHealth Record/PCEHR system, e.g. via a Shared Health Summary or Event Summary. Also medical test results, imaging results, notes from consultations, data collected from observations and conversations with you, and details obtained from other health care providers (e.g. specialist correspondence).
3. 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 allied health professionals, hospitals, community health services.
your health fund, Medicare, or the Department of Veteran's Affairs (as necessary).
4. 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.
Who do we share your personal information with?
We sometimes share your personal information:
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 Electronic Transfer of Prescriptions (eTP), MyHealth Record/PCEHR system (e.g. via Shared Health Summary, Event Summary).
Only people that 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.
How do we store and protect your personal information?
Your personal information will be stored at our practice as electronic records. We have electronic security and system back up procedures in place.
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 and our practice will respond within a reasonable time (within a maximum of 7 days). A reasonable fee may apply. From time-to-time, we will ask you to verify your personal information held by our practice is correct and up-to-date.
SMS, and My Health Record
This practice may use SMS and post for appointment reminders, recalls and other reminders or medical services. Our practice may also upload Shared Health Summaries. If you do not consent to this, please advise our receptionist.
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 within a maximum of 30 days.
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