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Privacy Policy

Peter Street Medical Centre Privacy Policy

Introduction

This privacy policy is to provide information to you, our patient, on how your personal information (which includes your health information) is 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 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:

  • 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.

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. If you participate, we may use the MyHealth Record system to read and update your Shared Health Summary and Event summary.
  3. We may also collect your personal information when you visit our website, send us an email or SMS, telephone us, or, in the future, make an online appointment.
  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 Veteran’s Affairs (as necessary).

Who do we share your personal information with?

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 Electronic Transfer of Prescriptions (eTP), MyHealth Record system (eg 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 may be stored at our practice in various forms.

Your records are primarily stored electronically at Peter Street Medical Centre and are protected and monitored by our IT support.  It  cannot be accessed from outside of the practice.  Some older paper files still exist and are kept securely within our premises.

Our practice stores all personal information securely.

Each computer is individually password protected, and each staff member has an individual password to enter our medical software.  Paper files are stored in a manner that would require access to the computer system, plus specific knowledge of the system to locate.  The building is protected by an alarm system that can only be accessed by our staff and contractors.  All contractors are bound by the same strict confidentiality system as our staff.  No personal information is left in view of the contracting staff overnight.

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 30 days. When a copy of a file is provided to you, there will be a cost of $15 per individual, or $30 per family.  We will transfer a file to any GP of your choice once we have your signed consent.  To be provided with a personal copy of your file, it is our preference that you have an appointment with your doctor to discuss the contents of the file and to ensure that there is no information that may be misinterpreted and which may cause you distress.

Our practice will takes 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 your personal information held by our practice is correct and up-to-date. You may also request that we correct or update your information, and you should make such requests in writing to the Practice Manager, PO Box 5305, Wagga Wagga.

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. Please forward any concerns to the Practice Manager, PO Box 5305, Wagga Wagga, or email us on medical@peterstreet.net.au, or telephone us on 02 69 397 397.  We will then address your concern and notify you of the outcome within 30 days of receipt.

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 336 002

Privacy and our website

At this stage, our website is an information only site and does not collect any personal information.  We are however reviewing and updating our website and may in future be able to offer a better service to our patients.

Policy review statement

This policy will be reviewed annually.  It will be on display on our front reception desk, and a copy will be provided to you on request at any time.