To ensure patients who receive care from this practice are comfortable in entrusting their health information to the practice. This policy provides information to patients as to how their personal information (which includes their health information) is collected and used within the practice, and the circumstances in which we may disclose it to third parties.
The APP provides a privacy protection framework that supports the rights and obligations of collection, holding, using, and correction of personal information.www.oaic.gov.au
Bellingen Healing Centre will provide a copy of this policy upon request; ensure all staff complies with the APP and deal appropriately with the inquiries or concerns.
Bellingen Healing Centre’s staff will take reasonable steps to ensure patients understand what the information is being collected for, why the information is being collected, whether it is for a legal matter, how the information will be disclosed, why and when their consent is necessary, the practices’ procedure for access and correction of information and responding to complaints of information breaches, including private policy.
Bellingen Healing Centre will only interpret and apply a patient’s consent for the primary purpose for which it was provided. The practice staff must seek additional consent from the patient if the personal information collected may be used for any other purpose. Bellingen Healing Centre evaluates all unsolicited information it receives to decide if it should be kept, acted on or destroyed.
Collection of information
Bellingen Healing Centre will need to collect personal information as a provision of clinical services to a patient at the practice. Collected personal information will include patient’s names, addresses, and contact details, Medicare number, healthcare identifiers, and medical information including medical history, medications, allergies, adverse events, immunisations, social history, family history, and risk factors.
A patient’s personal information may be held at Bellingen Healing Centre in various forms paper records, electronic records, visual, audio recordings.
Bellingen Healing Centre procedure for collecting personal information is set out below
Practice staff collects patient’s personal and demographic information via registration when patients present to the practice for the first time.
During the course of providing medical services the practices healthcare practitioners will (where Practicable and necessary) or from any other involved healthcare specialists. Personal information may also be collected from the patient’s guardian or responsible person (where practicable and necessary), or from any other involved healthcare specialists
Bellingen Healing Centre holds all personal information securely whether in electronic format, in protected information systems or in hard copy format in a secured environment.
How do we collect your personal information?
Bellingen Healing Centre 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. Bellingen Healing Centre participates in “My Health” information may also be collected through My Health Record/PCEHR system e.g via Shared Health Summary, Event Summary,
3. Bellingen Healing Centre may also collect your personal information when you visit our website, send us an email of SMS,
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).
Use and disclosure of information
Personal information will only be used for the purpose of providing medical services and for claims and payments, unless otherwise consented to. Some disclosure may occur to third parties engaged by or for the practice for business purposes, such as accreditation or for the provision of information technology. These third parties are required to comply with this policy. The practice will inform the patient where there is a statutory requirement to disclose certain personal information (for example some diseases require mandatory notification).
Bellingen Healing Centre will not disclose personal information to any third party other then in the course of providing medical services., without full disclosure to the patient or the recipient the reason for the information transfer and full consent from the patient. Bellingen Healing Centre will not disclose personal information to anyone outside Australia without need and without patient consent.
Exceptions to disclose without patient consent are where law, necessary to lessen or prevent a serious threat to a patient’s life, health or safety or public health or safety, requires the information or it is impractical to obtain the patients consent. To assist in locating a missing person, to establish, exercise or defend an equitable claim, for the purpose of a confidential dispute resolution process.
Bellingen Healing Centre will not use any personal information in relation to direct marketing to a patient without that patients express consent.
Access corrections and privacy concerns
Bellingen Healing Centre acknowledges patients may request to access their medical records. Patients are to make this request in writing, and the practice will respond within a reasonable time.
Bellingen Healing Centre will take reasonable steps to correct personal information where it is satisfied they are not accurate or up to date. From time to time, the practice will ask patients to verify the personal information held by the practice is correct and up to date. Patients may also request the practice corrects or updates their information.
Bellingen Healing Centre takes complaints and concerns about privacy of patient’s personal information seriously. Patients should express any privacy concerns in writing. Bellingen Healing Centre will attempt to resolve it in accordance with its complaint resolution procedure.
Complaints to the commission must be in writing and we recommend you contact the Commission Inquiry Service on (02) 9219 74 44 or Toll Free 1800 043 159 to discuss your concerns prior.
Telephone Interrupter Service 131450 is available for people whose first language is not English