Why and when your consent is necessary
When you register as a patient of our practice, you provide consent for the GP/s 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:
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. Please speak to your Doctor or the Practice staff if you would like us to use a pseudonym during our relationship with you.
How do we collect your personal information?
Our practice will collect your personal information:
Who do we share your personal information with?
We sometimes share your personal information:
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.
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, for example:
Our practice stores personal information securely. After sorting by staff and review by your Doctor and scanning into your electronic file any paper records are kept in a secure storage facility. Electronic records are protected by the use of passwords, paper records are scanned, then kept in secure storage and destroyed after one year. We also enter into confidentiality agreements for staff and contractors.
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 To The Practice Manager, PO Box 650, Cooma 2630 and our practice will respond within 30 days. We will not charge you for making a request, however we may charge $1 per A4 page for processing. You may also request a copy of our ‘Medical Records – Access’ policy.
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. We may do this by phone, in person or by way of a questionnaire either written or on our automatic check in machine. 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 650, Cooma 2630.
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 and send it to The Practice Manager, PO Box 650, Cooma, 2630. We will then attempt to resolve it in accordance with our resolution procedure and within 30 days. All complaints in the surgery are reviewed by Practice Management and feedback is provided to all parties involved. Where there has been a problem with our procedures they are updated and training provided to staff.
You may also contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (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 mobile phones
If you have provided your mobile phone number to us then from time to time to provide a health service to you, we may text you to tell you about recalls, results, appointment reminders or other items. If you do not wish to be contacted in this way, you can opt out by speaking to our receptionists by phone or face to face, or by responding with STOP when you receive a text message from us where the text message indicates you may do so.
Privacy and email
Our email system is not encrypted. Encryption ensures that the information sent via email remains confidential, therefore if we send your information by email we cannot guarantee your privacy will be maintained. We may ask if we can use email in the provision of your health care if it is the optimum communication method for your information. Also, please be aware that if you have requested the use of email to assist us to provide health services to you, we may from time to time communicate to you or other parties relating to the provision of your health care, your medical information. We may communicate with specialists, insurers, or family members that you have authorised us to release information to. The use of email for such purposes may mean medical information goes outside the jurisdiction of Australian Privacy Laws and we are not able to guarantee your privacy will be maintained. Please do not contact us for urgent matters by email because we may not check it every day.
Privacy and video conferencing
If you verbally consent to participating in a video consultation with us, we will use Facetime, Skype or Zoom. We will not record these conversations or use the chat box to talk to you about your medical information. However these platforms may store other information about you beyond the jurisdiction of Australian privacy law. This may include name, username, phone number, email address, language preference, title, department, files, chat you enter in the chat box, voice and other files you provide us via the platform, technical information about your devices, network, internet connection; your approximate location; time, date and duration of meeting, the participants, your setting and preferences in the application, and how you use the application for example VOIP or phone connection, mobile or desktop device. Your consent to use the platform acknowledges that this information may be collected and used by the application providers separately from us during the consultation and in the future.
Policy review statement