information) is collected and used within our practice, and the circumstances in which we share it with third parties.
What personal information we collect and why
When you register as a patient of our practice, your doctor and/or their support team will need to collect your personal information, so they can provide you with the best possible healthcare services. We also use it for directly related business activities, such as financial claims and payments, practice audits, accreditation and normal business processes.
The personal information we collect and hold generally includes:
- Your name, address, date of birth, contact details.
- Information about your health condition, medical history, social and family history, risk factors, medications, allergies, adverse events, immunisations and treatment you may have already received.
- Medicare number or DVA number for identification and claiming purposes.
Only practice staff who need to see your personal information will have access to it. All practice staff have signed a Confidentiality Agreement as part of their Employment Contract with us.
How we collect your personal information
Our practice will collect your personal information:
Directly and in person, over the phone, by email, SMS, social media, through our website or by completing our online or hard copy forms, or by information sent to us from other service providers.
When you make your first appointment, our practice staff will collect your personal and demographic information via your registration. If it is not possible to collect it from you directly, we may also collect this 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 Private Health Fund, Medicare or DVA.
Who we share your personal information with and when:
- Other healthcare providers.
- Statutory requirement to lawfully share certain personal information, such as mandatory notification of certain diseases.
- Court subpoenas required or authorised by law.
- When 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.
- During the course of providing medical services through Electronic Transfer of Prescriptions (at), or My Health Record system.
Third parties who work with our practice for business purposes (such as IT providers, Service Provider Support Networks, and Accreditation Agencies).
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. Only those people that need to access your personal 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. De-identified data may at times be used to support better service provision planning.
How we store and protect your personal information:
Your personal information may be stored at our practice as paper records, electronic records, audio recordings, x-rays, CT scans, videos and photos. Back up of this information may be managed and stored on or off site in accordance with RACGP standards. This may include cloud-based storage.
Our practice stores all personal information securely and has strict protocols and policies to ensure your personal information is protected from misuse, loss, interference or unauthorised access:
Electronic format is encrypted, and password protected. Hard copy records and information, if retained, is stored in secure cabinets. All staff and contractors must sign confidentiality agreements prior to commencing work with and for our practice.
If you request to communicate with us via email, we remind you that this is not encrypted, and we do not send information via this means without your consent.
How you can access and correct your personal information at our practice:
Our practice will take reasonable steps to correct your personal information where the information is not accurate or up to date. We will ask you at different times, to verify your information held by our practice is correct and up to date. You have the right to access and correct personal information that we hold about you, in electronic or hard copy format.
Access to your personal information on request:
You may have access to your personal information held by Stratford Medical Centre, except in circumstances where access may be denied under the Privacy Act or other law. Examples of these circumstances are:
- where providing access will pose an unreasonable impact on the privacy of another individual; or
- where your request for access is frivolous or vexatious; or
- where the information relates to existing or anticipated legal proceedings between Stratford Medical Centre and you, and the information would not be accessible by the process of discovery in those legal proceedings; or
- where providing access would be unlawful, would pose a threat to the life or health of an individual, may prejudice an investigation of possible unlawful activity, may prejudice enforcement of laws, or denying access is specifically authorised by law.
If you wish to access or correct your personal information, we request that you put it in writing and contact the Practice Manager Your request for access and/or correction will be processed within 30 days. While we do not charge an application or processing fee, you may be charged administration, photocopying or other fees to reasonably cover our costs in fulfilling your request.
How you can lodge a privacy related complaint and how it will be handled at our practice:
If you have any concerns about your privacy or wish to make a complaint about a privacy breach, contact our Practice Manager. You should provide us with enough details regarding your complaint, together with any supporting information. We will take steps to investigate the issue and will notify you in writing of the outcome within 30 days from the receipt date of original written complaint. If you are not satisfied with our response, you can contact us directly to discuss your further concerns or lodge a complaint with the Australian Information Commissioner at www.oaic.gov.auor by calling 1300 363 992.