THE ESPERANCE FAMILY PRACTICE
ONLINE PRIVACY and SECURITY OF PERSONAL HEALTH INFORMATION POLICY
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 your:
- 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 details
How do we collect your personal information?
Our practice may collect your personal information in several different ways.
- When you make your first appointment our practice staff will collect your personal and demographic information via your registration. All information is uploaded directly to our medical software.
- During the course of providing medical services, we may collect further personal information. EFP supports My Health Record.
- 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 Veterans’ Affairs (as necessary).
When, why and with whom do we share your personal information?
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.
- 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, though, My Health Record (eg via Shared Health Summary, Event Summary).
Only people who 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. 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, eg: electronic records, scans and photos.
Our practice stores all personal information securely in an electronic format which can only be accessed by user passwords. All staff and contractors must sign a confidentiality agreement with EFP.
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.
We may deny access to your medical records in certain circumstances permitted by law, for example, if disclosure may cause a serious threat to your health or safety. We will always tell you why access is denied and the options you have to respond to our decision.
Our practice acknowledges patients may request access to their medical records. This process can be done in two ways.
- For personal medical information to be released to the patient they need to go Freedom of Information FOI.
- For personal information to be released from another medical/specialist practice we require you to put this request in writing by signing EFP release form and our practice will respond within a reasonable time. The timeframe for our EFP to complete this process is no longer than 30 days. There may be a fee attached.
Our practice will take 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 that your personal information held by our practice is correct and current.
Overseas Transfer of Data
We will not transfer your personal information to an overseas recipient unless we have your consent
or we are required to do so by law.
Data Quality and Security
We will take reasonable steps to ensure that your personal information is accurate, compete, up to
date and relevant. For this purpose, our staff may ask you to confirm that your contact details are
correct when you attend a consultation. We request that you let us know if any of the information
we hold about you is incorrect or out of date.
Personal information that we hold is protected by:
- Securing our premises;
- Placing passwords and varying access levels on databases to limit access and protect electronic information from unauthorised interference, access, modification and disclosure; and
- Providing locked cabinets and rooms for the storage of physical records.
If you believe that the information, we have about you is not accurate, complete or up-to-date, we
ask that you contact us in writing (see details below).
Please direct any queries, complaints, requests for access to medical records to:
Jan Maitland, Practice Manager: efp [dot] manager [at] goldhealth [dot] net [dot] au
Esperance Family Practice receptionist: reception [at] esperancefamilypractice [dot] com [dot] au
Policy review statement