Read Street Medical & Skin Centre is committed to ensuring the privacy of your personal information. We are bound by the Australian Privacy Principles under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) about how to handle your personal information and we take our responsibility to maintain the integrity of your personal information seriously.
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 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 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.
- During the course of providing medical services, we may collect further personal information.
- We may also collect your personal information when you visit our website, send us an email, telephone us or make an online appointment.
- 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
- 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 eTP, 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 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. Including electronic records, paper records, visual records i.e. X-rays, scan copies.
Our practice stores all personal information securely. Our electronic records are data and password protected, with relevant security software in place, which is monitored and updated to ensure we are meeting the legal standards required. Our electronic system is also securely backed up daily and kept offsite to ensure in the event of a disaster limited data is affected.
All records kept in hard copy are stored in a secure environment.
All staff and contractors with interests in the practice operations have complied with confidentiality agreements, including third party contractors and received training in data protection and the Australian Privacy Principles.
Privacy and our website
What personal data we collect and why we collect it
Only information supplied to us, through our contact page is collected in order to provide a reasonable response to any enquiry we receive. Information received is not used for any purpose other than the above. Information or personal data is not collected for marketing purposes or stored for any reason through use of our website. The contact information is stored for purposes of reply and customer service review only. Contact information is kept for a period of 6 months, within a secure server system.
The practice website is not linked to our clinical records and therefore any contact made through this website, will not be matched to clinical records.
Embedded content from other websites
Our practice website includes embedded content from the Health Engine website. We use Health Engine as our online booking tool. The content of other websites behaves in the exact same way as if the visitor has visited the (Health Engine) website directly.
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, with a copy of your current ID to be sited and our practice will respond within a reasonable time and at most within 30 days. Before providing an individual with their records, the file must be reviewed by your doctor, who may decide that they would like to review the medical records with the individual, this is at the discretion of the doctor.
Fee’s may be applicable dependent on the size of the records being requested. No fee will apply for a health summary or record requiring less than 10 A4 pages.
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. You may also request that we correct or update your information, and you should make such requests in writing to our practice manager at email@example.com
What data breach procedures we have in place
A data breach is unauthorised access to or unauthorised disclosure of personal information, or a loss of personal information, that an entity holds. In the event that the practice is subject to a data breach, we follow the guidelines of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) and will be required to report the breach to affected individuals and the OAIC
The OAIC suggests organisations use the following three-stage process:
- Initiate: plan the assessment and assign a team or person
- Investigate: gather relevant information about the incident to determine what has occurred
- Evaluate: make an evidence-based decision about whether serious harm is likely
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. The practice manager can be contacted by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or via post to the practice address.
You may also contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner. 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 363 992.
You may also contact the Health and Disability Services Complaints Office Western Australia, GPO Box B61
Perth WA 6838, or telephone the Complaints and enquiries line: (08) 6551 7600
Policy review statement
Practice Contact Details
Read St Medical & Skin Centre
101 Read Street, Rockingham WA 6168
Tel: 08 9527 4976
Fax: 08 9527 1533