We are committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected. Should we ask you to provide certain information by which you can be identified, then you can be assured that it will only be used in accordance with this privacy statement.
Highland Medical may change this policy from time to time by updating this page. You should check this page from time to time to ensure that you are happy with any changes. This policy is effective from 1 June, 2014 and updated as at 4th June, 2020.
The management of Highland Medical Centre are committed to protecting the privacy of our patients within our practice. Information collected is kept strictly confidential and used only for the medical and health care of patients.
The purpose is to ensure patients who receive care from the practice are comfortable in entrusting their health information to the practice. This policy provides information to patients as to how their personal information is collected and used within the practice and the circumstances in which we may disclose it to third parties. This policy applies to all employees and patients of Highland Medical Centre.
The Practice will:
- Provide a copy of this policy upon request
- Ensure staff comply with the APP and deal appropriately with inquiries or concerns
- Take such steps as are reasonable in the circumstances to implement practices, procedures and systems to ensure compliance with the APP and deal with inquiries or complaints
- Collect personal information for the primary purpose of managing a patient’s healthcare and for financial claims and payments
The practice staff will take reasonable steps to ensure patients understand this if they enquire:
- What information has been and is being collected
- Why the information is being collected and whether this is due to a legal requirement
- How the information will be used or disclosed
- Why and when their consent is necessary
- The Practice’s procedures for access and correction of information, and responding to complaints of information breaches, including by providing this policy
COLLECTION, USE AND DISCLOSURE
Highland Medical Centre recognises that the information we collect is often of a highly sensitive nature and as an organisation we have adopted the privacy compliance standards relevant to Highland Medical Centre to ensure personal information is protected.
For administrative and billing purposes and to ensure quality and continuity of patient care a patient’s health information is shared between the medical practitioners of Highland Medical Centre.
Collected personal information will include the following:
- Names, addresses and contact details
- Medicare number for identification and claiming purposes
- Healthcare identifiers
- 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 the practice in electronic form.
The practice’s procedures for collecting personal information is set out below:
- Practice staff collect patient’s personal and demographic information via registration when patients present to the centre for the first time. Patients are encouraged to pay attention to the collection statement that they complete as a new patient.
- During the course of providing medical services the practice’s healthcare practitioners will consequently collect further personal information.
- Personal information may also be collected from the patient’s guardian or responsible person (where practicable and necessary) or from other involved healthcare specialists.
The practice holds all personal information securely, in electronic format, in protected information systems. Personal information collected by Highland Medical Centre may be used or disclosed in the following instances:
- For medical defence purposes;
- As required by law in instances of mandatory reporting of communicable diseases;
- Necessary to lessen or prevent a serious threat to a patient’s life, health or safety or public health or safety, or it is impracticable to obtain patient’s consent
- To assist in locating a missing person
- For the purpose the patient was advised during consult with the treating Doctor;
- As required during the normal operation of services provided. i.e. for referral to a medical specialist or other health service provider, including via electronic transmission or Healthlink.
- For the purpose of a confidential dispute resolution process
- Some disclosure may occur to third parties engaged by or for the practice 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 not disclose personal information to any third party other than 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.
The Practice will not disclose personal information to anyone outside Australia without need and without patient consent.
Highland Medical Centre will employ all reasonable endeavours to ensure that a patient’s personal information is not disclosed without their prior consent.
DATA QUALITY and SECURITY
Patient information collected and retained in our records for the purpose of providing quality health care will be complete, accurate, and up to date at the time of collection. Doctors are reminded to review past medical history at least every 2 years.
All due care will be taken to ensure the protection of patient privacy during the transfer, storage and use of any personal health information.
The practice 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 and patients should make such requests in writing.
To protect the rights of a child’s privacy, access to a child’s medical information may at times be restricted for parents and guardians. Release of information may be referred back to the treating Doctor where their professional judgement and the law will be applied.
The management of Highland Medical Centre understands the importance of confidentiality and uses discretion with the way we manage and maintain the personal information of our patients. The Practice takes complaints and concerns about the privacy of patient’s personal information seriously. Patients should express any privacy concerns in writing. The Practice will then attempt to resolve it in accordance with its complaint resolution process.
All employees of Highland Medical Centre are required to observe the obligations of confidentiality in the course of their employment and are required to sign Confidentiality Agreements. For more information, please read our patient information brochure.