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Health On 21 Privacy Policy

Current as of: 06/03/2020  

Introduction

This privacy policy is to provide information to you, our patient, on how your personal information (which includes your health information) is collected and used within our practice, and the circumstances in which we may share it with third parties.  

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 (e.g. process online bookings, appointment reminders, staff training, etc.)  

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.
1. When you make your first appointment our practice staff will collect your personal and demographic information via your registration form or if you registered using our online booking portal.
2. During the course of providing medical services, we may collect further personal information. Information can also be collected through electronic transfer of prescriptions (eTP), My Health Record, eg via Shared Health Summary, Event Summary, by communication with Medicare for claims and to establish eligibility for health services, through the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) to establish your immunisation history and by other providers or health services who may submit reports to us with relevant information to provide you with high quality care.
3. We may also collect your personal information when you visit our website, send us an email or SMS, telephone us, make an online appointment or communicate with us using social media.
4. 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, information technology providers and patient communication portals like our HotDoc online booking system – 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).
• Quality improvement, our Practice uses Primary Sense which shares de-identified health information (meaning identifiable information such as your name, date of birth or address will not be shared) with Primary Health Network Gold Coast to analyse patients that are most at risk of poor health or disease. If you do not wish to share your information, please advise reception.

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, such as paper records, electronic records, visual records (X-rays, CT scans, videos and photos), and audio recordings (only used rarely and if relevant to your care).
Our practice stores all personal information securely in electronic format that is protected by our information system which uses individual passwords and level of access for different team members and is backed up daily in a secure database.  

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 by completing and submitting our “Health Information Request Form” and our practice will respond within 21 days.
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 the reception team.  

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, by acknowledging receipt of complaint within 7 days and providing you with a response within 21 days.
You may contact the clinic at:
1372 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach QLD 4221 / Phone: 07 5610 4050
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 363 992.  

Privacy and our website

We may also collect your information via our practice website: www.healthon21.com.au if you visit it to book an appointment online or to send us a query using the contact form.  

Policy review statement

This privacy policy will be reviewed regularly to ensure it is in accordance with any changes that may occur. We won’t routinely contact patients to notify of changes, but in the event of significant changes, we will use signage in our practice and website to let you know of changes.
We will also only ever use the information we have collected about you for the purpose of providing you with a high quality health service and experience with our practice. This may at times include sharing some information with authorities, if required by law, or with third parties who work with our practice for business purposes, such as accreditation agencies, information technology providers and patient communication portals like our HotDoc online booking system – these third parties are required to comply with APPs and this policy.

We will request permission from you before information is used or shared with third parties for a purpose other than stated above.
If you have any privacy questions, please address them to the Practice Manager at Health On 21 Medical Centre.