Privacy

PRIVACY POLICY

Privacy Statement.

Patrick Street Clinic recognises the importance of privacy, confidentiality protection for all our patients and those that visit our website and our practice.

Patrick Street Clinic will make this Privacy Policy available to anyone who asks for it.

Our principal concern is and always will be the health of patients who visit our practice. To ensure our patients can feel confident with giving our practice information a high level of trust and confidentiality is maintained constantly.

Our already established culture of confidentiality is in line with the Federal Privacy Act, which on 21/12/ 2001 was amended to include the Private Health Sector throughout Australia. Our Practice obligations have no exceptions to the Privacy Act in regards to the personal information we hold in trust. Thus we can ensure that our patient’s privacy will be protected when visiting our website or our practice.

How we use and disclose information collected

Understanding that the information we collect both on our website and at our practice is often of a highly sensitive nature, the practice will always ensure that it is compliant with the highest privacy standards to keep all personal information secure and protected. All information is stored electronically and is password protected on several levels. All employees and contractors that work with and at Patrick Street Clinic are required to sign and comply with our comprehensive confidentiality agreement and Computer Use Agreement.

To ensure our patients are provided the best treatment for medical and/or allied health services the practice, on behalf of the practitioners and the practitioners themselves may collect personal information (including Health information) to meet this purpose.
The personal information collected will include, but is not limited to:

  • The Patient’s Name
  • Address
  • Telephone Number
  • Medicare Number
  • Health Care Fund
  • Government/DVA Concession Numbers
  • Current Drugs/Medication or treatment used by patient
  • Current and Previous medical history, including where clinically relevant, family medical history
  • The Name of any health service provider or medical specialist to which the patient is referred
  • Copies of any letter of referrals and any reports relating to the patient

 

Patient information will be shared within the practice for administrative and billing purposes, also to enable the patient to be attended by other practitioners who provide medical and allied health services at and from our Practice.

The practice may access information:

  • Provided directly by the patient to our practice or through our website
  • Provided on patient’s behalf with their consent
  • From health service providers / medical specialists patients are referred to
  • From health service providers who refer a patient to medical / allied health practitioners working within our practice premise

Collection of personal information by Patrick Street Clinic may be used or disclosed if required by law, if there is a serious threat to the health or safety of an individual or to public health and safety, for referral of patients to other health service providers or medical specialists, for the purpose of which the patient was advised and to provide the patient with the best health treatment.

The collection and disclosure may also be used for the purposes of billing, liaising with Government departments regarding Medicare, training, to facilitate any improvements on our services and may be at times required by Patrick Street Clinic’s insurers.

Health information is kept for a minimum of 7 years for adults from the last occasion in which health service was provided to the patient. If the person is under the age of 18 then records must be kept until the person has attained 25 years of age.

Information is also collected about the medical and allied health practitioners, directly from them or with their agreement, who provide services within our practice.
This information includes:

  • Their Name
  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • Qualifications and experience
  • Insurance information

Other than what is stated within this policy we will not sell, distribute or disclose any personal information to any third party.

Website Security

We endeavour to ensure our website is as secure as possible; however, users need to be aware that the World Wide Web is not a secure medium. Patrick Street Clinic and its associates take no liability for any interference or damage to a user’s computer system, software or data occurring in connection with this website. We strongly recommend user’s take appropriate measures to ensure their computer is protected against third party interference whilst on the web.

External links to other websites

This site may contain links to external websites which Patrick Street Clinic add to improve the service we offer and expand upon the information readily available to you. Once a user decides to click on a link and navigate away from the Patrick Street Clinic website the privacy policy noted here is no longer in effect. Users are recommended to familiarise themselves with the privacy policies on these websites once they browse and interact with them.

Recommendations or views purported on these websites are not necessarily reflective of those of Patrick Street Clinic and its associates.

 

If you wish to discuss this policy, lodge a complaint or access your information

If you wish to complain to us regarding a breach of privacy, access your information held by us, correct any of your information held by us or find out more about how we handle personal information we can be contacted through below:

 

Sheree Snare

Practice Manager

sheree@patst.com.au

03 64251611

 

The Office of the Federal Privacy Commissioner has developed a number of resources to assist health service providers. These include:

  • Privacy booklet
  • ‘Guidelines on Privacy in the Private Health Sector’ and a range of Information Sheets.
For more information on privacy, go to the Office of the Federal Privacy Commissioner’s website at www.privacy.gov.au or contact the Hotline on 1300 363 992.

New Privacy Law & the Private Health Sector

For the first time in Australia, there is comprehensive privacy law covering the private sector. The Privacy Act 1988 has been amended to cover most private sector organisations, including all health service providers in Australia regardless of size. The new law operates from 21 December 2001.

Privacy and Health Care

Most people consider their health information to be highly personal, and want their privacy respected whenever they use a health service. The Privacy Act offers privacy protection and choice to patients, while balancing this with the need for health service providers to share information, where necessary, for the provision of quality health care.

In the health care context, the essential step for providers is to seek alignment between their expectations of what will happen to the patient’s health information, and the expectations of that patient. Good privacy involves no surprises.

The Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Act 2000

The legislation delivers 10 National Privacy Principles, which form the core of the private sector provisions and set the minimum standards for privacy in the private health sector. The NPPs aim to deliver amongst other things promotion of greater openness between health service providers and patients regarding the handling of health information. The NPPs cover the whole information lifecycle – from collecting health information, to its storage and maintenance, and including its use and disclosure for a wide range of purposes.

The National Privacy Principles

  • NPP1: Collection & NPP10: Sensitive Information – set out providers’ obligations when collecting health information from patients. These include collecting health information only with consent, and collecting only the information necessary to provide the service.
  • NPP2: Use and Disclosure – set out how health information, once collected, can be used within the organisation or disclosed to third parties outside the organisation.
  • NPP3: Data Quality & NPP4: Data Security – set standards for keeping information up-to-date, accurate and complete, as well as for protecting and securing it from loss, misuse and unauthorised access.
  • NPP5: Openness – requires providers to be open about how they handle health information, including the need to develop a document (such as a privacy policy) to clearly explain how they handle health information.
  • NPP6: Access & Correction – gives patients a general right of access to their own health records, and a right to have information corrected, if it is inaccurate, incomplete or out of date.
  • NPP7: Identifiers – limits the use of Commonwealth government identifiers (such as the Medicare number or the Veterans Affairs number) by providers to the purposes for which they were issued.
  • NPP8: Anonymity – where lawful and practicable, patients must have the option of using health services without identifying themselves.
  • NPP9: Transborder data flows – sets out obligations for providers regarding the transfer of health information out of Australia.