PRIVACY & FEEDBACK
Current as of: 5th July, 2018
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. staff training).
What personal information do we collect?
The information we may 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
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 (e.g. 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 (e.g. 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 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. For example, as paper records, electronic records, visual records (X-rays, CT scans, videos and photos), audio recordings.
Our practice stores all personal information securely.
We store your records securely, in secure cabinets, password protected computers, and we have confidentiality procedures in place with all staff and contractors. We also have security cameras to ensure safety and a means to monitor security.
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 and our practice will respond within a reasonable time, usually within 30 days.
Depending on the volume and use, we may need to charge an administration fee. This will be discussed with you in advance. You will not be charged for making the request, but may be for any costs associated with complying with the request.
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 via discussion with the doctor.
Policy review statement
Compliments & Complaints process
We do our best to provide a high level of care to our patients, and we're constantly striving to continually improve. To help us with that process, we'd love to hear from you. If you have a compliment, general feedback, or feel an issue has not been resolved to your satisfaction then you can escalate that for attention.
Whilst our intentions are to help our patients, sometimes you may have a concern or complaint about a health service provided to you, a family member, or someone in your care. You can write to or speak with our outsourced Patient Compliments & Disputes Resolution provider and contact – this is often the quickest and easiest way to address your concerns or fix a problem. When making a health service complaint, it’s important you include as much information as you can
Below we provide our free complaint and dispute resolution procedure that you can use.
What is a complaint?
A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction made to us, related to our services, or the complaints handling process itself, where a response or resolution is expected.
What is a dispute?
A dispute arises where a customer does not accept our response to their complaint.
How the procedure works
Step 1 How to make a complaint
In most cases, your complaint can be settled to your satisfaction simply by making us aware of it. You can raise these complaints with our staff in person or by telephone or in writing by letter, fax, memo, e-mail etc.
If the staff member is unable by reasons of authority or experience to handle the matter they will refer your complaint to a more senior or experienced person. At this stage, in most cases, your complaint will be dealt with promptly and to your satisfaction and you will not need additional assistance.
Step 2 Recording your complaint
All complaints and disputes will be recorded in our Complaints Register. Where a complaint cannot be resolved to your satisfaction immediately, you might have to answer some questions and complete a complaint form so that our management can properly investigate the complaint. If you need assistance completing the form, our staff can help you. When receiving a verbal complaint, the staff member will complete the details of the complaint in the register on your behalf. The staff member will then read the entry in the register to you and ask you to confirm that it is accurate.
Step 3 Notification
Where the staff member cannot immediately settle the complaint we will acknowledge receipt of it to you in writing within 3 working days. We will also advise you in writing of the procedures for investigating and handling your complaint.
Step 4 Investigation
Your dispute will then be fully reviewed and investigated by our outsourced Patient Compliments & Disputes Resolution provider and a decision made on the matter.
You may also utilise this free service in the event you would prefer not to escalate your complaint to our practice staff in the first instance.
You can contact our outsourced Patient Compliments & Disputes Resolution as follows:
Name: Dr. Terry Kent
Phone: 07 3202 1111
Step 5 How you will be informed of the outcome
In most cases, we will tell you the outcome in writing within 14 working days. Should there be exceptional circumstances causing a delay we will advise you. But, even in the most complex matters, the dispute should be resolved in a maximum of 30 working days.
Step 6 External dispute resolution
If you are still not satisfied, you can escalate to the Office of Health Ombudsman.
Phone: 13 36 46
Step 7 After we respond
Our complaints register will be updated showing the result. Wherever appropriate, our policies, systems, and procedures will be adjusted and staff counseled or provided with additional training.