Current as at: 14/06/2021
Why and when your consent is necessary
When you attend as a patient of this practice, you are necessarily providing consent for access to and use of your personal information, purely for the purpose of providing you with the best possible healthcare. Only staff who need to see your personal information will have access to it.
If a third party requests your information (e.g. if your care is being paid for by Work Cover your insurer and case manager may request reports on the care or assessment you are receiving) you will be asked to provide written consent for it to be shared with them. This may be done when seeing Dr Brennan, or you may be asked to give it to the third party directly who will show evidence of it when requesting information or reports from this practice. No information will be released without this consent, and only that information relevant to the specific issue of care involved will be shared (unless you request and authorise otherwise).
Dr Brennan’s letters are marked “not to be released to any third party without written permission” in order to safeguard the privacy of your information contained in the correspondence.
Why do we collect, use, hold and share your personal information?
Our practice needs to collect your personal information to in order to provide comprehensive and complete care of your health and wellbeing. Our sole purpose for collecting, using, holding and sharing your personal information is to manage your health.
We also use your Medicare card number in order to assist you with your Medicare claims, with your consent.
What personal information do we collect?
The information we will collect about you includes your:
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 deal only with identified individuals.
How do we collect your personal information?
Our practice collects your personal information in 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 and health information when you 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:
When, why and with whom do we share your personal information?
We sometimes need to share your personal information:
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.
Our practice will not use your personal information for marketing any goods or services directly to you.
How do we store and protect your personal information?
Your personal information is stored at our practice in electronic and written form.
Our practice stores all personal information securely in electronic format with password- protected software. Our passwords are changed frequently. We have onsite and offsite backups. We regularly test our backup systems. We run the latest operating system software and patches for those systems are updated regularly.
We take reasonable steps to secure personal and sensitive information and protect it from misuse, interference, loss and unauthorized access. Our level of security matches the sensitivity of the information held. Security measures are reviewed regularly and tested.
Our correspondence is usually in written form via regular mail to reduce the possibility of inadvertent wrong address or in transit viewing of information. Patients are sent copies of this correspondence also in the mail.
We use secure emailing (Argus medical emailing) to communicate to referring doctors when this is available or requested.
We understand that from time to time you may prefer to receive your correspondence by email rather than regular mail. We undertake to reduce human error as much as is possible when transmitting such material. Due to the inherent reduced security of email we will do this only with your expressed consent.
If there is ever any sensitive health information to relay to you, we will do so by telephone, Telehealth or face to face.
All of our staff all have signed confidentiality agreements.
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 require and request access to their medical records. You may be asked to put this request in writing and/or to discuss the reason with Dr Brennan and our practice will respond within a reasonable time frame. There may be a cost associated with this.
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.
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. Contact details can be found on our web page.
You may also contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner. For further information visit www.oaic.gov.au or call the OAIC on 1300 363 992.
Policy review statement