I am committed to protecting the privacy of patient information and to handling your personal information in a responsible manner in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012, the Australian Privacy Principles and relevant State and Territory privacy legislation (referred to as privacy legislation).
I collect information that is necessary and relevant to provide you with medical care and treatment, and manage my medical practice. This information may include your name, address, date of birth, gender, health information, family history, credit card and direct debit details and contact details. This information may be stored on my computer medical records system and/or in handwritten medical records.
Wherever practicable I will only collect information from you personally. However, I may also need to collect information from other sources such as treating specialists, radiologists, pathologists, hospitals, other health care providers, and the Myhealth record system.
I collect information in various ways, such as over the phone, or in writing, in person in my rooms or over the internet if you transact with me online. This information will be collected by myself.
In emergency situations I may also need to collect information from your relatives or friends.
I may be required by law to retain medical records for certain periods of time depending on your age at the time I provide services.
USE AND DISCLOSURE
I will treat your personal information as strictly private and confidential. I will only use or disclose it for purposes directly related to your care and treatment, or in ways that you would reasonably expect that I may use it for your ongoing care and treatment. For example, the disclosure of blood test results to your specialist or requests for x-rays.
There are circumstances where I may be permitted or required by law to disclose your personal information to third parties. For example, to Medicare, Police, insurers, solicitors, government regulatory bodies, tribunals, courts of law, hospitals, debt collection agents, the electronic transfer of prescriptions service or to the Myhealth record system. I may also from time to time provide statistical data to third parties for research purposes.
I may disclose information about you to outside contractors to carry out activities on my behalf such as an IT service provider, solicitor or debt collection agent. I impose security and confidentiality requirements on how they handle your personal information. Outside contractors are required not to use information about you for any purpose except for those activities I have asked them to perform.
DATA QUALITY AND SECURITY
I will take reasonable steps to ensure that your personal information is accurate, compete, up to date and relevant. For this purpose I may ask you to confirm that your contact details are correct when you attend a consultation. I request that you let us know if any of the information I hold about you is incorrect or out of date.
Personal information that I hold is protected by:
- securing my premises;
- placing passwords and varying access levels on databases to limit access and protect electronic information from unauthorised interference, access, modification and disclosure; and
- providing locked cabinets and rooms for the storage of physical records.
If you believe that the information I have about you is not accurate, complete or up to date, I ask that you contact me in writing (see details below).
You are entitled to request access to your medical records. I request that you put your request in writing and I will respond to it within a reasonable time.
There may be a fee for the administrative costs of retrieving and providing you with copies of your medical records.
I may deny access to your medical records in certain circumstances permitted by law, for example, if disclosure may cause a serious threat to your health or safety. I will always tell you why access is denied and the options you have to respond to my decision.
If you have a complaint about the privacy of your personal information (including complaints about my use of the Myhealth record system), I request that you contact me in writing. Upon receipt of a complaint I will consider the details and attempt to resolve it in accordance with my complaints handling procedures.
If you are dissatisfied with my handling of a complaint or the outcome you may make an application to the Australian Information Commissioner or the Privacy Commissioner in your State or Territory.
OVERSEAS TRANSFER OF DATA
I will not transfer your personal information to an overseas recipient unless I have your consent or I am required to do so by law.
Please direct any queries, complaints, requests for access to medical records to:
Dr Thomas Downey