Latrobe Medical Centre is bound by the Federal Privacy Act (1988), Victorian Health Records Act (2001 and 2002) and Australian Privacy Principles (APP) (2014). The legislation is designed to protect the privacy and rights of individuals with health care providers and their personal information. This document outlines how we collect and manage your health information.
Latrobe Medical Centre staff are responsible for:
- Complying with the Australian Privacy Principles (APP) and dealing appropriately with enquiries and complaints
Open and Transparent Management of Personal Information – What is your personal information?
Personal information is information that identifies you or could reasonably identify you.
What personal information do we collect and hold? The information that Latrobe Medical Centre collects and maintains includes medical details, current health issues, medications, allergies ,adverse events, past medical history, social history, immunisations, family details, risk factors, names, addresses and contact numbers, ethnicity, gender, Medicare numbers, pension or health care card details, individual health identifiers (IHI’s), Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record ( PCEHR) registration and consent status for recall or reminder systems.
We may also collect some information that is not considered personal information as this does not identify you. E.g. collection of de-identified responses to feedback surveys.
How do we collect personal information?
From you in person, over the phone, form templates and written correspondence
- As disclosed during your consultations or with members of staff
- From third parties such as referring health professionals, employers, law enforcement agencies and other government entities.
How do we store personal Information?
- Personal and Confidential information is stored electronically at Latrobe Medical Centre, utilising an internal server.
- Access is restricted to authorised personnel only, and password protected.
What happens if we can’t collect your personal information?
If you do not provide us with your personal information
- Latrobe Medical Centre may not be able to provide you the requested service
- Your diagnosis and treatment may be inaccurate or incomplete.
For what purpose do we collect, hold, use and disclose your personal information?
- All personal information will only be used for the purpose of providing medical services, claims and payments unless consented otherwise. This may include between doctors at this clinic, allied health professionals and specialists.
- To ensure that your personal details and medical records are accurate and kept up to date
- To process and respond to complaints made
- To comply with laws, rules and regulations
- For the purpose of data research and analysis with patient consent.
- For inclusion in a recall registers including prevention of chronic disease
- To report and provide information to third parties with your written consent.
- Electronic transfer of prescription (eTP) services are used by our general practitioners to improve communications with pharmacists
- IHI’s are collected and held and are not disclosed to third parties unless otherwise consented
- PCEHR registrations are recorded and uploaded as per patient instructions and consent
Who do we disclose this information to?
- Information will only be disclosed for the purpose of providing medical services, claims and payments, unless consented otherwise
- Disclosure may occur to third parties engaged by the practice, e.g. accreditation purposes.
- Latrobe Medical Centre will be Informed when there is a statutory requirement to disclose personal or sensitive information ( e.g. mandatory reporting of notifiable diseases, or family/domestic violence).
- Latrobe Medical Centre will not disclose personal information to any third party other than those related to providing medical services
- Latrobe Medical Centre will not disclose any personal information to anyone outside Australia without need or patient consent.
Exceptions to disclose without patient consent are when the information is
- Required by law
- Notifications of reportable diseases made to Department of Health in accordance with the Public Health and Wellbeing Act (2008)
- Mandatory reporting for child abuse and domestic violence made to the Department of human Services and Child Protection in accordance with Children, Youth and Families Act (2005)
- Necessary to lessen or prevent a serious threat to a patient’s life, health or safety, or it is impractical to obtain the patients consent
- To assist in locating a missing person
- To establish, exercise or defend an equitable claim
- For the purpose of a confidential dispute resolution process
How you can access your personal information?
Latrobe Medical Centre acknowledges patients have the right to request access to their medical records or correct personal information. You will be asked to prove your identity as part of the process. You are encouraged to make this request in writing, to; The Practice Manager, Latrobe Medical Centre, 24 Kay Street, Traralgon. Latrobe Medical Centre will respond within a reasonable time frame (2 business days). Staff will provide the opportunity to discuss access to your personal medical information with your health practitioner, which may include provision of medical summaries, results, or explanation of your health record. Fees may be charged for this service.
If your personal information is incorrect, please update Details with Latrobe Medical Centre in Person or writing, providing proof of identity.
Latrobe Medical Centre does not use or disclose information we collect to third parties for any direct marketing communications. Paper marketing for preventative health opportunities is periodically sent to clients with patient consent.
Latrobe Medical Centre takes all reasonable steps to ensure that your personal information is held in an electronic format, secure and protected from loss or misuse. Access is restricted to authorised staff of Latrobe Medical Centre and password protected.
If you have a concern relating to your information and privacy, we encourage you to contact the Practice Manager by telephone, in written correspondence or via our privacy mailbox email@example.com . Every effort will be made to ensure your complaint is resolved, following Latrobe Medical Centre’s Complaint Resolution process. The following steps are to be adopted when investigating a complaint:
- Respond to all complaints promptly – aim to respond to complaints in writing within two working days
- Problem analysis
- What (if anything) did we do wrong/poorly?
- What system, procedure or person may have been involved
- Generate Strategy
- What can occur to rectify/amend the problem?
- Provide Feedback
- When and in what form should feedback be given to the patient?
- Forward Planning
- What steps can be taken to prevent future complaints of a similar nature i.e. how can we learn from this experience
Patient complaints and their outcomes will be discussed at Latrobe Medical Centre meetings, at the discretion of the Practice Manager, to enable staff to understand the nature of the complaints received and the results of any actions.
Should management be unable to resolve your complaint satisfactorily, assistance can be provided by contacting the office of the Health Commissioner on 1300 582 1113 or the Information Commissioner on 1300 363 992.
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) can investigate privacy complaints from individuals. Before you can lodge a complaint with the OAIC, you will generally need to complain directly to the agency or organisation and allow 30 days for it to respond. If you do not receive a response within 30 days, or you are dissatisfied with the response, you may then complain to the OAIC. Complaints to the OAIC must be made in writing. Further information is available at: www.oaic.gov.au