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This practice is accredited by AGPAL

 

 

Your Personal Health Information


Introduction

This privacy policy is to provide information to you, our patient, on how your personal information (which includes your health information) is collected and used within our practice, and the circumstances in which we may share it with third parties.


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 (eg staff training).


What personal information do we collect?
The information we will collect about you includes:
- 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
- healthcare identifiers


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 will collect your personal information:
1. When you make your first appointment our practice staff will collect your personal and demographic information via your registration.
2. During the course of providing medical services, we may collect further personal information. These may be required for your MyHealth Record, Shared Health summary and electronic transfer of prescriptions.
3. We may also collect your personal information when you telephone us, make an appointment or when leaving a message for your doctor.
4. 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
- Medicare, or the Department of Veteran's Affairs (as necessary).

Who do we share your personal information with?

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 (eg 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 (eg some diseases require mandatory notification)
-  during the course of providing medical services, through Electronic Transfer of Prescriptions (eTP), MyHealth Record (eg via Shared Health Summary).


Only people that 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. These include electronic records and archived paper records
Our practice stores all personal information securely, in electronically protected information systems which require individual passwords to access. All hard copy records are stored in a secured environment, away from public access. All staff 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 request access to their medical records. We require you to put this request in writing and our practice will respond within a reasonable time, up to 30 days. On request of transfer of medical records, a health summary will be sent, however, if the entire patient file is requested, there may be a fee of $25.


Our practice will take reasonable steps to correct your personal information where the information is not accurate or up-to-date. For this purpose, our staff will ask you to verify your personal information held by our practice is correct and up-to-date. You may also request that we correct or update your information, and you should make such requests to reception. Alternatively, reception may ask you to fill in a Patient Update Form on your arrival to the clinic.


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. These should be addressed to the Practice Manager and can be posted, emailed (carltonmedical@bigpond.com) or left at reception. On receipt on complaint, the Practice Manager will acknowledge and will attempt resolve your concern in a timely fashion.


You may also contact the OAIC. Generally the OAIC will require you to give them time to respond, before they will investigate. For further information visit www.oaic.gov.au 
or call the OAIC on 1300 336 002. Alternatively, you can contact the Health Services Commissioner, 570 Bourke Street, Melbourne; Telephone 8601 5225.


Policy review statement
This privacy policy is reviewed regularly in accordance with any changes that may occur and an updated copy is always available to patients upon request at reception.

 


 

Preventative Health Registers

 

This practice supports a number of preventative health screening projects such as Breastscreen, the Victorian Cervical Cytology Register and the national Bowel Cancer Screening program. Patients are free to opt in or out of these programs. Please discuss this with your doctor.

 


 

Problems and feedback

 

We aim to continually improve our services and welcome any feedback - see below for recent survey results. We believe that problems of any sort are best dealt with by the practice, and we want to know if you are unhappy with any aspect of our service. We would also like to hear any positive feedback that you may have.

 

It is preferable that any problems are brought to the attention of our Practice Manager, Linda, so that these issues can be dealt with professionally and swiftly to the satisfaction of both yourself and the clinic.

 


 

Patient Survey Results

 

Thank you very much to those of you who took part in our recent patient survey. Your responses have given us great insight to your experience as a patient at Carlton Medical Centre. We are overwhelmed by the positive feedback for majority of the responses and we will continue to strive to improve the areas in which you are not satisfied.


The first of these areas is regarding home visits, after hours care and telephone access to doctors. All of this information is included in our patient information brochure which is available to you at reception. This information is also on the website and the on-hold message for your convenience.


The second area of concern is wait times. We understand that these can be lengthy, but in our attempts to improve this, we have lengthened your consultation times to 15 minutes and we still encourage you to ring 30 minutes prior to your consultation so you can be given a more accurate time to arrive.

 

Please make a long appointment if you have several issues to discuss and please tell the receptionist if more than one person needs to be seen, as squeezing in family members can cause long delays. Please help us reduce your wait time by following these simple instructions.

 



Suggestion Box Responses


Thank you very much to those of you who have left us feedback in the Suggestion Box. Firstly, thank you for all the positive feedback regarding our excellent reception staff. It is always nice to hear that we are doing a good job, particularly in such a stressful and fast-moving work environment.


In response to the long waits, please read the 'Patient Survey Results' above.


In regards to not getting an appointment with the doctor of your choice, we endeavor to ensure continuity of care with your regular GP, however this is not always possible. If you ring on the day and your doctor is not working or they are fully booked and your concern is urgent, you will be given an appointment with another doctor.


We are aware that our waiting room magazines are not the typically, glossy tabloids and this is because we are a medical centre which endorses positive body image and well-being. We are also environmentally aware and for this reason, we do not buy unnecessary paper items for the practice. We now have a community library in our waiting room from which you can take or borrow books, as well as donate magazines or books.


Please continue to give us constructive feedback via the Suggestion Box, located at reception.