Your Privacy is Our Business
The provision of quality health care is our principal concern. It requires a doctor-patient relationship of trust and confidentiality.
When you register as a patient of West Tamar Health, you provide consent for our GP’s and staff to access your personal information.
Your doctor regards patient health information as confidential and will only collect personal health information as in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs). Information may be disclosed without your consent in an emergency situation.
What personal information is collected?
Information regarding a patient’s medical and family health history is collected to provide accurate medical diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
Information collected about you includes:
- name, date of birth, addresses and contact details
- medical history, medications, allergies, immunisations, social history, family history and any risk factors
- Medicare/DVA number for identification and billing/claiming purposes
- Healthcare card/Pension card
How is personal information collected?
- when you arrive for your first appointment practice staff will collect personal and demographic information via our “new patient registration form”
- we may also collect your personal information when you visit our website, telephone or make an online appointment or communicate with us via social media
- our practice participates in Government eHealth Services and as such information can also be collected through MyHealth Record via Shared Health Summary
- in some circumstances personal information may also be collected from other sources as it may not be practical or reasonable to collect from you directly
This may include:
- Your guardian or responsible person
- Specialists, allied health professionals, hospital, community health services, pathology and diagnostic imaging services
Do we share personal information?
Yes, at times there is a need to share personal information.
This may include:
- Other healthcare providers
- On authorisation by law
- When necessary to prevent a serious threat to a patient’s life, health or safety or when we are unable to obtain the patient’s consent
- MyHealth record/PCEHR system (eg via Shared Health Summary, Event Summary)
- When there is a statutory requirement to share certain personal information (mandatory reporting of notifiable diseases)
Storing personal information
Information is stored in electronic format in protected systems. All staff have unique passwords and specific security levels for accessing your personal information. Staff are required to sign confidentiality agreements on commencement of their employment at West Tamar Health.
A patient has a right to access their information. They should make an appointment with their regular doctor to discuss their need to access this information. They may wish to view the information or request specific parts of the record be copied. While not required to give reason for their request, a patient will be asked to clarify the scope of the request.
There are some circumstances in which access may be denied, but in such an event, the patient will be advised of the reason. A charge will be payable where the practice incurs costs in providing access. This will depend on the nature of the access.
If a patient feels that information held on their record is not accurate or complete, the patient may request that the information be amended accordingly.
Upon a written and signed request, a copy of the patient’s health information held by this practice will be made available to another health provider.
Parents/Guardians and children
Children have the right to keep their health information private. This decision will be made by the child and in consultation with their doctor. Each case for disclosure of information to parents will be judged individually with the child’s welfare, medical condition and maturity taken into account.
It is necessary for us to keep patient’s information after their last attendance at this practice for 7 years and/or until a child has reached the age of 25 years, as required by law.
How to lodge a privacy-related complaint?
Any concerns/complaints regarding your privacy should be directed to the Practice Manager in writing. Complaints can be lodged either in person, or by mail to:
West Tamar Health
PO Box 660
Riverside Tas 7250
Complaints should be responded to or resolved within 30 days. Should we not respond within 30 days, or you are dissatisfied with the response, you may make a written complaint to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC).
For further information visit www.oaic.gov.au or call the OAIC on 1300 363 992.
A notice will be displayed in reception when any changes are made.