You are here

Privacy Policy

Last reviewed: August 2017

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).

Our practice may also collect some of your personal information for the purposes of providing you with practice updates or newsletters.  We will specifically request your consent to use your personal information for these purposes.

Our practice utilises CCTV for the safety and security of our patients, staff and premises.  Images are able to be viewed as a live feed and recordings are stored securely for a short duration as deemed necessary for security purposes.  Images are only able to be viewed by authorised persons of the practice and will only be shared if required due to breaches of safety or security.

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
  • health fund details.

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.
  3. We may also collect your personal information when you visit our website, send us an email or SMS, telephone us, make an online appointment or communicate with us using social media.
  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
    • your health fund, 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/PCEHR system (eg via Shared Health Summary, Event 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, or by electronically opting out of any emailed practice updates or newsletters.

How do we store and protect your personal information?

Your personal information may be stored at our practice in various forms.  Our practice stores information primarily as electronic records, however there may be circumstances that require paper or visual (X-rays, CT scans, videos and photos) records to stored.

Our practice stores all personal information securely.  Our electronic records of sensitive personal information are stored securely in databases within Australia and protected using appropriate firewall and anti-virus software.  If you have consented to receive emailed practice updates and newsletters then your name and email address may be stored securely in servers in the U.S.A. 

Our practice utilises password protection to limit access to personal information to appropriately authorised persons.  If circumstances require our practice to store physical records, they will be stored in appropriately secure cabinets within our practice.  Our practice has confidentiality agreements in place with all staff and contractors who work within our practice or who work on behalf of our practice, to further safeguard your right to privacy.

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 addressed to the Practice Manager, 45 Hance Rd, Howrah TAS 7018 and our practice will respond within a reasonable time (usually within 30 days).  You may be charged a reasonable fee by our practice to assist cover the costs of complying with your request.

Our practice will take reasonable steps to correct your personal information where the information is not accurate or up-to-date. From time-to-time, we 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 in writing to the Practice Manager, 45 Hance Rd, Howrah TAS 7018.

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 to the Practice Manager, 45 Hance Rd, Howrah TAS 7018, emailing management@ghfp.com.au or by completing a complaints form at our practice and handing it directly to our practice manager. We will then attempt to resolve it within 30 days, in accordance with our resolution procedure.

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 363 992.

Privacy and our website

Our practice may collect personal information when you visit our website or social media pages.If you utilise on-line appointment making services or subscribe to our practice updates and newsletters you will be required to enter some personal information that will be collected.

Our website utilises analytical software that collects information and uses it in an aggregated manner to analyse how people use our website, which assists us to improve our service.Our website also utilises cookies, which are small files that help to identify you when you come back to our website and to store details about your use of our website.These are used by our practice to improve the experience of people using our website.

Our website has links to other third party websites which are not owned or controlled by us.Whilst we endeavour to only include safe links, we are not responsible for these sites or the consequences of you going on to those sites.

Policy review statement

Our practice privacy policy will be reviewed regularly to ensure that it is in accordance with any changes that may occur.  The most recently updated version will be available to view on our website.  Alternatively, you may request a hardcopy of our updated privacy policy from any of our staff.