As of January 2022
Bungendore Medical Centre respects the privacy of individuals and is committed to the collection, use, disclosure and management of, and provision of access to, Personal Information in a manner consistent with the standards contained in the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988 and the Australian Privacy Principles.
Scope and Application
This policy applies to all activities at Bungendore Medical Centre. All employees, contractors, volunteers, students, and consultants must comply with this policy and the privacy management plan when collecting, using or dealing with Personal Information on behalf of Bungendore Medical Centre. Failure to comply with this policy or the privacy management plan may constitute misconduct and may result in disciplinary action being taken.
Collection of Personal Information
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.
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).
The information we will collect about you includes your:
- 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.
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.
Our practice may collect your personal information in several different ways.
- When you make your first appointment our practice staff will collect your personal and demographic information via your registration.
- During the course of providing medical services, we may collect further personal information.
- Every Australian has a My Health Record unless you have chosen to opt out. For more information about your My Health Record please go to https://www.myhealthrecord.gov.au
- Electronic transfer of prescriptions
- We may also collect your personal information when you visit our website, send us an email or SMS, telephone us, or make an online appointment.
- 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 Veterans’ Affairs (as necessary).
When, why and with whom do we share your Personal Information?
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 including medical and/or nursing students
- 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 eTP, My Health Record (eg via Shared Health Summary, Event Summary).
Only people who 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.
Paper records are kept for inactive individual patient medical records should be kept until the patient has reached the age of 25 years or for a minimum of seven years from the time of last contact – whichever is the longer. Paper records are kept securely behind the reception desk
Bungendore Medical Centre uses the software program ‘Medical Director’ for recording and storing personal health information records.
Results are kept securely in electronic format within Medical Director. Paper based results are scanned into the individual’s medical record and then disposed of in secure bins.
How can you access and correct your Personal Information at our practice?
You have the right to request access to, and correct if needed, 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 – usually 30 days.
Our practice encourages patients to notify us of any changes to their Personal Information and you should make such requests in person to the receptionist who will update your record immediately or in writing to the practice manager. If a patient does not disclose changes or updates their Personal Information, this may affect our ability to contact you. We 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 that your personal information held by our practice is correct and current.
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 either verbally to the receptionist who will document your concerns or in writing or to the practice manager. We will then attempt to resolve it in accordance with our Data Breach Response Plan. The practice manager can be contacted by mail, 36 Ellendon Street Bungendore NSW 2621; email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 02 6238 1417.
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. In NSW contact the Information and Privacy Commission on 1800 472 679 https://www.ipc.nsw.gov.au/privacy/privacy-resources-citizens/how-do-i-make-complaint
Privacy and our website
We do not collect any personal information through our website. Our ‘new patient’ form can be downloaded from the website, printed and then filled in to bring with you on your first appointment.
We collect personal information including your phone number and/or your email to contact you for recalls, reminders and/or results. If you agree to us contacting you by these methods your consent is required by signing the ‘new patient’ form. It is important to note that email is not a secure form of communication and therefore no sensitive information will be sent unless you specifically notify us and request it.
The Privacy Management Plan contains procedures and guidelines on how these policy Principles should be applied. All Bungendore Medical Centre personnel must comply with the privacy management plan.
Policy review statement
This policy is reviewed annually every January and uploaded on our website.