Crestwood Family Practice privacy policy
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
  • 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:

  • 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.
  • [Information can also be collected through Electronic Transfer of Prescriptions (eTP), MyHealth Record/PCEHR system, eg via Shared Health Summary, Event Summary.
  • (MYHealth Record/PCEHR is currently in review)
  • 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.
  • 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.

How do we store and protect your personal information?
Your personal information may be stored at our practice in various forms.

Our practice has systems in place to protect the privacy, security, quality and integrity of the data held electronically.  Doctors and staff are trained in computer use and our security policies and procedures and updated when changes occur.

Our practice stores all personal information securely.

Our practice has systems in place to protect the privacy, security, quality and integrity of the data held electronically.

This practice has a sound backup system and a contingency plan to protect practice information in the event of an adverse incident, such as a system crash or power failure. This plan encompasses all critical areas of the practice’s operations such as making appointments, billing patients and collecting patient health information. This plan is tested on a regular basis to ensure backup protocols work properly and that the practice can continue to operate in the event of a computer failure or power outage.

Our practice utilises records comprised of a combination of physical paper, scanned documentation and electronic digital records. We recognise that a hybrid approach creates additional management and risk issues.  There must be a record made for every consultation in each system indicating where the clinical notes for the consultation are recorded.

Security is maintained for paper based medical files at all times.  During Practice hours the reception and filing areas are supervised. These records are only retrieved by authorised Practice staff and are secured when the practice is closed. Patient health records are easily accessed by the authorised staff at time of consultation.

Paper based medical records are stored in the compactus at reception.

 

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.

Release of information is an issue between the patient and the doctor.  Information will only be released according to privacy laws and at doctor’s discretion. Requested records are reviewed by the medical practitioner prior to their release and written authorisation is obtained.

 

Request Received
When our patients request access to their medical record and related personal information held at this practice, we document each request and endeavour to assist patients in granting access where possible and according to the privacy legislation.  Exemptions to access will be noted and each patient or legally nominated representative will have their identification checked prior to access being granted.

Requests for 3rd Party access to the medical record should be initiated by either receipt of correspondence from a solicitor or government agency or by the patient completing a Patient Request for Personal Health Information Form. Where a patient request form or and signed authorisation is not obtained, the practice is not legally obliged to release.

 

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. At any time patients may provide feedback or make a complaint.

  • a notice is displayed in the waiting room and in the practice information sheet advising how to make a complaint to our practice. We also advise the contact information for the State/Territory health complaints agency and the commonwealth agency.
  • the Suggestion Box is located in the waiting room and reception staff ensure there is an attached pen and paper available.
  • staff are trained to ensure patients of the practice feel confident that any feedback or complaints made at the practice will be handled appropriately.

 

At least every 3 years we use a systematic method for collection patient experience feedback.

We collect feedback using: an RACGP approved questionnaire

Data collected is analysed to identify potential opportunities for quality improvement.

We communicate the findings of our feedback and any improvements made back to our patients using either a poster in the waiting room, newsletters, the website or individually as appropriate.

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.

Privacy and our website
Crestwood Family Practice website only collects New Patient Information when registering your details with us, this is sent via email to reception@crestwoodfp.com.au

Policy review statement
This Practice is committed to attaining and where possible exceeding the Standards for General Practice 4th Edition as defined by RACGP and as such AGPAL is our chosen accreditation organisation.