We recognise the importance of protecting the privacy and right of individuals in relation to their personal information.
We respect your rights to privacy and have a legal obligation to abide by the provisions of the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (the Act). The rules that an organisation must follow under the Act are known as the Australian Privacy Principles, and cover areas including the collection, use, disclosure, quality and security of personal information (including vaccinations that are in the National Immunisation Schedule).
Our Statement of Commitment
The doctors and staff at St Kilda Medical Group are committed to giving you, our valued patient, quality care and service. All staff are trained in the appropriate handling of personal information by this practice. We protect your privacy and treat all patient information including health and financial details as private and confidential.
What is Your Personal Information?
What Personal Information Do We Collect and Hold?
We may collect the following types of personal information:
- your name, address and telephone number;
- your age or date of birth;
- your Medicare number, Veterans’ Affairs number, Health Care Card number, health fund details or pension number;
- current drugs or treatments used by you;
- information relevant to your medical care, including but not limited to your previous and current medical history and your family medical history (where clinically relevant);
- your ethnic background;
- your profession, occupation or job title;
- the name of any health service provider or medical specialist to whom you are referred, copies of any letters of referrals and copies of any reports back; and
- any additional information relating to you that you provide to us directly through our representatives, medical health professionals providing services at or from our Clinic.
We may also collect some information that is not personal information because it does not identify you or anyone else. For example, we may collect anonymous answers to surveys or aggregated information about how users use our website.
Why and When is your Consent 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.
How do We Collect your Personal Information?
We collect your personal information directly from you unless it is unreasonable or impracticable to do so. When collecting personal information from you, we may collect it in ways including:
- by you completing one of our registration or patient information forms;
- as disclosed by you during the course of a consultation at our Clinic
We may also collect personal information from third parties including:
- information provided on your behalf with your consent;
- from a health service provider who refers you to medical practitioners at our Clinic;
- from health service providers to whom you are referred;
- from your employer or prospective employer; or
- from third party bodies such as law enforcement agencies and other government entities.
- Information can also be collected through Electronic Transfer of Prescriptions (eTP), MyHealth Record and/PCEHR system, e.g. via Shared Health Summary, Event Summary.
We may also collect personal information when you send us an email, SMS or telephone us or by making an appointment online.
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.
What Happen if We Can't Collect Your Personal Information?
If you do not provide us with the personal information described above, some or all of the following may happen:
- we may not be able to provide the requested services to you, either to the same standard or at all; or
- your diagnosis and treatment may be inaccurate or incomplete.
For what purposes do we Collect, hold, use and disclose your personal information?
We collect personal information about you so that we can perform our business activities and functions and to provide the best possible quality of service to you.
We collect, hold, use and disclose your personal information for the following purposes:
- to provide medical services and treatment to you, and to enable you to be attended by medical practitioners at our Clinic;
- for administrative and billing purposes;
- to update our records and keep your contact details up to date;
- to process and respond to any complaint made by you;
- to comply with any law, rule, regulation, lawful and binding determination, decision or direction of a regulator, or in co-operation with any governmental authority of any country;
- for the purposes of data research and analysis including conducting clinical trials and proactive screenings and for the purpose of sending you direct marketing communications in relation to these;
- for inclusion in a recall register to be advised of follow up visits and medical updates;
- for the purpose of reporting back to your employer or prospective employer, their authorised representatives and their insurer in the case of a work-related consultation or service;
- to answer enquiries and provide information or advice about existing and new products or services and all matters relevant to the services we provide to you;
To whom may we disclose your information?
We may disclose your personal information to:
- our employees, our medical professionals and allied health practitioners who provide medical services to you at our Clinics for the purposes of operation of our business, fulfilling requests by you, and to otherwise provide products and services to you including, without limitation, web hosting providers, IT systems administrators, mailing houses, couriers, payment processors, data entry service providers, electronic network administrators, debt collectors, and professional advisors such as accountants, solicitors, business advisors and consultants;
- suppliers and other third parties with whom we have commercial relationships, for business, marketing, and related purposes;
- any organisation or person for any authorised purpose with your express consent.
Direct marketing material
We may send you direct marketing communications and information about our products and services that we consider may be of interest to you. These communications may be sent in various forms, including mail, SMS, fax and email, in accordance with all applicable marketing laws, such as the Spam Act 2003 (Cth). If, in your dealings with us, you indicate a preference for a method of communication, we will endeavour to use that method whenever practical to do so. In addition, at any time you may opt-out of receiving marketing communications from us by contacting us or by using opt-out facilities provided in the marketing communications and we will then ensure that your name is removed from our mailing list.
How can you access and correct your personal information?
You may request access to any personal information we hold about you at any time by contacting us. We may request you provide a written and signed request for your information and may require you to confirm your identity. Where we hold information that you are entitled to access, we will try to provide you with suitable means of accessing it (for example, by mailing or emailing it to you). We may charge you a fee to cover our administrative and other reasonable costs in providing the information to you and, if so, the fees will be as advised from time to time. We will not charge for simply making the request and will not charge for making any corrections to your personal information.
There may be instances where we cannot grant you access to the personal information we hold; however, we will only do so in accordance with our rights and obligations under the Act. For example, we may need to refuse access if granting access would interfere with the privacy of others or if it would result in a breach of confidentiality. If that happens, we will give you written reasons for any refusal.
If you believe that personal information we hold about you is incorrect, incomplete or inaccurate, then you may send us a written request us to amend it, including the basis on which you are requesting the amendment. We will consider if the information requires amendment. If we do not agree that there are grounds for amendment then we will add a note to the personal information stating that you disagree with it.
What is the process for complaining about a breach of privacy?
We take complaints and concerns regarding privacy seriously. If you believe that your privacy has been breached, please contact us in accordance with the arrangements set out below and provide details of the incident so that we can investigate it.
Our procedure for investigating and dealing with privacy breaches is for the incident or complaint to be dealt with at our clinic. You should express any privacy concerns in writing. Please send requests to the Practice Manager – firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may also contact the OAIC. Generally the OAIC will require you to give them time to respond before they investigate. For further information visit www.oaic.gov.au or call OAIC on 1300 336 002.
Do we disclose your personal information to anyone outside of Australia?
We will not share your personal information with anyone outside Australia (unless under special circumstances that are permitted by law) without your consent. We do not otherwise disclose your personal information to overseas recipients. In the event that we would like or are required to do so, we will obtain your consent.
Data Security and Quality
All due care will be taken to ensure the protection of patient privacy during the transfer, storage and use of personal health information.
As we ensure that your privacy always remains our utmost concern, Electronic Documents generated by our practice such as referrals, medical certificates, etc. utilise appropriate and secure document automation technologies.
Our Practice utilises a secure medical software system, which has a word processing application to generate documents as and when required. This word processing application has algorithms to automatically import strictly relevant medical information only, required for the patient and for the documentation. Our practice only uses the required demographic information on our referral letters.
The medical software has proper security authentication protocols with unique user credentials which can only be accessed by authorised Practice staff according to their roles and responsibilities.
Retention of medical records is for a minimum of 7 years from the date of last entry into the patient record unless the patient is a child in which case the record must be kept until the patient attains the age of 25 years of age.
The data within the practice management system is password protected. All the information is backed up daily to a server. Backups are routinely tested to ensure daily duplication processes are valid and retrievable.
Patient information collected and retained in our records for the purpose of providing quality health care will be complete, accurate, and up to date at the time of collection. Doctors are reminded to review past medical history at least every 3 years.
Our websites may contain links to other websites operated by third parties. We make no representations or warranties in relation to the privacy practices of any third party website and we are not responsible for the privacy policies or the content of any third party website. Third party websites are responsible for informing you about their own privacy practices.
We strive to provide accurate and individualised services to benefit your family, your workforce, and you.
We abide by strict government legislations in the delivery of our clinical services. Please find answers below to common questions we get asked about our privacy, feedback, fees and more.
If you have a problem, we would like to hear about it. We take concerns, suggestions and complaints seriously and will deal with any matters that come to us. All complaints will be followed up in writing, if requested.
Please refer to the privacy breach section on this page regarding privacy complaints. Please ask reception for a feedback form to provide feedback on the services you received within the clinic. Alternatively, you can contact the Health Ombudsman if you wish to remain anonymous.
Results management and privacy
We have a policy to maintain the privacy of personal health information at all times. All health information is available only to the patient and authorised members of our staff. To obtain your results, our nurse will contact you for follow up when required. Our communication policy dictates we will not provide any personal information over the phone, or via electronic communications. We encourage patients to participate in decisions about their health care and advise to speak to one of our doctors for any queries or concerns.
St Kilda Medical Group
81 Grey Street
St Kilda Vic 3182