Current as of: 15/04/2019
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 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
A Patient’s personal information may be held at the practice in various forms.
- As paper records
- As Electronic records
- As visuals eg: Xrays, CT Scans, videos, photos
- As audio recordings
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 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.
[Information can also be collected through electronic transfer of prescriptions (eTP), My Health Record, eg via Shared Health Summary, Event Summary. You will need to specify if your practice participates in any of these eHealth services.]
- 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 (Facebook, Instagram)
- 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, medical deputising service or information technology providers – these third parties are required to comply with APPs and this policy
- As required during the normal operation of services provided. i.e for referral to a medical specialist or other health service provider.
- 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).
- We participate, collect and comply with all the Digital Health Authority initiatives for electronically connecting the points of care so that your health information can be shared securely. We do so to help in facilitating to a connected system where every Australian is at the centre of their healthcare.
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?
Our practice holds all personal information securely, whether in electric format, in protected information systems or in hard copy in a secured environment according to 5th Ed RACGP Standards.
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 same time of collection.
We periodically review our data and actively work towards maintaining data quality. We do this by using data extraction, interpretation and cleansing.
Data Security & Retention
All due care will be taken to ensure the protection of patient privacy during the transfer, storage and use of personal health information.
Retention of medical records is for 10 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.
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 and email or fax to us. Our practice could take up to 30 days to provide this information to you our practice will also charge a fee associated with this request. In some instances, the request to obtain information may be denied, in these instances we will notify you.
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 that your personal information held by our practice is correct and current. You may also request that we correct or update your information, and you should make such requests in writing to Medhani Tennakoon, Practice Manager, Main Street Doctors,
Parents/Guardians and children
To protect the rights of a child’s privacy, access to a child’s medical information may at times be restricted for parents and guardians.
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.
Complaints: Medhani Tennakoon, Practice Manager,
Our practice manager will endeavour to contact you again in regards to your complaint within 30 working days.
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
Our practice complies with the Privacy Act (1988), the Health Records Act 2001 (VIC), the Heath Regulations 2012 (VIC) and the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (VIC) and we acknowledge the importance of protecting the confidentiality and privacy of all patients and recognise the rights of our patients in relation to their personal information. We also comply with National Privacy Principles and Freedom of Information Act 2001.
Policy review Statement