To ensure patients who receive care from GPaxis are comfortable in entrusting their health information to the Practice. This policy provides information to patients as to how their personal information (which includes their health information) is collected and used within GPaxis, and the circumstances in which we may disclose it to third parties.
RACGP Compliance indicators for the Australian Privacy Principles: an addendum to the computer and information security standards (Second edition).
Background and rationale
The APP provide a privacy protection framework that supports the rights and obligations of collecting, holding, using, accessing and correcting personal information. The APP consist of 13 principle-based laws and apply equally to paper-based and digital environments. The APP complement the long-standing general practice obligation to manage personal information in a regulated, open and transparent manner.
This policy will guide Practice staff in meeting these legal obligations. It also details to patients how the Practice uses their personal information. The policy must be made available to patients upon request.
- provide a copy of this policy upon request
- ensure staff comply with the APP and deal appropriately with inquiries or concerns
- take such steps as are reasonable in the circumstances to implement practices, procedures and systems to ensure compliance with the APP and deal with inquiries or complaints
- collect personal information for the primary purpose of managing a patient’s healthcare and for financial claims and payments.
The staff at GPaxis will take reasonable steps to ensure patients understand:
- what information has been and is being collected
- why the information is being collected, and whether this is due to a legal requirement
- how the information will be used or disclosed
- why and when their consent is necessary
- GPaxis’s procedures for access and correction of information, and responding to complaints of information breaches, including by providing this policy.
GPaxis will only interpret and apply a patient’s consent for the primary purpose for which it was provided. The Practice staff must seek additional consent from the patient if the personal information collected may be used for any other purpose.
Access, corrections and privacy concerns
GPaxis will take reasonable steps to correct personal information where it is satisfied, they are not accurate or up to date. From time to time, GPaxis will ask patients to verify the personal information held by the Practice is correct and up to date. Patients may also request the Practice corrects or updates their information, and patients should make such requests in writing.
GPaxis takes complaints and concerns about the privacy of patients’ personal information seriously. Patients should express any privacy concerns in writing. GPaxis will then attempt to resolve it in accordance with its complaint resolution procedure.
GPaxis will need to collect personal information as a provision of clinical services and identification purposes at the practice. Collected personal information will include patients’:
- names, addresses and contact details
- Medicare number (where available) (for identification and claiming purposes
- healthcare identifiers
- medical information including medical history, medications, allergies, adverse events, immunisations, social history, family history and risk factors.
A patient’s personal information may be held at GPaxis in various forms:
- as paper records
- as electronic records
- as visual-x-rays, CT scans, videos and photos
GPaxis’s procedure for collecting personal information is set out below.
- Practice staff collect patients’ personal and demographic information via registration when patients present to GPaxis for the first time. Patients are encouraged to pay attention to the collection statement within the policy and information about the management of collected information and patient privacy.
- During the course of providing medical services, GPaxis’s healthcare practitioners will consequently collect further personal information.
- Personal information may also be collected from the patient’s guardian or responsible person (where practicable and necessary), or from any other involved healthcare specialists.
GPaxis holds all personal information securely, whether in electronic format, in protected information systems or in hard copy format in a secured environment.
Personal information will only be used for the purpose of providing medical services and for claims and payments, unless otherwise consented to. Some disclosure may occur to third parties engaged by or for GPaxis for business purposes, such as accreditation or for the provision of information technology. These third parties are required to comply with this policy. GPaxis will inform the patient where there is a statutory requirement to disclose certain personal information (for example, some diseases require mandatory notification).
GPaxis acknowledges patients may request access to their medical records. Patients are encouraged to make this request in writing, and the Practice will respond within a reasonable time.
GPaxis will not disclose personal information to any third party other than in the course of providing medical services, without full disclosure to the patient or recipient, the reason for the information transfer and full consent from the patient. GPaxis will not disclose personal information to anyone outside Australia without need and without patient consent.
Exceptions to disclose without patient consent are where the information is:
- required by law
- 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 a confidential dispute resolution process.
GPaxis will not use any personal information in relation to direct marketing to a patient without the patient’s express consent. Patients may opt-out of direct marketing at any time by notifying GPaxis in a letter or email.
GPaxis evaluates all unsolicited information it receives to decide if it should be kept, acted on or destroyed.
The Practice Manager
672-680 Grand Boulevard
Seaford Meadows SA 5169
T: 08 8327 3777