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Patient Privacy Policy

Introduction

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 doctors 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,
  • for reporting to referring providers and others involved with your care
  • in image review and clinical audit
  • onward referrals
  • storage in teleradiology systems
  • providing images and reports on request to clinical providers subsequently caring for you.

We also use it for directly related business activities, such as financial claims and payments, practice audits and accreditation, and business processes (e.g. 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

It is impractical for persons to deal with Imaging Central anonymously or by using a pseudonym. This is because:

  • diagnosis and advice may be significantly impaired or delayed
  • there would be conflict with NSQHS Standard 5: Patient Identification and Procedure Matching
  • there may be mismatching of an individual’s results
  • there is an unacceptable risk of communication breakdown between Imaging Central and your treating physician

 

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.
  • 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
  • with health funds, Medicare, insurers or the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (as necessary).
  • when it is required or authorised by law (e.g. 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 (e.g. some diseases require mandatory notification)

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 may share personal information outside of Australia:

  • for the purpose of transcription service
  • when an individual is participating in a clinical trial
  • when the requesting practitioner is located overseas
  • when requested by the patient
  • for expert opinion

Information shared outside of Australia will continue to be protected by the Australian Privacy Principles outlined in the Privacy Act.
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 in various forms including:

  • paper records
  • as electronic records
  • as digital and hard copy images
  • as voice recordings

We will use all reasonable endeavours to keep your personal information in a secure environment, by employing appropriate technical, administrative and physical procedures. These measures are designed to assist in your personal information not being accessed by unauthorised personnel, or from being lost or misused. If you reasonably believe that there has been unauthorised use or disclosure of your personal information please contact us.
If we no longer need your personal information, unless we are required under Australian law or a court or tribunal order to retain it, we will take reasonable steps to destroy or de-identify your personal information.

 

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 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 your personal information held by our practice is correct and up to date. You may also request that we correct or update your information, and you should make such requests in writing addressed to Imaging Central | PO Box 473 | Claremont WA 6910, or by email: manager@imagingcentral.com.au or in person.
Our practice acknowledges patients may request access to their medical records. The preferred way to get your radiology results is in consultation with your doctor, where results can be explained in the context of your health management. We may withhold access if we reasonably believe:

  • that giving access would pose a serious threat to the life, health or safety of any individual, or to public health or public safety; or
  • giving access would have an unreasonable impact on the privacy of other individuals; or
  • the request for access is frivolous or vexatious; or
  • the information relates to existing or anticipated legal proceedings between the entity and the individual, and would not be accessible by the process of discovery in those proceedings; or
  • giving access would reveal the intentions of the entity in relation to negotiations with the individual in such a way as to prejudice those negotiations; or
  • giving access would be unlawful; or
  • denying access is required or authorised by or under an Australian law or a court/tribunal order; or
  • both of the following apply:
    – we have reason to suspect that unlawful activity, or misconduct of a serious nature, that relates to the entity’s functions or activities has been, is being or may be engaged in
  • – giving access would be likely to prejudice the taking of appropriate action in relation to the matter; or

  • giving access would be likely to prejudice one or more enforcement related activities conducted by, or on behalf of, an enforcement body; or
  • giving access would reveal evaluative information generated within the entity in connection with a commercially sensitive decision-making process.

We may require you to put this request in writing addressed to Imaging Central | PO Box 473 | Claremont WA 6910 and our practice will respond within 30 days. There may be a charge to provide medical records.
To protect your security, individuals may require positive identification.
Results will not be provided to anyone other than the patient (for example to employers or relatives (with the exception of parents or legal guardians where applicable) without the written consent of the patient concerned.

 

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 within 30 days.
Address: Imaging Central | PO Box 473 | Claremont WA 6910
Email: manager@imagingcentral.com.au
Phone: 08 9267 6900
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.

 

Policy review statement

This privacy policy will be reviewed regularly to ensure it is in accordance with any changes that may occur. Policy updates will be available on the organisations website http://www.imagingcentral.com.au and at each practice location. You should check this Privacy Policy regularly so that you are aware of any variations made. You will be deemed to have consented to such variations by your continued use of our services following such changes being made.

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