Current as of: 01 November 2022
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
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 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 either in person, hardcopy new patient form or via HotDoc electronic new patient form.
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.
We may also collect your personal information when you visit our website, send us an email or SMS, telephone us, and make an online appointment.
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 or information technology providers – these third parties are required to comply with APPs and this policy
Disclosure to others involved in your health care, including treating doctors and specialists inside and outside this medical practice. This may occur through referral to other doctors, or for medical tests and in the reports or results returned to us following the referrals.
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).
Administrative purposes in the operation of our general practice.
Billing purposes, including compliance with Medicare requirements.
Accreditation and quality assurance activities to improve individual and community health care and practice management.
For the purposes of research only where de-identified information is used.
To allow medical students and staff to participate in medical training/teaching using only de-identified information.
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.
** Note our clinic use POLAR software to help us provide you with the best medical care. The information is secure, cannot identify patients and is shared with your local Primary Health Network to improve health services in area. The information is used for planning health services across your community. Please let our reception staff know if you do not want your information to be included.
How do we store and protect your personal information?
Your personal information may be stored at our practice in various forms for example, hardcopy records, electronic records, visual records (X-rays, CT scans, videos and photos) and audio recordings.
Our practice stores all personal information securely in electronic format. Our computers requires staff unique passwords for use of the medical software and to access government health websites. Our server is in a locked and secured location and only staff and our IT professionals have access. Contractors and other service personnel have only supervised and limited access.
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 present it to our Reception staff and our practice will respond within 30 days.
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 to Reception staff.
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 to our Practice Manager – Wolli Medical, Suite 5, 1 Brodie Spark Drive, Wolli Creek NSW 2017. We will then attempt to resolve it in accordance with our resolution procedure within 30 days.
You may also contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (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. If you have questions or a complaint about the privacy of your personal information, please ask to speak to the privacy contact officer at the practice.
Further information on privacy legislation is available from:
Policy review statement
This policy is reviewed regularly to ensure it remains applicable to current practice procedure and legal requirements. This policy was last created 26 August 2019, reviewed 1 October and updated 1 November 2022.