Privacy Policy

Family Doctors Plus Privacy Policy

  1. Introduction

Family Doctors Plus recognises that your privacy is very important to you and we are committed to protecting your personal information in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and in accordance with other applicable privacy laws.

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. It also explains how you may access that information, how you may seek the correction of any information and how you may make a complaint about a breach of privacy legislation.

  1. 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.

  1. 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 (e.g. staff training).

  1. 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.

If you are uncertain why information is being requested, please ask your GP or the practice staff.

  1. 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.

  1. How do we collect your personal information?

Our practice may collect your personal information in several different ways.

  1. When you make your first appointment our practice staff will collect your personal and demographic information via your registration.
  2. Through face to face consultation with our health care and medical practitioners.
  3. During the course of providing medical services, we may collect further personal information. Information can also be collected through electronic transfer of prescriptions (eTP) and My Health Record (if you have opted in to use these online services).
  4. 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.
  5. 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).
  1. 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
  • with other healthcare providers
  • for invoicing, billing and account management purposes
  • 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)
  • during the course of providing medical services, through eTP, My Health Record (e.g. via Shared Health Summary, Event Summary).

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. In this practice it is normal for all GPs to have access to your medical records. If you have concerns about this please discuss them with your GP or practice staff.

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 communications at any time by notifying our practice in writing.

  1. How do we store and protect your personal information?

Your personal information may be stored at our practice in various forms:

  • as electronic records
  • as hard copy records
  • as visual records i.e. X-rays, CT scans, videos & photos
  • as audio recording (as necessary)

Personal information stored by our practice is protected by:

  • securing our premises;
  • training our staff in how to keep your personal information safe and secure;
  • the use of passwords and varying access levels on information systems to limit access and protect electronic records from unauthorised interference, access, modification and disclosure; and
  • providing locked cabinets and rooms for the storage of physical records.
  1. 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 make this request in writing by sending an email to the Practice Manager (see contact details below) and we will respond within a reasonable time.

There may be a fee for the administrative costs of retrieving and providing you with copies of your medical records.

Family Doctors Plus will take reasonable steps to ensure that your personal information is accurate, complete and current. From time to time, we will ask you to verify that 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 to:

Kylee King – Practice Manager

Email: pmf@familydoctorsplus.com.au

Phone: 07 3357 8192

  1. 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. We request that you express any privacy concerns you may have in writing. We will then attempt to resolve it in accordance with our resolution procedure.

Please direct any queries to Kylee King, Practice Manager on the details below, and we will endeavor to respond to you within 30 days of receiving your written complaint.

Email: pmf@familydoctorsplus.com.au

Postal: 2-4, 178 Albion Road, Windsor QLD 4030

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.

  1. Privacy and our website

Information collected through our website is used for the main purpose of booking an appointment online to be consulted by one of our health care and medical practitioners.

You may visit our website (www.familydoctorsplus.com.au) without identifying yourself. If you identify yourself (e.g. by providing your contact details in an enquiry or booking an appointment online), any personal information you provide will be managed in accordance with this Privacy Policy.

Family Doctors Plus’ website uses cookies. A ‘cookie’ is a small file stored on your computer’s browser, which assists in managing customised settings of the website and delivering content. We collect certain information such as your device type, browser type, IP address, pages you accessed on our website and on third-party websites. You are not identifiable from such information. Family Doctors Plus may use third-party services (such as Google Analytics) to undertake demographic analysis of visitors to our website.

  1. Policy review statement

This Privacy Policy may be reviewed from time to time or amended in accordance with any legislation changes. The current version of this policy and any updates made to this policy can be viewed by our patients and staff on our website at http://www.familydoctorsplus.com.au/privacy-policy or by enquiring in person at our practice reception.

  1. Using health information for quality improvement and research

This practice may use health information to assist in improving the quality of care we give to our patients through quality improvement activities or for continuing professional development.

Your information held by the practice may be used by third parties in research projects to improve healthcare in the community or for quality improvement; however, this information will not include data that can identify you.

If you do not wish for your health information to be used for these purposes, you can opt out by informing reception or your treating doctor of your wishes.

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