My Health Record
My Health Record is the name of the national digital health record system. Having a My Health Record means your important health information like allergies, medical conditions and treatments, medicine details, test or scan reports can be digitally available in one place. Healthcare providers may be able to see it online from anywhere at any time when they need to, like in an accident or emergency.
Management of your medical history
Your medical record is a confidential document. It is the policy of the practices to maintain security of personal health information at all times and to ensure that this information is only available to authorised members of staff.
HealthWest Medical & Specialist Centre takes their obligations under the Victorian Health Records Act 2001 and the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988 seriously and takes all reasonable steps to comply and protect the privacy of the personal information that we hold.
HealthWest Medical & Specialist Centre’s principal concern is and always has been the health of patients. A high level of trust and confidentiality is required to ensure the confidence of the patients we serve. Patients are assured that their privacy will be protected; that the information collected and retained in our records is correct and up-to-date; and that they can access their information for review.
No exceptions under the Privacy Act apply to personal information that HealthWest Medical & Specialist Centre holds.
Collection, Use & Disclosure
HealthWest Medical & Specialist Centre recognises that the information we collect is often of a highly sensitive nature. It is used to properly assess, diagnose, treat and be pro-active in your healthcare needs and we take all reasonable steps to protect the security of the personal information that we hold. This includes appropriate measures to protect electronic materials and materials stored and generated in hard copy.
All members of the professional team, GPs and other medical practitioners, general practice nurses, practice manager, medical students and allied health professionals involved in your care, will have access to your personal information. This means we may use and disclose the information you provide in the following ways:
- Disclosure to others involved in your healthcare, including treating doctors, pathology services, radiology services and other specialists 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.
- Disclosure to enable recording on medical registers (example the diabetes register or pap test register).
- Administrative purposes in running our medical practice, including our insurer or medical indemnity provider, and quality assurance and accreditation bodies.
- Billing purposes, including providing information to your health insurance fund, the Health Insurance Commission (Medicare) and other organisations responsible for the financial aspects of your care.
- Assisting with training and education of other health professionals.
In most cases we will obtain the information directly from you or your treating doctors.
HealthWest Medical & Specialist Centre and medical practitioners may collect personal information (including health information) for the purpose of providing medical services and treatment. Personal information collected will generally include:
- name, address, telephone number and Medicare number;
- current drugs or treatments used;
- previous and current medical history, including where clinically relevant a family medical history, and
- the name of any health service provider or medical specialist to whom the patient is referred, copies of any letters of referrals and copies of any reports back.
HealthWest Medical & Specialist Centre may access information:
- the patient’s name, address, telephone number and Medicare number;
- provided on the patient’s behalf with the patient’s consent;
- from a health service provider who refers the patient to medical practitioners providing services at or from HealthWest Medical & Specialist Centre; or
- from health service providers to whom patients are referred.
Personal information collected by HealthWest Medical & Specialist Centre may be used or disclosed:
- for the purpose the patient was advised of at the time of collection of the information by us;
- as required for delivery of the health service to the patient;
- as required for the ordinary operation of our services (i.e. to refer the patient to a medical specialist or other health service provider);
- as required under compulsion of law; or
- where there is a serious and imminent threat to an individual’s life, health, or safety; or a serious threat to public health or public safety.
Other than as described in this Policy or permitted under the Health Privacy Principles, HealthWest Medical & Specialist Centre uses its reasonable endeavours to ensure that identifying health information is not disclosed to any person.
You are not obliged to give us your personal information. If you choose not to provide your personal details which is required for your health assessment, we may not be able to provide you with the full range of our services necessary for your health management.
If you transfer away from the practice to another GP, and you request that the medical record is transferred, the existing GP will provide the record, a summary or a photocopy to the new treating GP.
All patients have access to the health information contained on their file. The treating GP will provide an up to date and accurate summary of your health information on request or whenever appropriate. The treating GP will consider any request made by a patient for access to the medical record itself. In doing so he/she will need to consider the risk of any physical or mental harm resulting from the disclosure of health information and will protect any information provided by others on a confidential basis. If the GP is satisfied that the patient may safely see the record then he/she will either show the patient the record, or arrange for provision of a photocopy, and explain the contents to the patient.
HealthWest Medical & Specialist Centre keeps health information for a minimum of 7 years from the date of last entry in the patient record (unless the patient was a child in which case the record must be kept until the patient attains or would have attained 25 years of age).
The information collected by HealthWest Medical & Specialist Centre to provide its services may be stored electronically and/or hard copy. All electronically stored files are password-protected and regular backups performed.
HealthWest Medical & Specialist Centre requires its employees to observe obligations of confidentiality in the course of their employment with all staff signing Privacy Statements. HealthWest Medical & Specialist Centre requires independent contractors to sign a confidentiality undertaking.
HealthWest Medical & Specialist Centre contracts out the following services:
• locum general practitioner services;
HealthWest Medical & Specialist Centre may use or disclose personal information for quality assurance, training, billing, liaising with government offices regarding Medicare entitlements and payments and as may be required by HealthWest Medical & Specialist Centre insurers.
Accessing your information, complaints and obtaining further information
If you wish to:
- access your own information held by HealthWest Medical & Specialist Centre; or
- correct any information held by HealthWest Medical & Specialist Centre; or
- complain to HealthWest Medical & Specialist Centre about a breach of privacy; or
- find out more about how HealthWest Medical & Specialist Centre deals with personal information,
HealthWest Medical & Specialist Centre
549 Morris Road
Ph: (03) 8360 3877
Fax: (03) 97410075
If you have a problem we would like to hear about it. Please feel free to talk to your doctor or receptionist. You may prefer to write to us or use our suggestion box. We will take your concerns, suggestions and complaints seriously. If you feel that you need to take the matter further please ring the Health Services Commissioner on Free call 1800 138 066 or write to:
Level 30, 570 Bourke St.
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Complaints concerning privacy issues can be made with the National Privacy Commissioner. Complaints here will have a response within 28 days.
National Privacy Commissioner Privacy hotline 1300 363 992
GPO Box 5218, Sydney, NSW 1042