Ochre Medical Centres Privacy Policy

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 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.

In the case of a real time video or telephone consultation we will seek additional consent at the time of this consultation and ensure you are able to have your consultation in a private space to further protect your confidentiality.

If we are conducting your consultation remotely our providers will advise you if the information collected is being stored outside our medical software and will need to be transferred back to the practice. We will ask for your consent to do so before proceeding.

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 is a patient health record?

Patient Records means records in any form or medium maintained by, or in the custody or control of, a health care provider relating to the health history, diagnosis, or condition of a patient, or relating to treatment provided or proposed to be provided to the patient.  

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

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 will collect your personal information:

  1. When you attend for your first appointment, our practice staff will collect your personal and demographic information via our registration form.
  2. During the course of providing medical services, we may collect further personal information. We may also collect information through Electronic Transfer of Prescriptions (eTP) or MyHealth Record/PCEHR system,
  3. We may also collect your personal information when you visit our website, send us an email or SMS, telephone us, make an online appointment, attend a telehealth or telephone appointment or communicate with us
  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 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. Where we use document automation technologies to prepare referrals, our practice ensures we only share relevant medical information that is appropriate to your referral
  • with other healthcare providers
  • 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 account keeping and billing purposes, including debt recovery
  • 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)
  • when complying with the requirements of the National Childhood Immunization Register
  • during the course of providing medical services, through Electronic Transfer of Prescriptions (eTP), MyHealth Record/PCEHR system (eg via Shared Health Summary, Event Summary).

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 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 on occasion provide you with tailored health information that will be sent to you by either email text or telephone or post. You may opt-out of these communications at any time by notifying our practice in writing.

How do we store and protect your personal information?

Your personal information may be stored at our practice in various forms. This may be in the form of your electronic patient record, paper records, pathology results, imaging results (such as X-rays for CTs) or finally, audio recordings.

Our practice stores all personal information securely. All paper files are securely locked and the data within the practice management system which is password protected. All the information is backed up daily to either a server at each location or to a ‘cloud’ server based in NSW, Australia at secure location. Backups are routinely tested to ensure daily duplication processes are valid and retrievable. At no stage will any information be used for the purpose of direct marketing.

All Ochre Health employees are require to read and sign a confidentiality agreement. All staff are aware that a breach of patient confidentiality is considered a dismissible offence.

How can you access and correct your personal information at our practice?

You have the right to access and correct your personal information.

Our practice acknowledges patients may request access to their medical records. We require you to put this request in writing and make this attention the Practice Manager and our practice will respond to your request within 30 days. You will not be charged for making a request however if results are required to be printed or photocopied, an administration fee will be charged. This fee is in line with the AMA rates and is charged at $33 for 30 pages then $1 for each page after. This fee is payable before medical records can be released.

Our practice will takes 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 to the Practice Manager of your local Ochre Medical Centre (please see ‘Practices’ tab for location addresses).

Where you dispute the accuracy of the information Ochre Health has recorded, you are entitled to submit a written request the Doctor to correct that information. Please be advised that the request and a note will be placed on your file but Ochre Health will not erase the original record. You will be notified once this correction has been made.

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. Please send all requests to ‘The Practice Manager’ at your local Ochre Medical Centre or [email protected] with your Practice location in the subject line.

All received letters will be acknowledged and a response will be sent to you within 30 days.

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 policy will be reviewed by Ochre Health Management on a regular basis to ensure that it continues to adhere to the Australian Privacy Principles. Should an update of this policy be required, an updated version will be published on the Ochre Health website as well as updated on display at the Ochre Medical Centre which you attend. Medical Centre staff will place a notice up to advise patients of the update to policy.