YOUR PERSONAL HEALTH INFORMATION
To give you the care you need, we keep information about your visits to surgery staff involved in your care or treatment. These could be visits to a GP or practice nurse, or a visit by a health visitor. We keep information about your health and lifestyle and any illnesses, tests, prescriptions and other treatments that you have had. When this information contains things that can identify you, such as your name, address, post code or date of birth, it's called your personal health information. Your personal health information is stored securely on computer.
We sometimes share your personal health information with other organizations involved in your healthcare. We only share relevant information. For example, when your GP refers you to a specialist at the hospital we send relevant details about you in the referral letter and receive information back from them about you. We sometimes share information including your name, address and date of birth so that you can be invited for health screening.
We also need to use your personal health information for administrative tasks, but we only use relevant information. So that we can be paid for services we give you, we share information about you with relevant Medicare & Department of Health organizations. These organizations help to check that public money is being spent properly. The surgery must allow these checks to be done and we need to share your information to be able to give you healthcare services.
Sometimes, we might use information about you and other patients' to help improve our services or to check that they are up to standard. Whenever we do this we will make sure that as far as possible we don't share any information that could identify you.
The surgery is sometimes involved in health research and in teaching student nurses, doctors and other staff. We will not use or share your personal health information for research or teaching unless you have given your permission.
Where you need a service that we give jointly with your local authority, we will ask your permission before giving them your information.
Sometimes the law requires us to pass on information to other organisations. For example, we have to report all births, deaths and certain diseases or crimes.
The law sets out how we can use your personal health information. The Data Protection Act gives you rights about how your personal information is used, including a right to see the information we hold about you.
All Department of Health staff have a legal duty to keep information about you confidential and they follow a staff Code of Practice on Protecting Patient Confidentiality. If you have any questions about how we use your personal health information, or would like to see your health records please contact our Practice Manager. If you have any queries about issues in relation to Data Protection or Confidentiality, please ask to speak to the Practice Manager.
PLEASE NOTE: We have a room available if you need to speak privately to a receptionist. Please make your request at reception
If you would like to know more,please pick up our Privacy Booklet from the front desk.
Upwey Doctors recognises the importance of privacy, confidentiality protection for all our patients and those that visit our website and our Practice.
Our principal concern is and always will be the health of patients who visit our Practice. To ensure our patients can feel confident with giving our Practice information a high level of trust and confidentiality is maintained constantly.
Our already established culture of confidentiality is in line with the Federal Privacy Act 1998 and National Privacy Principles, which in 2001 was amended to include the Private Health Sector throughout Australia. Our Practice obligations have no exceptions to the Privacy Act in regards to the personal information we hold in trust. Thus we can ensure that our patient's privacy will be protected when visiting our website or our Practice.
How we use and disclose information collected
Understanding that the information we collect both on our website and at our Practice is often of a highly sensitive nature, our Practice will always ensure that it is compliant with the highest privacy standards to keep all personal information secure and protected. All information is stored electronically and is password protected on several levels. All employees and contractors that work with and at Upwey Doctors are required to sign and comply with our comprehensive confidentiality agreement.
To ensure our patients are provided the best treatment for medical and/or allied health services the Practice, on behalf of the practitioners and the practitioners themselves may collect personal information (including Health information) to meet this purpose.
The personal information collected will include, but is not limited to:
• Patient's Name
• Telephone Number
• Medicare Number
• Health Care/ Pensioner Card Number
• Current Drugs/Medication or treatment used by patient
• Current and Previous medical history, including where clinically relevant, family medical history
• The Name of any health service provider or medical specialist to which the patient is referred
• Copies of any letter of referrals and any reports relating to the patient
Patient information will be shared within our Practice for administrative and billing purposes, also to enable the patient to be attended by other practitioners who provide medical and allied health services at and from our Practice.
The practice may access information:
• Provided directly by the patient to our Practice
• Provided on patient's behalf with their consent
• From health service providers / medical specialists patients are referred to
• From health service providers who refer a patient to medical / allied health practitioners working within our Practice premise
Collection of personal information by Upwey Doctors may be used or disclosed if required by law, if there is a serious threat to the health or safety of an individual or to public health and safety, for referral of patients to other health service providers or medical specialists, for the purpose of which the patient was advised and to provide the patient with the best health treatment.
The collection and disclosure may also be used for the purposes of billing, liaising with Government departments regarding Medicare, training, to facilitate any improvements on our services and may be at times required by Upwey Doctors insurers.
Health information is kept for a minimum of 7 years for adults from the last occasion in which health service was provided to the patient. If the person is under the age of 18 then records must be kept until the person has attained 25 years of age.
Information is also collected about the medical and allied health practitioners, directly from them or with their agreement, who provide services within our Practice.
This information includes:
• Their Name
• Telephone number
• Qualifications and experience
• Insurance information
Other than what is stated within this policy we will not sell, distribute or disclose any personal information to any third party.
We endeavor to ensure our website is as secure as possible; however, users need to be aware that the World Wide Web is not a secure medium. Upwey Doctors and its associates take no liability for any interference or damage to a user's computer system, software or data occurring in connection with our website. We strongly recommend user's take appropriate measures to ensure their computer is protected against third party interference whilst on the web.
External links to other websites
Recommendations or views purported on these websites are not necessarily reflective of those of Upwey Doctors.
If you wish to discuss this policy, lodge a complaint or access your information
If you wish to complain to us regarding a breach of privacy, access your information held by us, correct any of your information held by us or find out more about how we handle personal information we can be contacted through below:
78-80 Main Street
Ph:(03) 9754 7566
E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The National Privacy Commissioner is able to receive complaints concerning privacy issues. Complaints here will have a response within 28 days.
National Privacy Commissioner
Privacy hotline 1300 363 992.
GPO Box 5218
Sydney NSW 2001
We operate a Zero Tolerance Policy. Any violent or abusive patient will be removed from the Practice Register immediately.
Aggressive behavior is considered to be any personal, abusive and/or aggressive comments, cursing and/or swearing, physical contact and/or aggressive gestures.
The practice will request the removal of any patient from the practice list who is aggressive or abusive towards a doctor, member of staff, other patient, or who damages property.
All instances of actual physical abuse on any doctor or member of staff, by a patient or their relatives will be reported to the police as an assault
PATIENT DIGNITY POLICY
This policy sets out the Practice provision to ensure that patients are afforded privacy and dignity, and are treated respectfully, in all appropriate circumstances where there is the potential for embarrassment or for the patient to feel “ill at ease”.
The requirement to respect patients is the responsibility of all staff, not just those in direct clinical contact with the patient.
Vulnerable patients in this respect may include:
- Homeless / no fixed abode
- Those with specific conditions
- Patients with communication difficulties
- Those patients with gender requirements
- Those known to staff / known by staff
- Family members
Our practice is committed to providing the highest quality of service to the community and is guided by the framework provided by RACGP and by AGPAL, a General Practice accrediting body in Australia.
CONTINUITY OF CARE:
Upwey Doctors is a family medical centre and where possible,we encourage you see your own doctor to ensure there is continuity of care. However,there maybe circumstances when this is not possible and we will arrange for another doctor at the centre to see you. Since we are fully computerised and have the latest softwares in place, it is very easy for another doctor to catch up on what’s going on with your health and manage accordingly.
PRIVACY & CONFIDENTIALITY:
Upwey Doctors are also not liable for the information provided on third party websites. If you have any questions or concerns about the sites, please request to speak to the practice manager. This policy applies to all publicly viewed websites through Upwey Doctors
- The Practice will not stereotype patients based on perceived characteristics
- Patients will be referred to with respect even in private discussions in the surgery
- Patients will be addressed by their preferred method and titles (Mr, Mrs etc) will be used as a first preference by staff
- A sign will be available in reception to offer the facility of a private discussion with a receptionist if required
- Under no circumstances will staff enter through a closed consultation room / treatment room door without first knocking, and waiting for permission to enter (if occupied), or pausing to determine that the room is empty.
- Patients will be allowed free choice of doctor where available, and will be able to wait or delay an appointment to see their choice of clinician. Where clinically urgent patients will be encouraged to see a clinician appropriate for their “best care” however undue pressure is not appropriate
- Consultations will not be interrupted unless there is an emergency, in which case the room will be telephoned as a first step, before knocking at the door and awaiting specific permission from the clinician to enter
- A chaperone will be offered where an examination is to take place.
- Clinical staff will be sensitive to the needs of the individual and will ensure that they are comfortable in complying with any requests with the potential to cause embarrassment
- Patients will be afforded as much time and privacy as is required to recover from the delivery of “bad news”, and the clinical staff will, where possible, anticipate this need and arrange their appointments accordingly • Patients will be able to dress and undress privately, a screen will be provided for that purpose. Patients using this facility will be requested to advise the clinician when they are ready to be seen, and they will be afforded sufficient time to do this bearing in mind infirmity etc.
- Patients will be given adequate opportunity, time and privacy for the provision of samples on the premises without feeling under duress or time limitation • Patients with difficulty in understanding due to language may have a family member or friend available to interpret or assist
- Communication by staff to patients will be individual according to the needs of the individual patient (e.g. those with speech difficulties, hearing, or learning difficulties may need an individual approach)
- Where an intimate examination is considered necessary to be performed on a patient with difficulty in understanding due to language or other issues (e.g. consent or cultural issues) it is recommended that a Chaperone or family member / carer should always be present
- Areas used by patients for dressing / undressing will be secure from interruption or ingress
- Patients who may have difficulty in undressing may be offered the services of a Chaperone to assist • Patients will be requested only to remove a minimum of clothing necessary for the examination
- Consultations in the patient’s home will be sensitive to the location and any other persons who may be present or may overhear
FEEDBACK & COMPLAINTS
If you have any suggestions that you feel would benefit both the Practice and Patients please ask to speak member of Staff.
We make every effort to give the best service possible to everyone who attends our practice.
However, we are aware that things can go wrong resulting in a patient feeling that they have a genuine cause for complaint. If this is so, we would wish for the matter to be settled as quickly, and as amicably, as possible.
To pursue a complaint please contact the practice manager and he or she will deal with your concerns appropriately. Further written information is available on the complaints procedure from reception.
We are continually striving to improve our service. Any helpful suggestions would be much appreciated and a suggestion box is located in the waiting area.
Upwey Doctors takes serving you seriously and we strive to make this a place where you and your families needs are met with satisfaction. From time to time, we may provide you with questionnaires that will enable us to understand where we can improve our services. You can be assured that these are entirely confidential and not disclosed to a third party at any time. Please visit the Forms section to submit your feedback online.
At any point in time, if you are unhappy or dis-satisfied about any aspect of the care you have recieved, please request to see the doctor or a staff member who will assist you in the best possible way. Alternatively, approach the Practice Manager in private who will be more than happy to look into the matter for you. Alternatively, you have the option of contacting Health Services Commission on 8601 5200 or visit them at 30/570 Bourke Street, Melbourne,VIC 3000. We request that you approach us first to try and resolve any issues before you go down this path as we are always here to help you feel at home and listened to.
Health Services Commission Contact Info:
Telephone: (03) 8601 5200 or
Toll Free: 1800 136 066
ABOUT THE HEALTH SERVICES COMMISSION
The Health Services Commissioner:
- Provides a free and confidential service
- Helps people make their concerns known to health services providers.
- Protects your right of access to your health information.
- Conciliates formally or informally, between consumers and providers of services.
- Assists in the resolution of complaints.
- Uses information obtained and lessons learned to recommend improvements to services.