Policies and Disclaimers

1. Privacy Policy

 

Preamble
The Federal Privacy Act incorporates 10 National Privacy Principles (NPPs) and Privacy NSW 15 Health Privacy Principles (HRIP Act) that set out the rules for the handling of personal information in the private health sector. In the interests of providing quality health care this practice has implemented this privacy policy that complies with the Privacy Act and the NPPs (2000) and the Health Records and Information Privacy Act HRIP Act (2002).
Full details of the NPPs and HRIP Act are available on request.
Any enquires regarding this Policy should, in the first instance, be directed to the Practice Management.
The ways in which this practice complies with the legislation, the NPPs and the HRIP Act are set out below:


Collection
It is necessary for us to collect personal information from patients and sometimes others associated with their health care in order to attend to their health needs and for associated administrative purposes.

Use and Disclosure
A Patient’s personal health information is used or disclose for purposes directly related to their health care and in ways that are consistent with a patient’s expectations. In the interests of the highest quality and continuity of health care this may include sharing information with other health care providers who comprise a patient’s health care team from time to time.
In addition there are circumstances when information has to be disclosed without patient consent, such as:
•    Emergency situations
•    By law, eg mandatory reporting of some communicable diseases
•    It may be necessary to disclose information about a patient to fulfill a medical indemnity insurance obligation
•    Provision of information to Medicare of private health funds if relevant for billing and medical rebate purposes
There are some necessary purposes of collection for which information will be used beyond providing health care, such as professional accreditation, quality assessments, clinical auditing, billing,  service monitoring activities, improving the administration of the practice and disclosure to a clinical supervisor.
In general, a patient’s health information will not be used for any other purposes without their consent.

Data Quality
All patient information held by this practice relevant to the functions of providing health care will be maintained in a form that is accurate, complete and up to date.

Data Security
The storage, use, and where necessary, transfer of personal health information will be undertaken in a secure manner that protects patient privacy. It is necessary for the practice to keep patient information after a patient’s last attendance for as long as is required by law (7 years or until a minor turns 25 years) or is prudent having regard to administrative requirements.

Openness
This practice has made this and other material available to patients to inform them of our policies on the management of personal information. On request this practice will, generally, let patients know what sort of personal information we hold, and for what purposes, and how we collect, hold, use and disclose that information.

Access and Correction
Patients may request access to their personal health information held by this practice.
All requests for access to personal health information will be referred to the nominated practice Privacy Officer.
The practice encourages patients to ensure that information held is accurate and up to date and to amend any information that is inaccurate.
There are some circumstances in which access will be restricted or denied and the reason for this will be explained.
A charge may be payable where the practice incurs a cost in providing access. This is for administrative costs such as photocopying, etc.
This practice acknowledges that right of children and young people to privacy of their health information. Based on the professional judgement of the doctor and consistent with the law, it might be necessary at times to restrict access to personal health information by parents or guardians.

Identifiers
These are numbers or symbols that are used to identify patients with or without using a name e.g. Medicare or DVA numbers. The practice will limit the use of identifiers assigned by other agencies to those uses necessary to fulfil our obligations to those agencies e.g. Medicare claims.

Anonymity
A patient has the right to be dealt with anonymously, provided that this is lawful and practicable. However in the health context this is unlikely to be practicable and may in some circumstances be dangerous to the person’s health. All requests of this nature will be referred to the nominated practice Privacy Officer.

Trans-border data flows
The individual’s privacy is protected by Federal privacy legislation and State privacy legislation. If patient information is sent by the practice outside of New South Whales, we will take all steps to protect patient privacy.

Sensitive information
Health information is sensitive information for the purposes of the privacy legislation. This means that generally patients’ consent will be sought to collect the information that is needed to make an accurate medical diagnosis, prescribe appropriate treatment and to be proactive in patient health care.

Complaints
The best way to deal effectively with concerns and complaints is to communicate openly and respectfully. This often reduces the likelihood of the problem escalating and becoming more difficult to deal with. The practice Privacy Officer or the treating doctor can allay concerns and complaints at local level. If you are dissatisfied with any aspect of our Privacy Policy, and satisfaction is not gained with consultation with our Practice, you may complain to the Federal Privacy Commissioner who can be contacted at:


Level 8 Piccadilly Tower
133 Castlereagh St
Sydney, NSW 2000

GPO Box 5218
Sydney NSW 2000
Privacy Hotline: 1300 363 992
Websites: www.privacy.gov.au
www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/privacynsw

2. Medical Information and Advice Disclaimer

It is not the intention of Parkes Street General Practice to provide specific medical advice but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health and their diagnosed disorders.
Specific medical advice will not be provided, and we urges you to consult with a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your personal questions.
Parkes Street General Practice does not accept any liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred by use of or reliance on the information provided on this website.
We have exercised due care in ensuring the accuracy of the material contained on this website.
Nothing contained in this site is intended to be used as medical advice and it is not intended to be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes or as a substitute for your own health professional's advice.

3. Social Media Policy
All posts on the practice’s social media websites must be approved by the social media officer.

When using the practice’s social media, all members of our practice team will not:
•    Post any material that:


o    Is unlawful, threatening, defamatory, pornographic, inflammatory, menacing, or offensive
o    Infringes or breaches another person’s rights (including intellectual property rights) or privacy, or misuses the practice’s or another person’s confidential information (e.g. do not submit confidential information relating to our patients, personal information of staff, or information concerning the practice’s business operations that have not been made public)
o    Is materially damaging or could be materially damaging to the practice’s reputation or image, or another individual
o    Is in breach of any of the practice’s policies or procedures


•    Impersonate another person or entity (for example, by pretending to be someone else or another practice employee or other participant when you submit a contribution to social media) or by using another’s registration identifier without permission

Our practice complies with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) national law, and takes reasonable steps to remove testimonials that advertise our services (which may include comments about the practitioners themselves). Our practice is not responsible for removing (or trying to have removed) unsolicited testimonials published on a website or in social media over which we do not have control.


 

4. Email Policy (also see Communication policy)
Our practice does not encourage correspondence by email.
If emails are received, communication with patients via electronic means is conducted with
appropriate regard to privacy.
Our practice is mindful that even if patients have provided electronic contact details, they may
not be proficient in communicating via electronic means and patient consent needs to be
obtained before engaging in electronic communication.