– Updated September, 2019

Introduction

This privacy policy is to provide information to you, our patient and client, on how your personal information (which includes your health information) is collected and used within our practice and our service, and the circumstances in which we may share it with third parties.

The Central Coast Community Women’s Health Centre is committed to providing you with the best possible patient and client service experience. We are committed to protecting the privacy of our patient and client information and are bound by the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) which set out basic standards for privacy protection of individuals.

Why and when your consent is necessary

When you register as a patient of our GP Service you provide consent for our GPs and practice staff to access and use your personal information so we 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.

If you are a client registering to use our counselling and group session services or our childcare services, you provide consent for our staff that need to see your personal information (other than medical and GP records) that is relevant to the services to have access to it.

Why do we collect, use, hold and share your personal information?

Our GP Service 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 such as staff training.

What personal information do we collect for our GP service?

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
  • Information that helps us understand your health care needs
  • Medicare number (where available) for identification and claiming purposes
  • Healthcare identifiers
  • Private health fund details.
  • De identified health and demographic statistical information for reporting and research purposes

What personal information do we collect for our non GP services?

  • Names, date of birth, addresses, contact details
  • Information relating to the service you are using
  • Information that helps us understand your health care needs
  • De identified health and demographic statistical information for reporting and research purposes

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?

We collect your personal information in several different ways.

  1. When you make your first appointment our staff will collect your personal and demographic information via your registration.
  2. During the course of providing medical and other services, we may collect further personal information.
    This information can be collected through payment systems, electronic transfer of prescriptions, My Health Record via Shared Health Summary, event summary, electronic transfer of health testing and screening services such as pathology, radiology and specialist referrals through secure electronic health link and courier services. Or through our counselling and childcare services.
  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 or communicate with us using social media.
  4. 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).

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
  • 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 or client’s life, health or safety or public health or safety, or it is impractical to obtain the patient or client’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)
  • for research, effectiveness monitoring and compliance we share de identified information with the NSW Ministry of Health, The Primary Health Network and Women’s Health NSW.

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.

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 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. We mainly store your personal information electronically and for some records we have hard copy or paper based records and x-ray images.

Our practice stores all personal information securely. Electronic records are securely held and managed using encryption for transmission and passwords for access. All other records are secured in locked cabinets.

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 and service acknowledges patients and clients may request access to their medical and service records. We require you to put this request in writing via email or ordinary post and our practice will respond within 30 days.

Our practice and service will take 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 that your personal information held by our practice and service is correct and current. You may also request that we correct or update your information, and you should make such requests in person or writing to our centre.  We will need to verify any changes to your identification information.

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 and we will then attempt to resolve it in accordance with our resolution procedure.

If you have a concern relating to the privacy of your information via our service, we require you to notify us as soon as possible either in person at one of our centres or in writing via letter to PO Box 2010, Gosford  NSW 2250 or via email to [email protected] or [email protected]

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.

Privacy and our website and social media

If you use our website www.cccwhc.com.au please refer to our privacy statement https://cccwhc.com.au/privacy-policy/

If you participate in social media and access our social media pages on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, please refer to our usage policies and your own privacy settings on these platforms.

Policy review statement

Our policy will be updated when there are changes to legislation or our policy scope and purpose.  If we make changes we will publish an updated statement on our website and social media channels and, make available our updated statement at our centres.  You can request a copy of our privacy statement at any time by calling us 02 4324 2533 or emailing us at [email protected] or [email protected].