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Sage Medical West Footscray Privacy Policy

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 people who need to access your information will be able to do so. Other than while providing medical services, or as otherwise described in this policy, our practice will not share personal information with any third party without your consent. 

Our practice will need to collect your personal information to create a personal health record and 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.

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.  
  • Medicare number (where available) for identification and claiming purposes. 
  • Healthcare identifiers  
  • Health fund details.

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 authorized by law to only deal with identified individuals.  

Our practice may collect your personal information in several different ways. 

  1. When you make your first appointment our practice staff will collect your personal and demographic information via your registration. 
  2. While providing medical services, we may collect further personal information. e.g., through electronic prescriptions and My Health Record.
  3. We may also collect your personal information when you send us an email, telephone us or make an online appointment.
  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). 

We sometimes share your personal information: 

  1. 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 the Australian Privacy Principles (APP) and this policy.
  2. With other healthcare providers as part of patient care e.g., referral to specialist or admission to hospital. 
  3. When it is required or authorised by law (e.g., court subpoenas) or to assist in locating a missing person.
  4. 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.
  5. To establish, exercise or defend an equitable claim.
  1. For the purpose of confidential dispute resolution process 
  2. When there is a statutory requirement to share certain personal information (e.g., some diseases require mandatory notification)
  3. While providing medical services, through electronic prescriptions and My Health Record.

In the above cases, only information necessary to meet the requirements will be provided. Via our digital health record system, we can extract only the relevant data so that only the required medical information is included e.g., in referral letters to specialists. Our practice may use your personal information to improve the quality of the services we offer to our patients through research and analysis of our patient data.  We will not share your personal information with anyone outside Australia (unless under exceptional circumstances that are permitted by law) without your consent. All correspondence with those mentioned above will be done using secure methods so as to protect all information.

Your personal information may be stored at our practice as paper records, electronic records, audio, x-rays, CT scans and photos. Our practice stores all personal information securely and has strict protocols and policies to ensure your personal information is protected from misuse, loss, interferences, or unauthorized access. Electronic format is encrypted, and password protected. All of our staff and contractors must sign confidentiality agreements prior to commencing work with and for our practice. 

You have the right to request access to, and correction of, your personal information. Our practice acknowledges patients may request access to their medical records. We require you to put this request in writing. The request must include a signed authorization for Sage Medical West Footscray to provide the information and should outline the scope of the information requested. You may be charged administration, photocopying, or other fees to reasonably cover our costs of fulfilling your request. Sage Medical West Footscray has up to 45 days to provide the patient with the requested information, but we will endeavour to do so as quickly as possible.

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. If you have any concerns about your privacy or wish to make a complaint about a privacy breach, contact Matthew Cox on telephone (03) 8606 3206 or email him at admin@sagemedical.au . Please provide him with sufficient details regarding your complaint together with any supporting information.  Sage Medical West Footscray will take steps to investigate the issue and will notify you in writing of the outcome within 45 days from the receipt date of original written complaint. If you are not satisfied with our response, you can contact us directly to discuss your further concerns or lodge a complaint with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner. For further information visit www.oaic.gov.au or call the OAIC on 1300 363 992.

This privacy policy will be reviewed annually to ensure it is in accordance with any changes that may occur. When amendments are made, our new privacy policy will be available both in the clinic and upon request.