- why we collect your information
- what information we get from you
- how we protect your information
- who we may provide your information to
- how you can access your information from us.
South Road Dermatology is committed to best practice in relation to the management of the information we collect. South Road Dermatology respects your rights to privacy and takes our privacy obligations seriously. We comply with the Australian Privacy Principles, found under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) ‘Privacy Act’ and the Victorian Health Privacy Principles (HPPs) forming part of the Health Records Act 2001 (Vic).
This document explains how we protect and use your personal information, including:
Why is information collected?
Collecting information from you, such as your medical history, helps us provide you with the best medical care. It allows us to communicate with you, comply with our legal obligations, which may include mandatory notification of communicable diseases, and to help us manage our accounts and administrative services.
Whenever practicable, we will only collect information from you personally. However, we may also need to collect information from other sources, such as your GP or other doctors, radiologists, pathologists, hospitals and other health care providers, or from a person responsible for you, where the Privacy Act or other law allows it. This information may be collected by medical or non-medical staff.
What information is collected about me?
The information we receive from you is kept in your medical record. It includes:
- your name, date of birth and medicare card number
- your contact details (address and telephone number)
- the name and contact number of an emergency contact
- the name and address of your GP
- your medical conditions
- clinical photographs
- any test, treatment and medical advice given to you.
It is important the information we get from you is correct and complete. You can also help by telling us if your details have changed.
How do you protect my information?
We keep your information in an electronic medical record. These records are always stored securely. We will take steps to protect the security of your information and comply with our legal obligations. Our staff are trained and required to respect your privacy. We will take steps to protect information held from misuse and loss and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.
What happens if you choose to withhold your personal information?
You are not obliged to give us your personal information. However, if you choose not to provide the practice with the personal details requested, it may limit our ability to provide you with appropriate medical care. We encourage you to discuss your concerns with our reception staff prior to your consultation or with your doctor. In certain circumstances, we may not be able to provide care to you at all if you do not provide us with information we request.
What about use of personal information for marketing?
Australian privacy law limits the use of personal information for direct marketing of goods and services. We will not use your personal information for marketing.
Who will you provide my information to?
We may need to give information about you to other people involved in your care. We will give you a choice about how we can use your information and get your consent before giving it to others.
If you do not want us to give out information about you, please let us know. However, be mindful that this can stop us providing you with appropriate care now or in the future.
Your referring doctor will receive correspondence after your appointment to inform them of the outcome of your attendance, as well as any procedures performed or investigations requested, and their results.
Any other healthcare professionals directly involved in your treatment may also receive correspondence, if this is important in your care.
Where your medical records are required in the case of a medical emergency, we will provide these to the relevant medical professionals without waiting for your consent if we believe this is in your interests. Your personal information may also be provided to third parties if we are legally obliged to do so, for example by a court subpoena, statutory authority, search warrant, coronial summons or to defend a legal action.
Overseas transfer of data
Your personal information will not be transferred or disclosed to any overseas entities or persons. Should we wish to transfer your personal information overseas, we will ask for your consent before we do so.
Data storage and security
Personal information that we hold is protected by securing our premises, and by placing passwords and various access levels on databases to protect electronic information from unauthorised interference, access, modification or disclosure.
Any hard copy records will be stored in secure filing cabinets or rooms that are accessible only to practice staff.
South Road Dermatology has CCTV systems operating at our premises for the purposes of maintaining safety and security for our patients, visitors and staff. These are used in accordance with the Privacy Act.
We aim to ensure the information we hold about you is accurate, complete, up to date and relevant. To this end, our staff may ask you to confirm that your personal details are correct when you attend a consultation. It is your obligation to let us know if any of the information we hold about you is incorrect or not up to date.
How can I access my information?
Under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic), you can ask for a copy of the information we have in your medical record. You can also ask us to correct any information you think is incorrect. These are called FOI requests.
FOI requests are made in writing. It can take us 28 days to reply to your FOI request and we can charge you a fee for the retrieval and copying of your medical record, charged in accordance with the schedule of fees specified in the Health Records Regulations 2012 (Vic), plus GST. This fee is not redeemable through Medicare.
In some cases, we can refuse your FOI request. If this happens, we will tell you why. We will also tell you what to do if you think our decision is wrong.
Questions or complaints
If you have a complaint regarding the way your personal information has been handled by our practice, please put it in writing and address it to the Practice Manager, South Road Dermatology, 178 South Road, Brighton East VIC 3187.
We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 14 days, and endeavour to provide a full response within 30 days of receipt. Should you be dissatisfied with our response, you may lodge your written complaint with the Victorian Privacy Commissioner at https://www.privacy.vic.gov.au and/or the Victorian Health Services Commissioner at http://www.health.vic.gov.au.
Updates to this Policy
This Policy will be reviewed from time to time to reflect new laws and technology, changes to our operations and other relevant developments.