Patient Consent and Privacy
This practice is bound by Privacy Legislation. The Legislation requires medical practitioners to obtain consent from their patients to collect, use and disclose that patient’s personal information.
This means we will collect information about each patient that is necessary to properly advise and treat that patient. Such necessary information may include:
- • Full medical history
- • Family medical history
- • Ethnicity
- • Contact details
- • Medicare and Centrelink details
- • Genetic information
- • Billing and account details
This information will normally be collected directly from patients. There may be occasions when we will need to obtain information from other sources, for example:
- • Other medical practitioners, such as former GPs and specialists
- • Other health care providers, such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, pharmacists, dentists, nurses, nurse practitioner, and
- • Hospitals and Day Surgery Centres
Both our practice staff and the medical practitioners may participate in the collection of this information and have access to the information in order to carry out their duties. In emergency situations we may need to collect personal information from relatives or other sources where we are unable to obtain the patient’s prior express consent. All practice staff are aware that a breach of patient confidentiality is considered an admissible offence.
Currently, medical records are kept indefinitely in Best Practice which is approved to store medical notes.
Use & Disclosure
With the patient’s consent, the practice staff will use and disclose the patient’s information for purposes such as:
- • Account keeping and billing purposes, including debt collection services.
- • Referral to another medical practitioner or health care provider.
- • Referral to a hospital for treatment and/or advice.
- • Advice on treatment options.
- • Management purposes of our practice.
- • Quality assurance, practice accreditation and complaint handling.
- • Meeting obligations of notification to our medical defence organisations or insurers.
- • To prevent or lessen a serious threat to an individual’s life, health or safety.
Patients are entitled to access their own health records at any time convenient to both themselves and the practice.
Access can be denied where:
- • To provide access would create a serious threat to life or health.
- • There is a legal impediment to access.
- • The access would unreasonably impact on the privacy of another.
- • The patient’s request is frivolous.
- • The information relates to anticipated or actual legal proceedings, and you would not be entitled to access the information in those proceedings.
- • In the interests of national security.
We ask that, where possible, the patient’s request be in writing addressed to the health professional concerned, at the practice. We may impose a charge for photocopying or for staff time involved in processing the patient’s request. Where you dispute the accuracy of the information we have recorded, you are entitled to correct that information. It is our practice policy that we will take steps to record all of the patient’s corrections, and place them on the patient’s file, but will not erase the original record.
Patients are required to electronically sign the Patient Consent and Declaration section on our new patient form to permit the activities nominated above. If a patient feels unable to sign the consent, the medical practitioner is available to discuss the matter. If a patient feels unable to allow the normal collection and recording of medical records as required by the standards of good medical practice and the requirements of Medicare, and to give consent as required by the Privacy Legislation, it may not be possible to treat that patient in this practice.
In this case, every effort will be made to find an alternative source of care including public hospital outpatient facilities.
Patient Consent to Collect & Disclose Information
The Privacy Legislations require medical and other health practitioners to obtain consent from their patients to collect, use and disclose that patient’s personal information.
Both practice staff and medical practitioners may participate in the collection of this information. In an emergency situation, we may need to collect personal information from relatives or other sources where we are unable to obtain your prior express consent.
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