This practice is committed to maintaining the confidentiality of your personal health information. Your medical record is a confidential document. It is the policy of this practice to maintain security of personal health information at all times and to ensure that this information is only available to authorized members of staff and healthcare providers.
What information is collected?
We collect personal information regarding your demographic, social and physical details. This information usually includes, but is not limited to, your full name, address, cultural background, DOB, occupation and next of kin.
We also collect information related to your health care needs. This information may include referral letters from your General Practitioner, reports from other specialist health providers, pathology and radiology reports and all other correspondence that is addressed to your doctor and arrives via mail, fax or via secure electronic messaging.
Your doctor also keeps a medical file which they create over time. The doctor updates file with your medical history, past illnesses and diagnosis, past treatment plans and their outcomes.
Personal details such as Medicare number and Health fund details are collected for administrative and billing purposes in compliance with Health Insurance Commission and Medicare standards.
This practice is bound by the Federal Privacy Act (1988) and the Australian Privacy Principles (2014).
Why information is collected
Your information is collected to enable our doctors and staff to co-ordinate and manage your health care.
Use of your information for professional development
De-identified data may be used to assist in clinical research.
Data is also provided to the National Joint Registry for patients undergoing joint replacement surgery.
How we store your information
South Coast Orthopaedic Clinic holds all personal information securely, whether in electronic format, or in hard copy format.
All patient files are de-identified and stored according to a file number. Each patient has a unique medical record file number.
We also store your medical file in electronic format and have computer system safeguards, including password protection, in place.
Unless specifically requested by the patient information is not transmitted via non-secure methods such as email.
In some instances we will scan patient records onto a secure database. In this instance any hard copies are sent to a security contractor for shredding and secure disposal.
Who has access to your information?
Doctors and administrative workers involved in your care at South Coast Orthopaedic Clinic have access to your medical records.
If requested, administration staff can access information from your health record for purposes such as contact details, following up recalls and for accounting purposes.
Under no circumstances are employees of this practice to discuss or in any way reveal patient conditions or documentation to unauthorized staff, other patients, family or friends. This includes patient’s accounts, referral letters, results or any other clinical documentation.
Limited details, such as type of procedure, will be shared with your health fund and/or Medicare for billing purposes.
Retaining your Health Records
Patient records must be kept until the patient is 25 years of age, if a child, or a minimum of 7 years following the last record of the patient attending this practice.
Providing Medical Information to another Practice
A letter will be sent to your referring doctor regarding your medical treatment. A copy can also be sent to your General Practitioner at your request if they are not your referring doctor.
Providing Medical Information to a Third Party
South Coast Orthopaedic Clinic will only apply the patient’s consent for the primary purpose for which it was provided. Staff must seek additional written consent from the patient if the information collected is to be used for any other purpose.
South Coast Orthopaedic Clinic will not disclose personal information to any third party, other than in the course of providing medical services, without written authority from the patient.
The only exceptions to disclose without patient consent are where the information is:
Gaining access to your own health information on request
South Coast Orthopaedic Clinic allows access to records in accordance to the Australian Privacy Principles (APP12)
Upon request South Coast Orthopaedic Clinic allows individuals to access health information held about them, and allows individuals to correct that information if they believe it is not accurate, complete or up-to-date. The right to access information only permits individuals to seek access to their own records.
Request for access
South Coast Orthopaedic Clinic requests that all requests for records be placed in writing to your doctor outlining in detail the files requested.
Fees for access
An administrative fee will be charged which includes an administrative fee and a rate per page for photocopying. This fee is not recompensable through Medicare or your health fund.
For more information
Please contact the Practice Manager at South Coast Orthopaedic Clinic on 4480 6595, or alternatively contact the Office of Australian Information Commission.
GPO Box 1218
Sydney NSW 2001
Ph 1300 363 992