We offer a range of different appointment times to suite you including telehealth and telephone consultation amidst COVID-19. Appointments may be made in advance, or on the same day, by phone or in person or via our website/hotdoc. For walk-in appointments made on the day, reception staff will notify you of your approximate appointment time and how many patients are waiting ahead of your scheduled time. Please try to make a booking in advance to ensure your waiting time is kept short. We can arrange longer appointments as needed. Please advise the reception team if this is required. We provide online bookings through Hotdoc. Please go to the “Book Online” tab or download the Hotdoc app and follow the prompts. Appointments will be confirmed via SMS through hotdoc with a valid mobile number. If you require an interpreter please advise reception staff on booking.
You will be advised of your results by your doctor by follow up appointment. The doctor will make this arrangement with you at the time of consultation or will ask reception to call you for a follow up appointment if it was not arranged prior. It is not possible for reception staff to give test results over the phone. Results will only be discussed between you and your doctor during a consultation.
TELEPHONE CALLS – All doctors are available to take calls, where appropriate. A message may be taken as we try to minimise interruptions during patient consultations. In an emergency you will be put through to a doctor or nurse.
SMS – The practice confirms appointments by SMS the working day prior to your appointment for patients with a valid mobile number. SMS will also be used to send routine reminders.
EMAILS – Emails can be received We are not encrypted to send or receive other information via email without patient consent.
(Last Updated December 2019)
Why and when your consent is necessary
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 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.
Why do we collect, use, hold and share your personal information?
Our practice 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 (eg staff training).
What personal information do we collect?
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.
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?
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. During the course of providing medical services, we may collect further personal information.
Information can also be collected through electronic transfer of prescriptions (eTP), My Health Record, eg via Shared Health Summary, Event Summary.
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.
3. 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 (eg court subpoenas)
· 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
· 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 (eg some diseases require mandatory notification)
· during the course of providing medical services, through eTP, My Health Record (eg via Shared Health Summary, Event Summary).
· 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.
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 may provide de-identified data to other organisations to improve population health outcomes. The information is secure, patients cannot be identified and the information is stored within Australia. You can let our reception staff know if you do not want your information included.
How do we store and protect your personal information?
Your personal information may be stored at our practice in various forms.
eg as paper records, electronic records, visual records (X-rays, CT scans, videos and photos), audio recordings.
Our practice stores all personal information securely via electronic format, in protected information systems or in hard copy format in a secured environment. We use of passwords, secure cabinets, confidentiality agreements for staff and contractors.
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 acknowledges patients may request access to their medical records. We require you to put this request in writing through our request forms (there is a part from your nominated GP and yourself to sign) and our practice will respond within a reasonable time eg 14 days. A health summary can be provided for free. An upload to my health record can also be bulk-billed. There may be charges for printing costs and postage. Please contact the Practice Manager for further information.
Our practice 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 is correct and current. You may also request that we correct or update your information, and you should make such requests in writing to email@example.com.
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 in writing. We will then attempt to resolve it in accordance with our resolution procedure. Please email the practice manager (firstname.lastname@example.org) and a response will be given within 30 days after a complaints procedure has commenced.
You may also contact the 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. If you wish to discuss the matter outside of the surgery, there are several options available including The Medical Registration Board, AMA or Health Care Complaints Commission at Locked Bag 18 Strawberry Hills 2012 Phone 02 9219 7444. Free call No. 1800 043 159.
Privacy and our website
Any personal information that occurs through the website or social media and the use of website analytics, cookies, etc remains confidential and is not passed on to third parties.
For those that use hotdocs, their privacy statement is located here: https://www.hotdoc.com.au/practices/privacy-policy/
Policy review statement