Privacy and Confidentiality
Central Medical Group regards confidentiality and privacy as a critical, underpinning principle of its business and relationships with all stakeholders. We comply with federal and state privacy regulations including the Privacy Act 1988 and Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012.
All staff, contractors and students, sign a confidentiality agreement as part of their employment contract and are aware of confidentiality requirements for all patient encounters.
Privacy of Personal Health Information
Any data and information collected is held, used and disclosed in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988.
The information we collect about a patient can include medical details, family information, name, address, employment and other demographic data, past medical and social history, current health issues and future medical care, Medicare number, accounts details, and any health information such as a medical or personal opinion about a person’s health, disability or health status.
Personal health information also includes the formal health record (written or electronic) and information held or recorded on any other medium (e.g.electronic or verbal).
For each patient we have an individual patient health record containing all clinical information held by our practice relating to that patient. Our practice ensures the protection of all information contained within these files.
Patient consent to the handling and sharing of personal patient health information is sought and documented early in the process of clinical care, and patients are made aware of the collection statement when giving consent to share health information.
Third Party Requests for Patient Information
Requests for third party access to personal patient health information are initiated through receipt of correspondence from a solicitor or government agency or by the patient completing a Request for Personal Health Information form.
Where our practice holds reports or other health information from another organisation, such as a medical specialist, we are required to provide access to this information in the same manner as for the records we create. We are also required to provide access to records which have been transferred to us from another health service provider.
We only transfer or release patient information to a third party once the consent to share information has been signed and, in specific cases, informed consent has been sought from the patient.
Request for Access and Transfer of Patient Information
Patients of this practice have the right to access their personal (and health) information under legislation. The Privacy Act 1988 and Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) govern health service providers’ and other organisations’ obligations to give patients access to their personal health information on request, subject to certain exceptions and the payment of fees (if any).
This practice complies with the Privacy Act 1988 and APPs adopted therein. These regulations give patients the right to know what information a private sector organisation holds about them, the right to access this information, and to also make corrections if they consider any data is incorrect.