Australian Privacy Principles (APP) Policy
Part A – Purpose and Context
- Physio Place is committed to ensuring the privacy and confidentiality of all personal information affiliated with Physio Place’s business undertakings.
- Physio Place follows the terms and conditions of privacy and confidentiality in accordance to the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) as per schedule 1 of the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012 (Cth), forming part of the Privacy Act 1988 (‘the Act’).
- The point of contact regarding any queries regarding this policy is Kaye Lewis, Practice Manager: 07 5523 9994, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Part B – Australian Privacy Principles
- As a private sector health service provider and under permitted health situations, Physio Place is required to comply with the APPs as prescribed under the Act.
- The APPs regulate how Physio Place may collect, use, disclose and store personal information and how individuals, including Physio Place’s patients may:
- address breaches of the APPs by Physio Place;
- access their own personal information; and,
- correct their own personal information.
- In order to provide patients with adequate health care services, Physio Place will need to collect and use personal information. It is important to be aware that if the patient provides incomplete or inaccurate information or the patient withholds personal health information Physio Place may not be able to provide the patient with the services they are requesting.
- “personal information” as defined by the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth). Meaning
“information or an opinion including information or an opinion forming part of a database, whether true or not, and whether recorded in a material format or not, about an individual whose identity is apparent, or can reasonably be ascertained, from the information or opinion”; and,
- “health information” as defined by the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth). This is a particular subset of “personal information” and means:
- Information or opinion about the health or disability (at any time i.e. past, present or future) of an individual that can be classified as personal information;
- Information or opinion about an individual’s expressed wishes about the future provision of health services that can be classified as personal information;
- Information or opinion about health service provided, or to be provided, to an individual, that can be classified as personal information;
- Other personal information collected to provide, or in providing, a health service.
- Personal information also includes ‘sensitive information’ which is information including, but not limited to a patient’s:
- political opinions;
- sexual preferences; and or,
- health information.
- Information deemed ‘sensitive information’ attracts a higher privacy standard under the Act and is subject to additional mechanisms for the patient’s protection.
Part C – Types of personal information
- Physio Place collects information from each individual patient that is necessary to provide the patient with adequate health care services.
- This may contain collecting information about a patient’s health history, family history, ethnic background or current lifestyle to assist the health care team in diagnosing and treating a patient’s condition.
Part D – Collection & Retention
- This information will in most circumstances be collected directly from the patient through but not limited to the following mediums:
- Patient consent form;
- medical treatment form; and or,
- face to face consultation.
- In other instances, Physio Place may need to collect personal information about a patient from a third party source. This may involve:
- Emergency contact; or,
- other health service providers.
- This will only be conducted if the patient has provided consent Physio Place to collect his/her information from a third party source; or, where it is not reasonable or practical for Physio Place to collect this information directly from the patient. This may cover when:
- the patient’s health is potentially at risk and his/her personal information is needed to provide them with emergency medical treatment.
- Physio Place stores and retains a patient’s personal & health information electronically onto a secure domestic server.
Part E – Purpose of collection, Use & Disclosure
- Physio Place only uses a patient’s personal information for the purpose(s) they have provided the information for unless one of the following applies:
- the patient has consented for Physio Place to use his/her information for an alternative or additional purpose;
- the disclosure of the patient’s information by Physio Place is reasonably necessary for the enforcement of criminal law or a law imposing a penalty or sanction;
- the disclosure of the patient’s information by Physio Place will prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to somebody’s life or health; or,
- Physio Place is required or authorised by law to disclose the patient’s information for another purpose
Health Professionals to provide treatment
- During the patient’s treatment at Physio Place he/she may be referred to alternative medical treatment/services (i.e. pathology or radiology) where Physio Place’s staff may consult with senior medical experts when determining a patient’s diagnosis or treatment.
- Physio Place’s staff may also refer the patient to other health service providers for further treatment during and following the patient’s admission. These services contain, but are not limited to:
- Allied Health professionals; or,
- Outpatient or community health services.
- These health professionals will be designated health service providers appointed to use the patient’s health information as part of the process of providing treatment. Please note that this process will be conducted whilst maintaining the confidentiality and privacy of the patient’s personal information.
Alternative Health services
- At any point a patient wishes to be treated by an alternative medical practitioner or health care service that requires access to his/her personal/health information Physio Place requires written authorisation. This written authorisation is to state that the patient will be utilizing alternative health services and that these health services have consented for a transfer of personal/health information.
Other Third Parties
- Physio Place may provide the patient’s personal information regarding a patient’s treatment or condition to additional third parties. These third parties may involve:
- Legislative Requirements such as Subpoena, Court Order or Summons;
- WorkCover, Insurance Groups or law firms;
- A medical practice when patient care is being transferred.
- Where information is relevant or reasonable to be provided to third parties, written consent from the patient is required. Additionally, the patient may at any time wish to advise that no third parties as stated are to access or be informed about his/her personal information or circumstances.
- A subpoena, court order or summons has the authority to compel production of medical records. GPs are obligated to comply with a Legislative requirement or subpoena, and written consent from the patient is not required in this instance.
Other Uses of Personal Information
- In order to provide the best possible environment to treat patients, Physio Place may also use personal/health information where necessary for:
- activities such as quality assurance processes, accreditation, audits, risk and claims management, patient satisfaction surveys and staff education and training;
- invoicing, billing and account management;
- to liaise with a patient’s health fund, Medicare or the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, as necessary,
Part F – Access and changes to personal information
- If an individual patient requests access to their personal information under the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (HRIP Act) he/she must follow the guidelines as laid out by the Information and Privacy Commission (IPC). Current instructions are available from www.ipc.nsw.gov.au
- Once an individual patient requests access to his/her personal information Physio Place will respond within the required period of time to provide the information as per IPC current instructions.
- All personal information will be updated in accordance to any changes to a patient’s personal circumstances brought to Physio Place’s attention. All changes to personal information will be subject to patient’s consent and acknowledgement.
- If an individual requests access to his/her personal information from Physio Place A fee will be charged. Please note that this fee is associated with administrative costs only and the current fees are available from the Practice Manager.
Part G – Complaints handling
- A patient may complain about a breach of their privacy to the Practice Manager or directly to the Information and Privacy Commission (IPC) NSW. Complaints must be received within 6 months of the patient first becoming aware of the matter.
- Upon receipt of patient complaint regarding a breach of his/her privacy, the Practice Manager will undertake a full investigation and report the findings in writing to the patient. If it is deemed that a privacy breach has occurred, the practice manager will follow the current IPC procedure for reporting, and report the breach to IPC.
Part H – Personal Information and overseas recipients
- Physio Place does not engage with any overseas entities, with which personal or health information would be transferred, appointed or disclosed without explicit and detailed consent from the patient.
- Signed consent acknowledging the risks involved when transferring information overseas is to be obtained from the patient prior to release of information to any overseas entities and recorded in the patient file.
Part i – Disposal of personal/health information
- If Physio Place receives any unsolicited personal information that is not deemed appropriate for the permitted health situation, Physio Place will reasonably de-identify and dispose of the information accordingly.
- If Physio Place holds any personal or health information that is no longer deemed relevant or appropriate for the permitted health situation, Physio Place will reasonably de-identify and dispose of the information accordingly.
Part J – Access to policy
Part K – Review of Policy
- Physio Place in accordance with any legislative change will review the terms and conditions of this policy to ensure all content is both accurate and up to date.
- Notification of any additional review(s) or alteration(s) to this policy will be provided to patients through our website within 30 days.