This policy outlines how Action Rehab collects, use, disclose, store, secure and dispose of sensitive health information.
In Victoria, we are bound by the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), Privacy and Data Protection Act (2014) and Health Records Act 2001 (Vic) with respect to how we handle your health information.
Action Rehab is committed to protecting the privacy of all our patients’ health information.
PURPOSE AND CONTEXT
Action Rehab is committed to ensuring the privacy and confidentiality of all personal information affiliated with Action Rehab business undertakings.
AUSTRALIAN PRIVACY PRINCIPLES (APP) – PART A
1 As a private sector health service provider and under permitted health situations, Action Rehab is required to comply with the APPs as prescribed under the Act.
1.2 The APPs regulate how Action Rehab may collect, use, disclose and store personal information and how individuals, including Action Rehab’s patients may:
- address breaches of the APPs by Action Rehab;
- access their own personal information; and,
- correct their own personal information.
1.3 In order to provide patients with adequate health care services, Action Rehab 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 Action Rehab 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:
- (a) 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;
- (b) Information or opinion about an individual’s expressed wishes about the future provision of health services that can be classified as personal information;
- (c) Information or opinion about health service provided, or to be provided, to an individual, that can be classified as personal information;
- (d) Other personal information collected to provide, or in providing, a health service;
- (e) Other personal information about an individual collected in connection with the donation, or intended donation, by the individual of his or her body parts, organs or body substances; or
- (f) Genetic information about an individual in a form that is, or could be, predictive of the health of the individual or a genetic relative of the individual.
1.5 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.
1.6 Information deemed ‘sensitive information’ attracts a higher privacy standard under the Act and is subject to additional mechanisms for the patient’s protection.
PART B – TYPES OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
2.0 Action Rehab collects information from each individual patient that is necessary to provide the patient with adequate Therapy services.
2.1 This may include collecting information about a patient’s health history, family history, ethnic background or current lifestyle to assist the Clinical team in diagnosing and treating a patient’s condition.
PART C – COLLECTION & RETENTION
3.0 This information will in most circumstances be collected directly from the patient through but not limited to the following mediums:
- (a) Action Rehab patient consent form;
- (b) medical treatment form; referrals and or,
- (c) face to face consultation.
3.1 In other instances, Action Rehab may need to collect personal information about a patient from a third party source. This may include:
- relatives; or,
- other health service providers.
3.2 This will only be conducted if the patient has provided consent for Action Rehab to collect his/her information from a third party source; or, where it is not reasonable or practical for Action Rehab to collect this information directly from the patient. This may include where:
- the patient’s health is potentially at risk and his/her personal information is needed to provide them with emergency medical treatment.
3.3 Action Rehab use the Intracore Online Practice Management System (OPMS/Coreplus) for management of patient records. This software has systems in place to protect the privacy, security, quality and integrity of the data held electronically. Access to patient files is only available with a username and password. No medical information is disclosed to a 3rd party without prior written consent from the patient.
PART D – PURPOSE OF COLLECTION, USE & DISCLOSURE
4.0 Action Rehab 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 Action Rehab to use his/her information for an alternative or additional purpose;
- the disclosure of the patient’s information by Action Rehab is reasonably necessary for the enforcement of criminal law or a law imposing a penalty or sanction, or for the protection of public revenue;
- the disclosure of the patient’s information by Action Rehab will prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to somebody’s life or health; or,
- Action Rehab is required or authorised by law to disclose the patient’s information for another purpose.
4.1 Health Professionals to provide treatment
During the patient’s treatment at Action Rehab he/she may be referred to alternative medical treatment/services (i.e. pathology or radiology) where Action Rehab’s staff may consult with senior medical experts when determining a patient’s diagnosis or treatment.
Action Rehab staff may also refer the patient to other health service providers for further treatment during and following the patient’s admission. These services include, but are not limited to:
- Occupational therapy;
- Speech therapy;
- Surgeons; 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.
4.2 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 Action Rehab requires written authorisation. This written authorisation is to state that the patient will be utilising alternative health services and that these health services have consented for a transfer of personal/health information.
4.3 Other Third Parties
Action Rehab may provide the patient’s personal information regarding a patient’s treatment or condition to additional third parties. These third parties may include:
- other relatives;
- close personal friends;
- guardians; or,
- a person exercising a patient’s power of attorney under an enduring power of attorney.
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 disclose that no third parties as stated are to access or be informed about his/her personal information or circumstances.
4.4 Other Uses of Personal Information
In order to provide the best possible environment to treat patients, Action Rehab 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; and,
- the purpose of complying with any applicable laws – i.e. in response to a subpoena or compulsory reporting to State or Federal authorities.
4.5 If at any point or for any of the aforementioned reasons Action Rehab uses or discloses personal/ health information in accordance with the APPs, Action Rehab will provide written notice for the patient’s consent for the use and/or disclosure.
PART E – ACCESS AND CHANGES TO PERSONAL INFORMATION
5.0 If an individual patient reasonably requests access to their personal information for the purposes of changing the information he/she must engage with the Head of Operations.
5.1 The point of contact for patient access to personal information is:
Head of Operations
1300 762 227
Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm
5.2 Once an individual patient requests access to his/her personal information Action Rehab will respond within a reasonable period of time to provide the information.
5.3 All personal information will be updated in accordance to any changes to a patient’s personal circumstances brought to Action Rehab’s attention. All changes to personal information will be subject to patient’s consent and acknowledgement.
5.4 If an individual requests access to his/her personal information Action Rehab will charge $36. Please note that this fee is associated with administrative costs only.
PART F – COMPLAINTS HANDLING
6.0 Patients, who would like to make a complaint about a perceived breach of the Australian Privacy Principles through Action Rehab Pty Ltd, can do so by contacting the Head of Operations at Action Rehab (see 5.1 above).
6.1 If you are not satisfied with how we have handled your personal, sensitive or health information, you are entitled to lodge a complaint with:
- The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner website www.oaic.gov.au, telephone 1300 363 992
- The Victorian Health Services Commissioner (website hcc.vic.gov.au, telephone 1300 582 113
PART G – PERSONAL INFORMATION AND OVERSEAS RECIPIENTS
7.0 Use of Overseas Parties:
- (a) Action Rehab does engage with overseas entities, with which personal or health information would be transferred, appointed or disclosed. These overseas entities include:
- Mailchimp– used to disseminate Action Rehab newsletters. Mailchimp is used to capture details from the website. However, this is only users entering their details from the website (for the newsletter/journal). The information captured is only an email address and it is not associated with any patient information. The aforementioned entities engaged overseas are subject to the legislative requirements as stipulated by the APPs.
PART H – DISPOSAL OF PERSONAL/HEALTH INFORMATION
8.0 If Action Rehab receives any unsolicited personal information that is not deemed appropriate for the permitted health situation, Action Rehab will reasonably de-identify and dispose of the information accordingly.
8.1 If Action Rehab holds any personal or health information that is no longer deemed relevant or appropriate for the permitted health situation, Action Rehab will reasonably de-identify and dispose of the information accordingly.
PART I – ACCESS TO POLICY
Policy and Procedure Manual
Hard Copies provided upon request in writing to: Head of Operations: PO Box 264, St Kilda 3182
PART J – REVIEW OF POLICY
10.0 Action Rehab 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.
- Privacy Act 1988 (Cth)
- Health Records Act 2001 (Vic)
- Privacy and Data Protection Act (2014)