Keeping your personal information private in our clinic
Privacy at a glance
At Valley Osteopathy we respect and value your privacy and are committed to holding and using your personal data only for the purposes for which it has been provided.
Collection and Processing of Your Personal Information
Valley Osteopathy collects information from you so that we may properly assess, diagnose, treat and be proactive in your health care needs. All members of the clinic involved in your care will have access to your personal information. Naturally, some of this information is of a personal nature and some might be regarded as ‘sensitive’ and not the sort of information that you would wish to be unnecessarily disclosed to others.
Osteopaths must keep clinical records. It is a government requirement, and information about your medical and family health history is needed to provide accurate diagnoses and appropriate treatment. Personal information collected may generally include, but not be limited to:
- Your name, address, telephone number, email address; Medicare, Private Health Insurance, DVA or Social Security number, if required;
- Current treatment and drugs, medications, supplements used by you, if necessary, for the services we provide to you;
- Previous and current medical history, if directly relevant to the services we provide to you, including any relevant family medical history;
- The name of any health service provider, medical specialist, government agency or other organisation to which we may need to refer you, including any reports or other information provided by these organisations or agencies.
We will only seek information that is relevant to your health. This information is generally collected:
- Directly from you;
- From a person responsible for you;
- From third parties where the Privacy Act 1988 allows it;
- From some other person, organisation or agency on your behalf and with your consent; or
- From a health service provider who refers you to us or to whom we refer you from time to time eg. X-ray images and referrals from other practitioners
Where we collect personal information about you from another person, we will take reasonable steps to ensure you are aware of the reason why the information is being collected, how it will be sued, and the names of any organisations or agencies to which we might disclose the information.
At Valley Osteopathy, we take steps to ensure that your clinical records:
- Are accurate, complete, well-organised and legible
- Are up-to-date
- Contain enough information to allow another practitioner to care for you
- Can be used to remind you, with your permission, to return for follow up and reviews.
Disclosure of your personal information
In general, we may collect, hold, use and/or disclose your personal information for the following purposes:
- To provide health services to you
- To communicate with you
- To comply with our legal obligation; this may include mandatory notification to relevant authorities eg. when subpoenaed
- To help us manage our accounts and administrative services
- For in-house marketing via mail, email or SMS; you may opt out of this at any time
Some information about you may be provided to Medicare and your Private Health Insurer, if relevant, for billing and rebate purposes. This generally does not include your detailed clinical records, but may depend on the terms of your insurance policy.
There are circumstances where a health practitioner is legally required to disclose information. An example of this is a subpoena or other mandatory reporting requirements.
Generally, workers compensation and traffic accident schemes require patients treated under those schemes to agree that their health information can be shared with the scheme and its insurers.
If you do not provide the personal information requested, we may not be able to provide you with the best treatment and services needed to assist you.
We will not give any of your personal information to marketing companies.
Security and storage of your personal information
We will use all reasonable endeavours to ensure that health information about your is protected from misuse, loss, and unauthorised access, modification or disclosure, other than in accordance with this Policy or the Privacy Act 1988.
Your clinical records are stored securely and safeguarded against loss or damage. This includes secure transmission and back-up of electronic records. We are committed to ensuring your information is secure. In order to prevent unauthorised access or disclosure we have put in place suitable physical, electronic and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect.
We keep health information for a minimum of 7 years from the date of last entry in our records as required by law (unless the patient was a child in which case the record must be kept until the patient attains or would have attained 25 years of age).
We will inform you if we intend to transfer your clinical records to another osteopath or clinic, or if we sell or close this clinic.
Providing your information to others
At this clinic, it is normal for all practitioners and reception staff to have access to your clinical records. If you have any concerns about this please discuss them with your treating practitioner or the Director.
It is important that other people involved in your care, such as GPs, medical specialists and other health care professionals, are informed of the relevant parts of your medical history, so that they can provide the best care for you. Your practitioner will let you know when this is necessary.
We respect your right to decide how your personal information is used or shared. Personal information that identifies you will only be sent to other people with your consent.
Other people’s information which you provide to us
If you provide personal information to us about someone else (such as a family member, close friend, personal carer or medical service provider) you must ensure that you are entitled to disclose that personal information to us.
You should take reasonable steps to ensure that the individual concerned is aware of the various matters detailed in the Policy, including but not limited to, our identity, how to contact us, our purposes for collecting the information, our information disclosure practices, the individual’s right to obtain access to the information and have it corrected, and the consequences for the individual if the correct information is not provided.
Access to Your Personal Information
You have the right to access your information. You may ask to view the information or ask for a copy of a part or of the whole record. While not required to give reasons for your request, you may be asked to clarify the scope of the request.
Often a request will need to be in writing. Access to some information may be limited in special circumstances but in such an event you will be advised of the reasons.
At your request, your health information held by this clinic will be made available to another health service provider.
Under the Privacy Guidelines a charge may be payable where the clinic incurs costs in providing access, particularly if records need to be copied.
We may refuse to provide you with access to the information we hold about you if an exception applies under the Privacy Act 1988, such as we have a legal duty not to disclose the information or where it may be harmful to you to do so. Under these circumstances, we will provide you with reasons for the refusal and inform you of such exception relied on under the Privacy Act 1988.
Keeping your personal information up to date
We take reasonable steps to ensure your personal information is accurate, complete and up to date whenever we collect or use it.
If you think any of the personal information we hold about you is inaccurate, incomplete or out of date, please contact us and, if we agree, we will take reasonable steps to correct the information or, if necessary, discuss alternative options that may be available to you.
Parents/Guardians and Children
Although this may surprise some parents, privacy laws apply to children as well as adults. Under the Privacy Guidelines, a child’s right to privacy of their own health information may at times restrict access by parents/guardians to that same information.
How to contact us regarding privacy issues
We will take all reasonable steps to protect the security of your information and comply with our legal obligations. If you have any questions about privacy-related issues, please contact our Privacy Officer on the details below.
If you wish to complain to us about a breach of your privacy, access your own personal information held by us, correct any information held by us concerning your own personal information or find out more about how we deal with personal information, please contact:
The Privacy Officer
Shop 2, 5 Bush Blvd
Mill Park VIC 3082
We will respond to your enquiry as soon as possible.