At One Life Medical, we recognise the importance of privacy protection. Our policy for dealing with any personal information that you might disclose to us while visiting our surgery is explained below:
- We collect information regarding your identity, contact details, your financial dealings with us and your health status. If there is a change in your contact details we request that you let us know.
- We collect information about your health status to assist us in providing comprehensive health care and to advise you regarding preventative activities. We will often ask you about your current health, current medications, previous illnesses or accidents, family illnesses, allergies, immunisations, previous screening tests and lifestyle issues eg use of tobacco, alcohol or drugs. If there is certain information not to be recorded in your medical record, that is also okay.
- Only authorised staff of the practice, doctors, nurses and office staff will have access to your health information. When you see a different doctor or nurse at the practice, they will have access to details of your previous consultations. Office staff will have access to your contact details and financial records. They will handle correspondence and results of investigations for filing purposes, as well as manage our recall/reminder system.
- When your usual doctor is unavailable, one of the other doctors at the practice will check the results of investigations and correspondence received to arrange prompt follow-up if this is required. If you do not wish other doctors to check your results or correspondence, please let your usual doctor know.
- We often send reminders eg for cervical smears, immunisations, diabetes checks and health assessments. If you do not wish to receive reminders, please let us know.
- Health information will only be transmitted to other health professionals
or organisations with your consent.
- You may require a referral to: (a) medical specialists, (b) diagnostic services eg pathology and x-ray, (c) other health practitioners eg physiotherapists, dieticians, podiatrists, (d) community agencies eg community health service, district nurses, and (e) hospitals.
- People with complex health issues may benefit from us working with other health professionals to develop a care plan or to participate in a case conference. This will only be undertaken with your consent.
- There may be occasions when you require emergency care and are unable to give consent eg you are unconscious. We would then proceed and arrange the emergency care unless you, or the person authorised to make decisions on your behalf, had previously indicated to us that you did not want this emergency medical care.
- There are times when we are required by law to inform authorities of your health status eg (a) we are required to inform the Department of Human Services if you have certain infections. This is done without informing the Department of your identity. (b) we are required to inform authorities of suspected child abuse, (c) we may be required to attend, or submit your medical record, to a court of law or tribunal hearing.
- Participation in research and teaching will only occur with your consent. Occasionally, we may use de-identified information as part of a research study or practice audit.
- We are a fully accredited practice with the Australian General Practice Accreditations Limited (AGPAL). We apply for re-accreditation every three years. The re-accreditation process includes a review of a random sample of medical records to ensure that we are adequately documenting our consultations. This review is carried out by a visiting General Practitioner who is a trained surveyor with AGPAL and is committed to maintaining the privacy and confidentiality of medical records. If you do not wish your medical record to be included in any random sample of medical records that are reviewed by the AGPAL surveyor, please let us know.
- We maintain medical records on a long-term basis and for at least seven years after your last consultation with us. For children and adolescents, we will retain medical records until you reach the age of 25, or for at least seven years after your last consultation, whichever is greater.
- We will provide a summary or copy of your medical record if you transfer your medical care to another doctor. We will require your consent to do so.
- You have the right to access and read your medical record and to correct any inaccuracies.