We are committed to protecting the privacy of patient information and to handling your personal information in a responsible manner in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988, the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012, the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) and also complies with the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002(NSW) and NSW Health Privacy Principles.
- the kinds of information that we collect and hold, which, as a medical practice, is likely to be ‘health information’ for the purposes of the Privacy Act;
- how we collect and hold your personal information;
- the purposes for which we collect, hold, use and disclose personal information;
- how you may access your personal information and how you may seek the correction of any information;
- how you may make a complaint about a breach of privacy legislation and how we will deal with such a complaint;
- whether we are likely to disclose personal information to overseas recipients;
We collect information that is necessary and relevant to provide you with medical care and treatment, and manage our medical practice. The type of information we may collect and hold includes:
- Your name, address, date of birth, gender, email and contact details.
- Medicare number , DVA number and other government identifiers, although we will not use these for the purposes of identifying you in our practice
- Health information including symptoms, diagnosis and treatment given, referrals and test results and other specialist reports, appointment and billing details, prescriptions and family history.
This information is stored on our computer medical records system.
Wherever practicable we will only collect information from you personally or from a person responsible for you. However, we may also need to collect information from other sources such as treating general practitioners, specialists, radiologists, pathologists, hospitals and other health care providers.
We collect information in various ways, such as over the phone or in writing, in person in our rooms or over the internet if you transact with us online. This information may be collected by medical and non-medical staff.
In emergency situations we may also need to collect information from your relatives or friends. We may be required by law to retain medical records for certain periods of time depending on your age at the time we provide services.
Use and Disclosure
We will treat your personal information as strictly private and confidential. We will only use or disclose it for purposes directly related to your care and treatment, or in ways that you would reasonably expect that we may use it for your ongoing care and treatment. For example, the disclosure of blood test results to your general practitioner, another specialist or requests for x-rays.
It may also be necessary for our staff to handle your file from time to time to address the administrative requirements of running a medical practice. Our staff members are bound by strict confidentiality requirements as a condition of employment and these requirements will be observed if it is necessary for them to view your records.
There are circumstances where we may be permitted or required by law to disclose your personal information to third parties. For example, to Medicare, Police, insurers, solicitors, government regulatory bodies, tribunals, courts of law, hospitals, or debt collection agents. We may also from time to time provide statistical data to third parties for research purposes.
We may disclose information about you to outside contractors to carry out activities on our behalf, such as an IT service provider, solicitor or debt collection agent. We impose security and confidentiality requirements on how they handle your personal information. Outside contractors are required not to use information about you for any purpose except for those activities we have asked them to perform.
Data Quality and Security
We will take reasonable steps to ensure that your personal information is accurate, complete, up to date and relevant. For this purpose our staff may ask you to confirm that your contact details are correct when you attend a consultation. We request that you let us know if any of the information we hold about you is incorrect or out of date.
Personal information that we hold is protected by:
- securing our premises;
- placing passwords and varying access levels on databases to limit access and protect electronic information from unauthorised interference, access, modification and disclosure.
If you believe that the information we have about you is not accurate, complete or up-to-date, we ask that you contact us in writing (see details below).
You are entitled to request access to your medical records. We request that you put your request in writing and we will respond to it within a reasonable time.
There may be a fee for the administrative costs of retrieving and providing you with copies of your medical records.
We may deny access to your medical records in certain circumstances permitted by law, for example, if disclosure may cause a serious threat to your health or safety. We will always tell you why access is denied and the options you have to respond to our decision.
If you have a complaint about the privacy of your personal information, we request that you contact us in writing addressed to Dr Becker and marked Private and Confidential. Upon receipt of a complaint we will consider the details and attempt to address your complaint within 30 days.
If you are dissatisfied with our handling of a complaint or the outcome you may make an application to the Australian Information Commissioner or the Privacy Commissioner in NSW.
Phone: 1300 363 992
Fax: +61 2 9284 9666
Post: GPO Box 5218
Sydney NSW 2001
Anonymity and pseudonyms
The Privacy Act provides that individuals must have the option of not identifying themselves, or of using a pseudonym, when dealing with our practice, except in certain circumstances, such as where it is impracticable for us to deal with you if you have not identified yourself.
Overseas Transfer of Data
We will not transfer your personal information to an overseas recipient unless we have your consent or we are required to do so by law.
A data breach is when personal information held by the practice is lost or subjected to unauthorised access, modification, disclosure, or other misuse or interference. Examples of a data breach are when a device containing personal information of clients is lost or stolen, an entity’s database containing personal information is hacked or an entity mistakenly provides personal information to the wrong person.
We have a legal requirement to notify affected people and the regulator of certain data breaches. A data breach will be handled according to our Data Breach Response Plan.
Updates to this Policy
This Policy will be reviewed from time to time to take account of new laws and technology, changes to our operations and other necessary developments. Updates will be publicised on the practice's website.
Please direct any queries, complaints, requests for access to medical records to:
Coffs Coast Dermatology
PO Box 6528
Coffs Harbour Plaza NSW 2450
For appointments or general enquiries, speak with our friendly reception staff who will be glad to assist however they are able:
The Australasian College of Dermatologists recognises the dedication and professional service of its Fellows and their commitment to excellence in dermatology.