As a client of this service, you have rights to access the information we have concerning you.
The primary purpose for collecting health information is to provide you with appropriate health care. The information is also being collected for secondary purposes that are related to the primary purpose of collection. These secondary purposes include:
- sharing information with other health providers to deliver appropriate client care;
- activities or processes necessary for the functioning of the health sector such as:
- providing an individual with further information about treatment options; billing or debt recovery;
- an organisation‘s management, funding, service-monitoring, complaint-handling, planning, evaluation and accreditation activities,
- disclosure to a medical expert (only for medico-legal opinion), insurer, medical defence organisation, or lawyer, solely for the purpose of addressing liability indemnity arrangements, for example in reporting an adverse incident;
- disclosure to a lawyer for the defence of anticipated or existing legal proceedings;
- an organisation‘s quality assurance or clinical audit activities, where they evaluate and seek to improve the delivery of a particular treatment or service; and
- disclosure to a clinical supervisor by a psychiatrist, psychologist or social worker.
There may be instances where the health care service may disclose or is required to disclose your health information to a third party. The types of third parties the health care service normally discloses this information to are medical staff at hospitals, referring specialists and any other doctors and allied health professionals or staff involved with your client care.
Health information may also be provided to the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) System for inclusion on the PCEHR of the health service’s clients.
If you do not provide all or part of this information to our staff, you may experience an adverse outcome as a result of treatment that we either recommend or provide to you. While our staff will maintain the highest of professional standards in recommending and providing any treatment to you, they will not be held liable for any adverse outcomes of treatment, that is directly caused by you not telling us all or part of this information.
Accessing Clinical Records
From 21 December 2001, clients were granted increased rights of access to health information about them held by this service. This has been provided through the Privacy Act 1988.
Accessing your health information may be as simple as requesting a copy of your vaccination records. Requests for vaccination histories can be made over the phone and provided by email or post subject to the confirmation of the caller’s full name, address and date of birth. No charge will be made for the provision of vaccination histories.
However, at other times accessing your health information may involve far more work for our staff. We advise that the following procedure has been developed to ensure that all requests for access are dealt with as fairly and efficiently as possible:
- All requests for access other than vaccination histories must be made in writing, and addressed to the attention of Damian Gray, Clinical Director/Company Director.
- Requests for access will be acknowledged, in writing, within 14 days of the receipt of the request.
- Applicants will be required to complete the standard consent form, and undertake to be bound by the terms of the document.
- The total time between the receipt of a request for access and the time when access is granted shall not, ordinarily, exceed 30 days. Where it is not possible for access to be granted within 30 days, you will be notified, in writing, of this and advised when access will be granted.
- Where access is refused to your health care record you will be advised in writing of the reasons for refusal and the Clinical Director/Company Director will contact you to discuss whether there are any means by which access may be facilitated.
- You will not be permitted to remove any of the contents of your health care record from the service, nor will you be permitted to alter or erase information contained in the health care record.
- Where practicable, a medical practitioner or Registered Nurse will be present when access is granted to your record so that he or she may go through the contents of your record, and address any concerns that you may have in relation to the information contained within the record. A fee of $25 will be charged in relation to this attendance. We advise that a rebate will not be recoverable from Medicare for this service.
- Should you request copies of any, or all, of the contents of your health care record, the following fees will be applicable: $5 for each ten pages or part thereof
- Generally clients will be required to collect their records in person. However, in some limited circumstances clients may request that records are provided to another person. This provision will generally only apply where the client is unable, due to illness or incapacity, to attend the health care service in person.
- If you are collecting a copy of your health care record or are authorised to collect the record of another person, you may be required to provided identification. Where possible this should be photographic identification.
Should you have any queries in relation to the above please contact Damian Gray on 1300 34 84 22.
Should you wish to make an application for access please contact our office and we will assist you in getting under way with your application.