RURAL MEDICAL IMAGING
Rural Medical Imaging takes its privacy obligations seriously and accordingly we are committed to handling personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act and in particular the Australian Privacy Principles.
Collection of Personal Information
We are committed to only collecting information necessary for providing medical care related to the provision of diagnostic medical imaging. We may hold a patient’s information in both electronic and hard copy formats.
When a patient attends an appointment for services with us they are providing consent for our practice staff to use that information so they can provide the patient with the best possible healthcare. Only staff that need to see a patients personal information access it. If we need to use a patient’s information for any other purpose we will seek additional consent from them.
The personal information we collect may include a patients:
- Name, date of birth, addresses, contact details
- medical information including any relative medical history, medications, allergies, adverse events, social history, family history and risk factors
- Medicare number (where available) for identification and claiming purposes
- Healthcare identifiers i.e. health care card, private health insurance, Workcover Veterans Affairs details, or other billing entities information
- Health fund details
We will collect health information directly from the patient but we may also collect information about the patient from a third party, for example from other health service providers, a family member or legal guardian. This information will be received by fax, post, email, courier or person.
Use & Disclosure of Your Personal Information
We will use or disclose a patient’s personal information for the purpose of providing diagnostic imaging services.
We may share a patient’s personal information: with:
- reporting radiologists
- the patients referring doctor or allied health professional
- hospital medical officers, nursing staff and allied health professionals – where the patient is an inpatient of a hospital
- relative billing entities i.e. Medicare, Department of Veterans, Workcover, insurance agencies for payment of services provided
- third parties who work with our practice for business purposes, such as accreditation agencies or information technology providers – these third parties are required to comply with APPs and this policy
- other healthcare providers
- authorised representatives i.e. family members or guardians
- law enforcement – when it is required or authorised by law (eg court subpoenas)
Other disclosures may occur:
- when it is necessary to lessen or prevent a serious threat to a patient’s life, health or safety or public health or safety, or it is impractical to obtain the patient’s consent
- to assist in locating a missing person
- to establish, exercise or defend an equitable claim
- for the purpose of confidential dispute resolution process
- in the circumstances of adverse incidents, a patient’s information may need to be disclosed to medical indemnity insurers.
In other situations we would not disclose a patient’s personal information without obtaining their consent.
Data Quality & Security
We will endeavour to ensure that all personal information we collect, use or disclose is accurate, complete and up-to date.
To ensure the security of personal information held, our computer systems are password protected and only accessible by authorised staff.
If a patient’s details change or they believe our records are not up to date and/or accurate the patient should contact us.
Staff Access to Medical Records and Reports
Medical records are confidential to the patient and the referring doctor. Staff, including doctors, have access insofar as the records relate to the patient’s medical care and practice management issues. Limited access for quality improvement, research, teaching and other Practice activities may be appropriate subject to compliance with the provisions of the Privacy Act.
Practice Confidentiality Statement:
The Practice policy regarding the confidentiality of client information and data is as follows:
- All data and information concerning patients is strictly confidential.
- Confidentiality must be maintained outside work and work hours.
- Staff may only discuss patient information with the patient’s physicians where this is relevant to the patient, their treatment and the maintenance of their medical records.
- Access to patient’s medical records will only be granted to the patient’s referring or treating physician and when required by subpoena, or with the patient’s written permission.
- If a staff member removes patient information or medical records from the Practice, the information must be transported securely.
- Any reports, publications or images arising from research or education using patient information will be without patients’ identifying data.
- Staff are to be counselled in the specific requirements of confidentiality for the Practice as part of the induction process.
- Rural Medical Imaging conducts training with all staff to ensure that privacy protocols are adhered to.
A patient has the right to have access to the personal information that we hold on them. We will grant access unless the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) or other relevant law allows us or requires us to refuse such access. We may charge a fee to recover reasonable costs associated with supplying information.
Use of Identifiers
We will only use a patient’s Medicare number for the purpose of billing for medical services provided. Similarly we would not use or disclose any other government identifying number which a patient has given us for any other purposes.
Any concerns regarding the way we have treated personal information should be directed to our practice manager. The complaint should be in writing and sent or emailed to:
Rural Medical Imaging
PO Box 1893,
Innisfail Queensland 4860
Phone: 07 4061 7006
It is our intention to resolve any complaint fairly and as quickly as possible. All complaints will be investigated and responded to. If the outcome of the complaint is not satisfactory the matter may be referred to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) www.oaic.gov.au