1. Purpose and context
1.1 Upper Limbs & Things are committed to ensuring the privacy and confidentiality of all personal information affiliated with Upper Limbs & Things business undertakings.
1.2 Upper Limbs & Things follows the terms and conditions of privacy and confidentiality in accordance to the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) as per schedule o1 of the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012 (Cth), forming part of the Privacy Act 1988 (’the Act’)
1.4 The point of contact regarding any queries regarding this policy: Jane Carrello, Practice Manager, Upper Limbs & Things phone 07494275765 email firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Australian Privacy Principles
2.1 As a private sector health service provider and under permitted health situations, Upper Limbs & Things is required to comply with the APPs as prescribed under the Act.
2.2 The APPs regulate how Upper Limbs & Things may collect, use, disclose and store personal information and how individuals, including Upper Limbs & Things patients may:
– Address breaches of the APPs by Upper Limbs & Things;
– access their own personal information; and
– correct their own personal information
2.3 In order to. Provide patients with adequate health care services, Upper Limbs & Things will need to collect and use personal information. It is important to be aware that if the patient provides incomplete or inaccurate information or the patient withholds personal health information Upper Limbs & Things may not be able to provide the patient with the services they are requesting.
- “personal information” as defined by the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth). Meaning “information or an opinion including information or an opinion forming part of a database, whether true or not, and whether recorded in a material format or not, about an individual whose identity is apparent, or can reasonably be ascertained, from the information or opinion”; and,
- “health information” as defined by the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth). This is a particular subset of “personal information” and means:
- Information or opinion about the health or disability (at any time i.e. past, present or future) of an individual that can be classified as personal information;
- Information or opinion about an individual’s expressed wishes about the future provision of health services that can be classified as personal information;
- Information or opinion about health service provided, or to be provided, to an individual, that can be classified as personal information;
- Other personal information collected to provide, or in providing, a health service;
- Other personal information about an individual collected in connection with the donation, or intended donation, by the individual of his or her body parts, organs or body substances; or
- Genetic information about an individual in a form that is, or could be, predictive of the health of the individual or a genetic relative of the individual
- Personal information also includes ‘sensitive information ‘which is information including, but not limited to a patient’s:
- political opinions;
- sexual preferences; and/or,
- health information.
Information deemed ‘sensitive information’ attracts a higher privacy standard under the Act and is subject to additional mechanisms for the patient’s protection.
3. Types of Personal Information
3.1. Upper Limbs & Things collects information from each individual patient that is necessary to provide the patient with adequate Therapy services.
3.2. This may include collecting information about a patient’s health history, family history, ethnic background or current lifestyle to assist the Upper Limbs & Things team in diagnosing and treating a patient’s condition.
4. Collection & Retention
4.1. This information will in most circumstances be collected directly from the patient through but not limited to the following mediums:
- Upper Limbs & Things patient consent form;
- medical treatment form; referrals and or,
- face to face consultation.
4.2. In other instances, Upper Limbs & Things may need to collect personal information about a patient from a third-party source. This may include:
- relatives; or,
- other health service providers.
4.3. This will only be conducted if the patient has provided consent for Upper Limbs & Things to collect his/her information from a third-party source; or, where it is not reasonable or practical for Upper Limbs & Things to collect this information directly from the patient. This may include where:
- the patient’s health is potentially at risk and his/her personal information is needed to provide them with emergency medical treatment.
4.4. Upper Limbs & Things endeavours to store and retain a patient’s personal & health information in an electronic record system stored on our practice server.
5. Purpose of Collection, Use and Disclosure
5.1. Upper Limbs & Things only uses a patient’s personal information for the purpose(s) they have provided the information for unless one of the following applies:
- the patient has consented for Upper Limbs & Things to use his/her information for an alternative or additional purpose;
- the disclosure of the patient’s information by Upper Limbs & Things is reasonably necessary for the enforcement of criminal law or a law imposing a penalty or sanction, or for the protection of public revenue;
- the disclosure of the patient’s information by Upper Limbs & Things will prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to somebody’s life or health; or,
- Upper Limbs & Things is required or authorised by law to disclose the patient’s information for another purpose.
5.2. Health Professionals to provide treatment
During the patient’s treatment at Upper Limbs & Things he/she may be referred to alternative medical treatment/services (i.e., pathology or radiology) where Upper Limbs & Things’ staff may consult with senior medical experts when determining a patient’s diagnosis or treatment. Upper Limbs & Things staff may also refer the patient to other health service providers for further treatment during and following the patient’s admission. These services include, but are not limited to
- Occupational therapy;
- Speech therapy;
- General Practitioner
- Surgeons; or,
- Outpatient or community health services.
These health professionals will be designated health service providers appointed to use the patient’s health information as part of the process of providing treatment. Please note that this process will be conducted whilst maintaining the confidentiality and privacy of the patient’s personal information.
5.3. Alternative Health services
At any point a patient wishes to be treated by an alternative medical practitioner or health care service that requires access to his/her personal/health information Upper Limbs & Things requires written authorisation. This written authorisation is to state that the patient will be utilising alternative health services and that these health services have consented for a transfer of personal/health information.
5.4. Other Third Parties
Upper Limbs & Things may provide the patient’s personal information regarding a patient’s treatment or condition to additional third parties. These third parties may include:
- other relatives;
- close personal friends;
- guardians; or,
- a person exercising a patient’s power of attorney under an enduring power of attorney.
Where information is relevant or reasonable to be provided to third parties, written consent from the patient is required. Additionally, the patient may at any time wish to disclose that no third parties asstated are to access or be informed about his/her personal information or circumstances.
5.5. Other Uses of Personal Information
In order to provide the best possible environment to treat patients, Upper Limbs & Things may also use personal/health information where necessary for:
- activities such as quality assurance processes, accreditation, audits, risk and claims management, patient satisfaction surveys and staff education and training;
- invoicing, billing and account management including debt collection agencies;
- to liaise with a patient’s health fund, Insurer, Medicare or the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, as necessary; and,
- the purpose of complying with any applicable laws–i.e., in response to a subpoena or compulsory reporting to State or Federal authorities.
If at any point or for any of the aforementioned reasons Upper Limbs & Things uses or discloses personal/ health information in accordance with the APPs, Upper Limbs & Things will provide written notice for the patient’s consent for the use and/or disclosure
6. Access and Changes to Personal Information
6.1. If an individual patient reasonably requests access to their personal information for the purposes of changing the information, he/she must engage with the relevant practice manager.
6.2. The point of contact for patient access to personal information is:
6.3. Once an individual patient requests access to his/her personal information Upper Limbs & Things will respond within a reasonable period of time to provide the information.
6.4. All personal information will be updated in accordance to any changes to a patient’s personal circumstances brought to Upper Limbs & Things’ attention. All changes to personal information will be subject to patient’s consent and acknowledgement.
6.5. If an individual requests access to his/her personal information Upper Limbs & Things will charge $40. Please note that this fee is associated with administrative costs only.
7. Complaints Handling
7.1. Patients who would like to make a complaint about a perceived breach of the Australian Privacy Principles through Upper Limbs & Things, can do so by contacting the Director at Upper Limbs & Things (see 6.1 above).
8. Personal Information and Overseas Recipients
8.1. Use of Overseas Parties: Upper Limbs & Things does engage with overseas entities, with which personal or health information would be transferred, appointed or disclosed. These overseas entities include:
- Mailchimp–used to disseminate Upper Limbs & Things newsletters controlled by Barb Popp, Upper Limbs & Things
- Xero–Accounting software. Cloud storage by Rackspace Inc.
- Cliniko–Practice Management Software. Data is hosted in Australia and process outside the EU. The aforementioned entities engaged overseas are subject to the legislative requirements as stipulated by the APPs.
9. Disposal of Personal/Health Information
9.1. If Upper Limbs & Things receives any unsolicited personal information that is not deemed appropriate for the permitted health situation, Upper Limbs & Things will reasonably de identify and dispose of the information accordingly.
9.2. If Upper Limbs & Things holds any personal or health information that is no longer deemed relevant or appropriate for the permitted health situation, Upper Limbs & Things will reasonably de-identify and dispose of the information accordingly.
10. Access to Policy
- Upper Limbs & Things,142 Nebo Rd, Mackay
- Policy and Procedure Manual
- Hard Copies provided upon request
11. Review of Policy
11.1. Upper Limbs & Things in accordance with any legislative change will review the terms and conditions of this policy to ensure all content is both accurate and up to date.
11.2. Notification of any additional review(s) or alteration(s) to this policy will be provided to patients and staff within 2 weeks’ notice.
Upper Limbs & Things reserves the right to vary, replace or terminate this policy from time to time.