297 Kent Street, Maryborough.  Phone: (07) 4123 1544

Privacy

The purpose of this policy is to outline how the Monsour Clinic complies with its confidentiality and Privacy obligation. The practice will make this Privacy Policy available to anyone who asks for it.

From December 21st 2001, the Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Act 2000 extended the operation of the Federal Privacy Act 1988 to include the private health sector throughout Australia. Going forward, patients will be assured that their privacy will be protected when visiting our practice; and that they can access their information for review. Your doctor needs information about your past and present health in order to provide our patients with the highest quality of care. This practice complies with the registration and National Privacy Principals.

Collection, Use and Disclosure
Patient consent for the transfer of personal health information from other agencies is now obtained on the first visit. This form will be supplied to you by our administration staff. We recognise that the information we collect is often of a highly sensitive nature and as an organisation we have adopted the highest compliance standards relevant to patient care to make an accurate medical diagnosis, prescribe appropriate treatment and to be proactive in patient health care. For administrative and billing purposes, and to enable the patient to be attended by other practitioners in our practice, patient information is shared between the practitioners who attend the patient.
We (on behalf of) and the practitioners, may collect personal information (including health information) regarding patients, for the purpose of providing medical services and treatment to patients. Personal information collected will generally include:
• Patient name, address, telephone number and Medicare number/DVA number;
• Private Health Care fund;
• Current medications and treatments used by the patient;
• Previous and current medical history, including where clinically relevant a family history and the name of any health service provider or medical specialist to whom the patient is referred, copies of any letters of referral and copies of any reports back;
• Social history.

We may access information:
• Provided directly by the patient;
• Provided on the patient’s behalf with the patient’s consent;
• From a health service provider who refers the patient to the medical practitioner;
• From health services providers to whom the patient is referred.

Personal information collected by us may be used or disclosed:
• For the purpose the patient was advised of at the time of collection of the information by us;
• As required for delivery of the health service to the patient by all clinical and administrative staff;
• As required for ordinary operation of our service (i.e. to refer the patient to a medical specialist of other health service provider; to obtain Medicare payment or other health insurance rebates);
• As required under compulsion of law; or where there is a serious and imminent threat to an individual’s life, health and safety; public health and safety (this includes the notifying the Communicable Diseases Unit of the Department of Health for some positive sexual health tests, and the results of all pap smear tests to the Pap Smear Register).
Other than as described in this policy or permitted under the National Privacy Act, The Monsour Clinic does everything possible to ensure that identifying health information is not disclosed to any person. We keep health information for a minimum of 7 years from the date of last entry in the patient records (unless the patient was a child in which case the record must be kept until the patient attains or would have attained 25 years of age).
Because of the sensitive nature of the information collected by us to provide services, extra precautions are undertaken to ensure the security of that information. Our electronic files are password protected on several levels and the computer backup tapes are stored offsite.
Our data security ensures that the storage, use, and where necessary, the transfer of personal health information will be undertaken in a secure manner that protects patient privacy. We ensure that the patient record is accurate, comprehensive, up to date, and has enough information to ensure another doctor can continue patient care.
Members of the practice team who have access to patient health (varying levels of access) include GPs, GP registrars, General Practice Nurses and Reception Staff. We require all of our employees to observe strict confidentiality in the course of their employment. All staff are required to sign confidentiality contracts.

Medical practitioners who provide services at our practice may refer patients to the following services
• Pathology Services
• Radiology Services
• Public hospitals
• Private hospitals
• Day Procedure centres
• Specialist medical practitioners and other health providers involved in the relevant patient care which may include surgeons, nurses, occupational therapists, pharmacists, physiotherapists, psychologists, dietitians, audiologists, podiatrists, aboriginal health workers, chiropractors, diabetes educators, exercise physiologists, mental health workers, osteopaths, speech therapists, or community care groups (e.g. Blue Care), etc.
Secondary purposes, which are directly related to the primary purposes of collection for which we may use or disclose personal information, may be for quality assurance, training, billing, liaising with government offices regarding Medicare entitlements and payments and as may be required by our insurers.

Accessing information, correction of information, and obtaining further information
Patients may request access to their personal health information held by this practice. All requests for access (either a verbal or written request) will be referred to the treating doctor. Due to complex terminology used in medicine, chart access is with supervision of the doctor.
The practice encourages patients to ensure that information is accurate and up to date and to amend any information that is inaccurate. There are some circumstances in which access will be restricted or denied and the reason for this will be explained to the patient. A charge may be payable where the practice incurs a cost in providing access. This is for administrative costs such as printing/photocopying.

Complaints/Concerns
The best way to deal effectively with concerns and complaints is to communicate openly and respectfully. The treating doctor is available to discuss any concerns or complaints. If a patient is dissatisfied with any aspect of our privacy policy, and satisfaction is not obtained by consultation with our practice, the patient can contact:
The Health Complaints Commission
GPO Box 3089
Brisbane Qld 4001
Telephone: 1800 077 308

Pap Smear Register

Under Queensland law the results of all women who have had pap smears are reported to the Queensland Pap Smear Register (PSR). The PSR is a central and confidential register that provides women with a reminder if their pap smear is overdue or they need follow-up for an abnormal pap smear.

When you have a pap smear, your results and personal details, including your name and address will automatically be sent to the PSR unless you advise the clinic that you wish to opt-off the register. You can do this by contacting the PSR on 1800 777 790.

Sexual Health Tests

We are obliged by law to notify the Communicable Diseases Unit of the Department of Health of some positive test results.

e-Health Records

In July 2012 the Commonwealth Government launched the Personally Controlled eHealth Record (PCEHR) system, enabling consumers to register for a personal eHealth Record.

An eHealth record is a secure, electronic record of a patient’s medical history, stored and shared in a network of connected systems for the benefit of patients and healthcare professionals.

This system allows individuals to manage their own health record online, and to give their GP or other healthcare providers access to their information. They can also control which information they share this way. Because the system is national it means that if you move interstate, you can still access your information wherever you go.

The Monsour Clinic can send a health summary to a patient’s PECHR if they have registered with the national system.