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6.1.1 Practice Privacy Policy
The Family Doctor, Cairns is covered by the Privacy Act. We collect Information relevant to each patient for health care that we provide. It is indispensable to have this information for medical care reasons. There are different ways we collect information, firstly, we collect information by asking the patient about themselves, such as by the following types of questions
? Name
? Address
? Postal address
? Contact details
? Emergency contact details
? General Health eg smoker drinker…
? Physical fitness
? Allergies
? Medications
? Medical History –Past & Old
? Family Medical History
? Women’s Issues, and
? Vaccinations
Secondly, we gain information by clinical consultation with the patient by medical staff. This information is recorded on their record and is an important source for health decision making. Finally, we obtain information from outside health professionals, such as consultants, hospitals, X-ray specialists, pathology etc. For the whole care of a patient, we keep this information all together, so we have timely relevant information.
This collected information from the patient is stored securely within our computer system which is password protected. A Patient providing important sensitive information will feel secure in the knowledge that only dedicated health professionals have access to this vital information. Patients who have been with us for a long time will have both paper and electronic records. The security of both types of data is important to The Family Doctor, Cairns, and we secure paper documents by restricted access. Old records have been fully incorporated to the newer electronic records.
Who has access? GPs, general practice nurses, general practice registrars and students, and allied health professionals. Generally information does not leave the practice, but if a patient leaves then their records will go to their new GP, or a patient could end up in hospital, or need to see a Specialist, and so-forth. Also the use of patient health information may be used for quality assurance, research and professional development.
Some Government organisations: Examples of such requirements include the mandatory reporting of child abuse (under care and protection laws) or the notification of diagnoses of certain communicable diseases (under public health laws). Disclosure must occur if there is a warrant or law requiring the health service provider to do so.
Practice accreditation is a recognised peer review process and the reviewing of medical records for accreditation purposes has been deemed as a "secondary purpose" by the Office of the Federal Privacy Commissioner. As a consequence patients are not required to provide consent.
Access by the patient? The patient has a right to see their own records, and they can request this, but more importantly they will need them to go with them if they move on. Our practice can forward patient records, to their new GPs upon request. There may be a small charge for secure postage.
Third Parties. Patients are asked to sign a consent form before we disclose their personal health information to third parties. Information provided can be complete or partial. The warning here is that not all information may be relevant. Some patients may prefer that only the relevant part of their records be sent. Partial record sending, incur a small extra charge due to extraction time by the consulting doctor
For more information please ask at reception to see the Receptioin Manager.