The staff of Pittwater Day Surgery respect and uphold the rights of all of our patients to privacy protection under the National Privacy Principles contained in the Privacy Act 1988. The National Privacy Principles apply to us from their introduction 21 December 2001.
The Privacy Principles set the standards by which personal information is collected, handled, used and disclosed. As part of providing a quality health care service we need to take and maintain information of a personal nature in your medical file. This information is provided by you about you and is handled with the utmost respect for your privacy.
This policy describes how we manage any personal information we have about our patients.
We may hold the following information about our patients:
- Telephone Numbers
- Date of Birth
- Email Address
- Health Fund Membership
- Medicare and other identification numbers provided by the patient
- Details of family, next of kin and emergency contact details
- Medical History
- Details of any physical examination of the patient
- Details of previous treatments and operations
- Relevant family medical history
- Details of allergies, sensitivities and adverse reactions to drugs
- Details of investigations and results
- Details of previous operations
- General Practitioners name
- Referring Doctors name
- The names of other doctors past or present involved in your care
- Religious beliefs or affiliations
- Returned Service Organisations
- Accounting Transaction details associated with our services
- Additional information provided to us by the patient
- Information provided through patient questionnaires and survey
What we do with the personal information of our patients:
We use our patient’s personal information to:
- Process private Health Fund Claims
- Benchmarking and Clinical Indicator programs to enable us to assess our level of service when compared to other hospitals in a de-identified format
- To provide data in both identified and de-identified form to State and Commonwealth Departments and Agencies in compliance with legislation
- To Third Party Bodies bound by us in agreement to the Privacy Principles. These bodies audit our facility for compliance to Australian Standards, Codes and Legislation for the purposes of accreditation
- Specialist Sub Contractors and Consultants bound by the Privacy Principles who assist us in the management of our facility
Access to your records
- Patients may request access to their own personal information in writing to the Privacy Officer and or Medical Director. Access will be arranged as soon as possible but within the 30 day legislated period. An administrative fee of $30 will be charged for processing of a request.
- Patients do not have to provide a reason for requesting access. Where we hold information that patients are entitled to access, we will endeavour to provide a suitable range of choices as to how you may access it.
- If your medical practitioner has any reason not to allow you access to your file she/he will inform you in writing, including the reasons for the refusal. This does not necessarily mean that access will never be granted. Access in this case may have to be facilitated through a third party.
- If any patient believes that personal information held by us in incorrect, incomplete or inaccurate, then they may request amendment of it. We will consider if the information requires amendment. If we do not agree that there are grounds for amendment, then we will make a note to the personal information stating that the patient disagrees with the record.
- You will not be allowed to remove your medical file from the premises, nor will you be able to alter or delete any section of the medical record. You may however add an insert to the file with your comments.
- Where possible and indicated, the medical practitioner may be present at the time of access to answer questions. If this is the case a small fee will be charged. If any part of the file is copied or if a summary is provided by the medical practitioner a small administrative fee will be charged. Please be advised that these fees will not be recoverable from Medicare.
Patients having any questions or complaints regarding Privacy issues are encouraged to contact our Privacy Officer.
Suggestions and Complaints
You have a right to professional and courteous care and service. If however you receive less than satisfactory care, we would like to know.
We document all complaints and suggestions made to us either through our Patient Satisfaction Survey, by phone, verbally, emailed or the written form.
Please feel free to:
- Discuss with our staff- they will handle the situation if they can or will pass the complaint onto the Nursing Unit Manager
- Discuss with the Nursing Unit Manager – she will do her best to relieve any problem in a timely manner. If she is unable to do so she will pass the complaint onto the CEO
- Discuss with the CEO – he will do his best to relieve the complaint
- If you are not happy with the hospitals response you may contact the Health Care Complaints Commission in NSW
- 1800 043 159 Toll Free in NSW