AUSTRALIAN PRIVACY PRINCIPLE (APP) POLICY
[Adapted from the Australian Medical Association Australian Privacy Principles (APP) Policy, March 2014]
Part A – Purpose and Context
1.0 Digestive Diseases Queensland is committed to ensuring the privacy and confidentiality of all personal information affiliated with Digestive Diseases Queensland business undertakings.
1.1 Digestive Diseases Queensland follows the terms and conditions of privacy and confidentiality in accordance to the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) as per schedule 1 of the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012 (Cth), forming part of the Privacy Act 1988 (‘the Act’).
1.3 The point of contact regarding any queries regarding this policy is Mary Kean at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Part B – Australian Privacy Principles
2.0 As a private sector health service provider and under permitted health situations, Digestive Diseases Queensland is required to comply with the APPs as prescribed under the Act.
2.1 The APPs regulate how Digestive Diseases Queensland may collect, use, disclose and store personal information and how individuals, including Digestive Diseases Queensland patients may:
- address breaches of the APPs by Digestive Diseases Queensland;
- access their own personal information; and,
- correct their own personal information.
2.2 In order to provide patients with adequate health care services, Digestive Diseases Queensland 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 Digestive Diseases Queensland may not be able to provide said 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 an opinion about:
- the health or a disability (at any time) of an individual;
- an individual's expressed wishes about the future provision of health services to him or her; or,
- a health service provided or to be provided to an individual.
2.3.1 Personal information also includes 'sensitive information' which is information including, but not limited to a patient’s:
- § race;
- political opinions;
- sexual preferences; and or,
- health information.
2.3.2 Information deemed 'sensitive information' attracts a higher privacy standard under the Act and is subject to additional mechanisms for the patient’s protection.
Part C – Types of personal information
3.0 Digestive Diseases Queensland collects information from each individual patient that is necessary to provide said patient with adequate gastroenterology health care services.
3.1 This may include collecting information about a patient’s health history, family history, ethnic background or current lifestyle to assist the health care team in diagnosing and treating a patient’s condition.
Part D – Collection & Retention
4.0 This information will in most circumstances be collected directly from you during face to face consultation etc.
4.1 In other instances, Digestive Diseases Queensland may need to collect personal information about a patient from a third party source. This may include:
- relatives; or,
- other health service providers.
4.2 This will only be conducted if the patient has provided consent for Digestive Diseases Queensland to collect his/her information from a third party source; or, where it is not reasonable or practical for Digestive Diseases Queensland to collect this information directly from said 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.
4.3 Digestive Diseases Queensland endeavours to store and retain a patient’s personal & health information electronically stored onto a domestic server.
Part E – Purpose of collection, Use & Disclosure
5.0 Digestive Diseases Queensland 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 Digestive Diseases Queensland to use his/her information for an alternative or additional purpose;
- the disclosure of the patient’s information by Digestive Diseases Queensland 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 Digestive Diseases Queensland will prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to somebody's life or health; or,
- Digestive Diseases Queensland is required or authorised by law to disclose your information for another purpose.
i. Health Professionals to provide treatment
During the patient’s treatment at Digestive Diseases Queensland he/she may be referred to alternative medical treatment/services (i.e. pathology or radiology) where Digestive Diseases Queensland staff may consult with senior medical experts when determining a patient’s diagnosis or treatment.
Digestive Diseases Queensland staff may also refer the patient to other health service providers for further treatment during and following the patient’s admission (i.e. specialist, physiotherapist 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.
ii. 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 Digestive Diseases Queensland 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.
iii. Other Third Parties
Digestive Diseases Queensland may provide your 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.
Written consent from the patient is required, where information is relevant or reasonable to be provided to third parties.
Additionally, the patient may at any time wish to disclose that no third parties as stated are to access or be informed about his/her personal information or circumstances.
iv. Other Uses of Personal Information
In order to provide the best possible environment in which to treat patients, Digestive Diseases Queensland 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;
- to liaise with a patient’s health fund, 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.
5.1 If at any point or for any of the aforementioned reasons Digestive Diseases Queensland uses or discloses personal/ health information in accordance with the APPs, Digestive Diseases Queensland will provide written notice for the patient’s consent for the use and/or disclosure.
Part F – Access and changes to personal information
6.0 If an individual patient reasonably requests access to their personal information for the purposes of changing said information he/she must engage with the relevant practice manager.
6.1 The point of contact for patient access to personal information is:
07 3256 5800
6.2 Once an individual patient requests access to his/her personal information Digestive Diseases Queensland will respond within a reasonable period of time to provide said information.
6.3 All personal information will be updated in accordance to any changes to a patient’s personal circumstances brought to Digestive Diseases Queensland attention. All changes to personal information will be subject to patient’s consent and acknowledgement.
6.4 If an individual requests access to his/her personal information Digestive Diseases Queensland will charge an administration fee.
Part G – Complaints handling PROCEDURE
7.0 How an individual patient may complain about a breach of the Australian Privacy Principles, or a registered APP code (if any) that binds the entity, and how the entity will deal with such a complaint. Digestive Diseases Queensland’s policy for handling complaints is located in our practice manual.
Part H – Personal Information and overseas recipients
8.0 Use of Overseas Parties:
(a) Digestive Diseases Queensland does not engage with any overseas entities, with which personal or health information would be transferred, appointed or disclosed.
Part i – Disposal of personal/health information
9.0 If Digestive Diseases Queensland receives any unsolicited personal information that is not deemed appropriate for the permitted health situation, Digestive Diseases Queensland will reasonably de-identify and dispose of said information accordingly.
9.1 If Digestive Diseases Queensland holds any personal or health information that is no longer deemed relevant or appropriate for the permitted health situation, Digestive Diseases Queensland will reasonably de-identify and dispose of said information accordingly.
Part J – Access to policy
Digestive Diseases Queensland Policy and Procedure Manual
Hard Copies provided upon request
Part K – Review of Policy
11.1 Digestive Diseases Queensland 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.