Flex Sports Physiotherapy is committed to protecting the privacy of patient information and to handling your personal information in a responsible manner in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 and the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) contained within that Act.
Consent for the collection of your personal information
Our clinic will need to collect your personal information to provide healthcare services to you. When you register as a patient of our clinic, you are providing consent for our health care practitioners and practice staff to collect, use, hold and in some cases share your personal information so they can provide you with the best possible healthcare. Flex Sports Physiotherapy and Clinical Pilates will only collect information that is necessary and relevant to provide you with optimal medical care and treatment, and to manage our clinic.
Only staff who need to see your personal information will do so. If we need to use your information for anything else, we will seek additional consent from you to do this. Both clinical and administrative staff will only collect and access your personal information that is relevant to their role in your healthcare.
The information we will collect about you includes;
- Name, date of birth, address and contact details
- Medicare number (where available, for identification and claiming purposes)
- GP details/referral details if from another healthcare provider
- Medical information including medical history, medications, allergies, adverse events, immunisations, social history, family history and risk factors
- Health fund details
- Emergency contact details and next of kin
How do we collect your personal information?
We collect information in various ways including;
- The collection by practice staff of your personal information when you phone our clinic to arrange an appointment, when you book online via Cliniko our online booking system, or when you send an enquiry via our website.
- The collection by practice staff of your personal information via registration when you present to the clinic for the first time.
- The collection of further personal social and medical information by our healthcare practitioners during the course of providing healthcare services to you.
- We may also collect your personal information when you send us an email, SMS or telephone us, or communicate with us using social media.
Wherever practicable we will only collect information from you personally. However, we may also need to collect information from other sources such as treating specialists, radiologists, pathologists, hospitals and other healthcare providers. In emergency situations we may also need to collect information from your relatives or friends.
Use and disclosure of personal information
We will treat your personal information as private and confidential. We will only use or disclose it for purposes directly related to your care and treatment, or in ways that you would expect that we may use it for your ongoing care and treatment.
- With other healthcare providers, such as your GP or referring specialist, or other healthcare providers we may refer you to as part of your medical management.
Any health professional to whom we provide your health information will be given that information on a confidential basis and will be subject to the same privacy requirements as we are.
- With Medicare, health fund providers and relevant government organisations. We may disclose personal information about you to these organisations to inform them of treatment we have provided or will provide to you, for the purpose of you obtaining a rebate or other entitlement you might have from these organisations and similar purposes.
- When it is necessary to lessen or prevent a serious threat to a patient’s life, health or safety or public health or safety, or if it is impractical to obtain the patient’s consent
- When it is required by or authorised by law e.g. court subpoenas
- To assist in locating a missing person
- To establish, exercise or defend an equitable claim
- For the purpose of confidential dispute resolution process
- De-identified data may be used for education, marketing, research purposes, or for the collection of health statistics. Where we use data for direct marketing or for research purposes, we will first obtain your express consent to use your personal information for that purpose
- Flex Sports Physiotherapy and Clinical Pilates will use your personal information to send you appointment reminders, preventative health reminders or newsletters. You can opt out of these services at any time by notifying our practice
Other than in the course of providing health services or as otherwise described in this policy, our practice will not share personal health information with any third party without your consent.
Future contact and your privacy
From time to time we may use the personal information we collect from you to identify particular services or developments which we believe may be of interest and benefit to you. We may then contact you to let you know about these services or developments and how they may benefit you. If you do not wish to receive this type of information from us, please tell us.
How do we store and protect your personal information?
Your personal information may be stored at our practice in various forms:
- Electronic records
- Paper records
- Visual records such as x-rays, CT scans, photographs
Our practice stores and protects your personal information securely by:
- Securing our premises
- Using protected electronic information systems
- Adhering to strict password and access policies
- All staff and contractors abide by confidentiality, privacy and computer security agreements
- Providing locked facilities for the storage of any physical records
- Securely destroying documents once they have been scanned into your electronic health record
How can you correct your personal information at our practice?
We will take reasonable steps to ensure that your personal information is accurate, complete, up to date and relevant. For this purpose, our staff may ask you to confirm verbally on the phone or via front desk that your contact details are correct when you attend a consultation. We request that you let us know if any of the information we hold about you is incorrect or out of date. If you believe that the information we have about you is not accurate, complete or up to date we ask that you contact us to correct this.
How can you access your personal information?
You are entitled to request access to your medical records by contacting us via phone or in person. In most cases this means all health practitioners who have been involved in your care will review your request and authorise release of the information. We will endeavour to complete this process within 30 days and will advise you if there is any delay and the reasons for this. There may be a fee for the administrative costs of retrieving and providing you with copies of your medical records.
We may deny access to your medical records in certain circumstances permitted by law. For example; if disclosure may cause a serious threat to your health or safety or to the health or safety of others, if access would have an unreasonable impact on the privacy of others, if the request is frivolous or vexatious, if the information relates to a commercially sensitive decision-making process, or if access would be unlawful.
We will always tell you why access is denied and the options you have to respond to our decision.
Use of Email
Emailing of personal information is not a secure method of communication. Only appropriate matters should be raised should you wish to communicate with us via email. For example, simple enquiries, appointment scheduling and modifications to bookings.
Should you however request and give consent for information to be emailed to you or you choose to engage with any of our clinic staff via email, we will do so as long as you are aware of the risks associated with transmitting personal information in this way.
We will accept personal information via email from other healthcare providers and organisations involved in the management of your health.
Use of SMS for appointment and health
Appointment and health reminders will be sent via SMS and email. You can be removed from the SMS or email appointment confirmation system upon request.
Back up data
Flex Sports Physiotherapy and Clinical Pilates needs to ensure the ongoing provision of healthcare in the event of any unforeseen events such as computer hardware failure. This involves the electronic back up and replication of your personal information. Back up and replicated data is stored securely onsite and with our information technology providers. It can only be accessed by our information technology providers and authorised members of our practice team.
Flex Sports Physiotherapy and Clinical Pilates takes complaints and concerns about privacy of patients’ personal information seriously. If you have a complaint about the privacy of your personal information, we request that you contact us in writing. Upon receipt of a complaint we then consider the details and attempt to resolve it in accordance with our complaint handling procedures.
Flex Sports Physiotherapy and Clinical Pilates
1/99 Queen Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Call: (03) 9670 7041