As Australia’s largest privately owned healthcare group, Healthe Care Australia is committed to safeguarding the privacy of patient information.
Our doctors, nurses and other staff are bound by law and by a strict code of conduct to maintain confidentiality of patient information.
We comply with the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) and with applicable state privacy laws. You can read more about these laws on the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s website.
This page of our website provides details of what personal information we will hold about you as a patient at one of our hospitals, how you can access this information and the purposes for which your personal information is used and disclosed. Your personal information includes your personal details and personal health information relating to your treatment.
Information We Collect
We collect your personal details and medical history so we can provide you with treatment and advice. Test results and further information collected while you are being treated in hospital are kept with your medical record.
We only collect information that is relevant and necessary for your treatment and to manage our service.
While the hospital maintains its own paper-based medical record, some of the information stored electronically is linked on an organisation basis.
We take all reasonable steps to ensure information we collect about you is accurate, complete and up-to-date. Patients can request incorrect information be amended.
We take reasonable steps to ensure information we collect about you is stored securely. We are required by law to retain medical records for certain periods of time depending on the type of record and facility.
Information we collect may include:
- Date of birth
- Contact numbers
- Financial details (e.g. health fund details, person responsible for the account)
- Health history
- Family history
- Information that we consider necessary to assist our staff in your diagnosis and treatment
Why this Information is Collected
If you are to receive or have received a service from any Healthe Care facility, we will collect and hold your personal information to:
- Provide the required treatment, service and advice
- Administer and manage those services, including charging, billing and debt collection
- Contact you to provide advice or information relating to your treatment
- Conduct appropriate health insurance eligibility checks
- Improve the quality of our services through research and development
- Conduct regular surveys to gain an understanding of individual needs
- Maintain and develop business systems and infrastructure to improve the services we provide
How this Information is Collected
All Healthe Care staff will endeavour to collect your personal information directly from you.
This may take place when you complete admission or administrative paperwork. It may also occur via the hospital admission process, through the doctor's rooms or over the telephone.
In certain circumstances or in an emergency, we will collect personal information from third parties who can help us provide you with safe quality care. Third parties may include:
- Health service provider/professional
- Family members, friends or carers
- Power of Attorney
Consequences of Not Providing Personal Information
If you do not wish for us to collect certain information, you will need to tell us so we can discuss any consequences this may have for your health care.
Use and Disclosure of Personal Information
We will use and disclose your information for purposes directly related to your treatment and in ways you would reasonably expect for your ongoing care. This may include, but is not limited to the transfer of relevant information to your nominated GP, to another treating health service or hospital, to a specialist for a referral, for pathology tests and xrays.
The main purpose of collecting information about you is to provide ongoing medical treatment and advice.
We are required to disclose some information to State and Commonwealth Government agencies to comply with laws regarding the reporting of notifiable diseases and statistics. Your personal information may be required as evidence in court when subpoenaed.
If there has been a break in the continuity of patient care, we might need to seek your consent before releasing information to a new doctor or health professional. If the situation is an emergency, consent is not required.
We cannot use your information for direct marketing purposes unless you provide authorisation.
Our staff may convey to your next of kin or a close family member, general information about your condition while in hospital, in accordance with the accepted customs of medical practice, unless you request otherwise.
Our policies and procedures ensure our staff treat your information confidentially and discreetly.
Storing Personal Information
We store personal information in a variety of ways, including paper and electronic formats.
The security of information is important to Healthe Care. Our staff are responsible for maintaining the security of patient information from unauthorised access, to misuse, loss and damage.
Access to Your Information
You are entitled to request access to all personal information including your medical record held by the service. Normally you will be asked to apply for access in writing and provide identification. You may be charged a fee for copies of your personal information or medical records.
Access to personal information may be declined in special circumstances, such as where giving access would put you or another person at risk of harm, or if it would unreasonably impact on someone else's privacy.
If you believe the information we hold about you is incorrect and an error has been made, please let us know and we will correct the information. If we believe the information is correct, you may request that your view be noted on the record.
Requests for access to or correction of your medical record should be addressed to your health service provider's Medical Record Department.
If you have questions about the privacy of your information or if you have a complaint, you should contact the Hospital's Director of Nursing. Alternatively, you can contact the Commonwealth Privacy Commissioner.
If you would like more information about privacy in general, please refer to the Privacy Commissioner's website.