Your privacy is of utmost importance to us at Gentle Touch Orthodontics. We take this responsibility very seriously and make all reasonable steps to ensure that confidentiality is always maintained at all times. As a health service provider we are required to comply and abide with the Australian Privacy Principles contained in the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988, as well as the Commonwealth Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Act 2000.
Collection of Information
It is our usual practice to collect health information directly from our patients and/or their authorised representatives. As part of your treatment at Gentle Touch Orthodontics you will be asked to complete a Patient Information Form. This form is an important part of your orthodontic treatment and is treated confidentially at all times.
The practice may collect health information from a third party or a publicly available source, but only if the patient consents to such collection or would reasonably expect us to collect their health information from the third party, or if the collection is necessary to provide the patient with appropriate healthcare.
All staff employed in this practice are required to undergo training to understand their responsibilities in maintaining your privacy and to sign a confidentiality agreement in order to protect your personal information.
Use and Disclosure
Your personal health information may be accessed by all staff members of Gentle Touch Orthodontics as part of your treatment.
The practice only uses health information for the following purposes:
It is essential for your Orthodontist to have a current and accurate overview of your health situation. This will influence the treatment you receive and aims to maximise your oral health taking into account all other medical and health conditions that you may have.
Personal information included on the form such as name, address, contact details and health fund information are used for confirming appointments, making recall appointments, processing payments, collecting unpaid invoices and contacting you about our services and any issues affecting your healthcare. On some occasions it may be necessary to leave a message with a family member or at your workplace.
At times it is necessary to exchange your health information with other health care professionals. This is completed only when required in relation to your optimal treatment.
Your patient information may be used in a research context, for the purpose of professional development and to help benefit other patients. In this event, your identity is kept completely confidential unless you provide consent.
We will not use your personal or health information for any other purpose unless one of the following applies:
You have consented.
The other purpose is directly related to providing you with health services and you would reasonably expect that your information may be used for that purpose.
The use of your health information is required or authorised by law.
The practice takes steps to ensure that the health information we collect is accurate, up to date and complete. These steps including maintaining and updating personal and health information when you attend the practice. It is for this reason that we will request regular review of your Patient Information Form. This enables us to ensure that your information is complete and up to date. If any of the information we have about you is inaccurate, please ask us to make the necessary alterations.
Your Patient Information Form, treatment records and radiographs are stored in hard copy and electronic form including but not limited in our practice database software. We take reasonable security safety steps to protect those records against loss, unauthorised access, use, modification or disclosure, or other misuse.
After a period of 7 years (and if you attended the practice as a child, once you have reached the age of 25) we may destroy your records in accordance with applicable laws.
Access and Correction
If an individual requests access to health or personal information we hold about them, or request that we change information, we will allow access or make changes unless we consider that there is no sound reason under the Privacy Act 1988, or other relevant law to withhold the information, or to not make the changes.
Requests for access or correction must be in writing and directed to the Practice Principal. If you have any questions, the Practice Principal can be contacted during business hours at the practice.
The practice’s marketing functions support the growth and development of the practice and to provide you with information about services offered at the practice.
The practice may use your information for the purpose of direct marketing; however we will not on-sell your personal information.
The practice understands that you may not wish to receive marketing materials from the practice. If you would prefer not to receive such information, a request can easily be made to the administration staff at the practice.
As part of backing up and storage of your records, the practice may use off-site electronic data storage providers or other third party service entities. At all times the practice will take all reasonable steps to ensure compliance with the Australian Privacy Principles in relation to any off-shore transfer of your information.
Non-disclosure of information
Although we respect you right to privacy, if you choose not to provide us with information relevant to your care, we may not be able to provide a service to you or the service we are asked to provide may not be appropriate for your needs.
Importantly, you could suffer harm or other adverse outcome if you do not provide information relevant to your care.
In the event of a privacy breach, the practice will comply with applicable guides or guidelines issued by the Australian Information Commissioner for the handling of privacy breaches.
For more information about Privacy laws, or to raise concerns about any other matter not satisfactorily resolved with the practice you can contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (www.oiac.gov.au or phone 1300 363 992).
For further information about the practice’s management of privacy, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.