Use of your personal information
The Neighbourhood Clinic collects and holds personal health information about you. The main reason we collect information from you is to enable us to provide you with the best possible healthcare. It allows us to properly assess, diagnose and treat your health care needs. The information we may ask you is personal. Without this information, we may be restricted in our capacity to provide you with the standard of medical care that you expect.
All members of the professional team involved in your care will have access to your personal information. Other than in the course of providing medical services or as otherwise described in this policy, our practice will not share personal information with any third party without your consent.
Our practice will not use your personal information for marketing any of our goods or services directly to you without your consent. If you do consent, you may opt-out of direct marketing at any time by notifying our practice in writing.
This means we may use and disclose the information you provide in the following ways:
Disclosure to others involved in your health care, including doctors and specialists outside this practice who may become involved in treating you, pathology services, radiology services and in emergency situations. This may occur through referral to other doctors or specialists, or for medical tests and in the reports or results returned to us following the referrals.
By law, doctors are sometimes required to disclose information for public interest reasons e.g. mandatory reporting of communicable diseases or through court subpoenas
During the course of providing medical services, through Electronic Transfer of Prescriptions, on medical registers to improve community health care (for example, Diabetes register, Pap smear register, Australian Immunisation Register, MyHealthRecord)
Administrative purposes in running our medical practice, including our insurer or medical indemnity provider, and quality assurance and accreditation bodies.
Billing purposes, including providing information to Medicare Australia and other organisations responsible for the financial aspects of your care.
For conducting medical research. You will be informed when such activities are being conducted and your involvement will only take place if you provide express signed consent for each program where identified information is required.
Assisting with training and education of other health professionals. You will be informed when such activities are being conducted and your involvement will only take place if you provide express consent to your medical practitioner for each program.
To assist in locating a missing person
To establish, exercise or defend an equitable claim or for the purpose of confidential dispute resolution process
In most cases we will obtain the information directly from you or your treating doctors.
Use of de-identified information
Our practice participates in quality improvement activities that use de-identified patient information. De-identified information is any information that does not link to you personally. Such information is shared with the following entities:
North West Melbourne Primary Health Network - Ongoing
NPS Medicinewise – Professional Development program - Ongoing
Department of Health - Antibiotic prescribing – Ongoing
Melbourne University – Data for Decisions and Future Health Today - Ongoing
Other research purposes with NHMRC (National Health and Medical Research Council) approval - Periodically
You can opt-out of your participation in these programs by advising reception staff or contacting the Practice Manager.
What personal information do we collect?
The information we collect about you includes:
Names, date of birth, addresses and contact details
Medical information including medical history, medications, allergies, adverse events, immunisations, social history, family history and risk factors
Medicare number (where available) for identification and claiming purposes
Our practice collects your personal information:
When you make your first appointment our practice staff will collect your personal and demographic information via your registration
During the course of providing medical services we may collect further personal information.
Information can also be collected through Electronic Transfer of Prescriptions, MyHealthRecord system via the Shared Health Summary and Event summary.
We may collect your personal information when you visit our website, send us an email or SMS, telephone us, make an online appointment or communicate with us using social media.
In some circumstances personal information may also be collected from other sources. This may happen because it is not practical or reasonable to collect it from you directly. This may include information from your guardian or responsible person, other involved healthcare providers such as specialists, allied health professionals, hospitals, community health services, pathology and radiology services, Medicare or the Department of Veteran’s Affairs
Our goal is to ensure that your information is accurate, complete and up-to-date. To assist us with this, please contact us if any of the details you have provided change. Further, if you believe the information we have about you is not accurate, complete or up-to-date, contact us and we will use all reasonable efforts to correct the information.
The storage, use and, where necessary, the transfer of personal health information will be undertaken in a secure manner that protects patient privacy. We will take all reasonable steps to protect the security of the personal information we hold. This includes appropriate measures to protect electronic materials stored and generated in hard copy. You acknowledge that the security of communications sent by electronic means cannot be guaranteed. It is necessary for medical practices to keep patient information after a patient’s last attendance for as long as required by law or is prudent, having regard to administrative requirements.
All staff are required to sign confidentiality agreements that protect your privacy and confidentiality
Privacy and our website
Your contact information provided when you communicate with us via our website www.theneighbourhood.clinic or via social media is collected to enable us to respond to you. Marketing information regarding our services will only be provided when you subscribe to our email newsletter.
Our practice offers an online appointment booking service using a third party provider – HotDocs. All terms and conditions are provided when you choose to use this service.
What happens if you choose not to provide the information?
You are not obliged to provide us your personal information. However, if you choose not to provide your personal details such as name, address, date of birth and contact information, we may not be able to provide you with the full range of our services.
Treatment of Children
The rights of children to the privacy of their health information, based on the professional judgement of the doctor and consistent with law, may restrict access to the child’s information by parents or guardians.
If you have any complaints about our privacy practices or wish to make a complaint about how your personal information is managed please contact the Practice Manager. All complaints will be dealt with fairly and as quickly as possible.
A privacy complaint relates to any concern or dispute that you have with our privacy practices as it relates to your personal information. This could include matters such as how personal information is collected, stored, used, disclosed or how access is provided.
If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of our handling of your complaint you may contact the Victorian Health Services Commissioner on Free Call 1800 136 066, visit the website https://hcc.vic.gov.au/ or the Federal Privacy Commissioner.
Access to Health Records
If you would like access to, or a copy of your information (including health information), please make an appointment to discuss this with your doctor.
To obtain access to your information you will have to provide proof of your identity. This is necessary to ensure that personal information is provided only to correct and authorised individuals.
Costs and charges
There is no fee to lodge a request for access.
The Neighbourhood Clinic may charge a fee to cover the costs of meeting your request. There are limits to the fees we can charge and these are prescribed in the Health Records Act 2002 (Vic)
These charges cannot be claimed on Medicare of Health Funds.
PSYCHOLOGY COMMUNICATIONS POLICY
THE NEIGHBOURHOOD CLINIC
This page is about how our psychologists communicate with clients. Please read it to understand how mental health professionals work and what patients can expect.
Communicating outside of sessions, especially via easy-to-reach technology, can blur the boundaries of therapy and stop the effect of you dedicating one hour per week to really working on the hard stuff. I don't do e-therapy or phone therapy and prefer all phone contact about appointment making to be via the Clinic's reception desk. Your sessions are an open space for you to discuss anything you wish and you should use them that way.
I always recommend that you trial a few telephone support services and find which one 'fits' for you, so that you can make use of it in a crisis. A couple of good options are Lifeline on 13 11 14 or their after-hours chat room www.lifeline.org.au/get-help/online-services/crisis-chat.If you feel you need additional support outside of therapy sessions, there are a few great support groups around. Black Dog Institute has a list of Victoria ones at: https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/getting-help/clinics-support-groups/other-support-groups
Occasionally there may be a reason you need to provide some document or information via email. This can be done via the Clinic. Call the clinic on 9043 6568 and explain that you need to email something to me, and they will give you an appropriate address and let me know it's on the way. Be aware that all emails are retained in the logs of your Internet service provider. These logs are in theory available to be read by their system administrator. You should also know that any emails received from you and any responses to you become a part of your legal record.
Social Media Communications
Adding clients as contacts on any social media sites can compromise the confidentiality of the client and so it is not an approved practise under the Australian Psychological Society Code of Conduct. I do not have any administrator control over the Neighbourhood Clinic website. The APS Code of Conduct prohibits psychologists from soliciting testimonials from clients and therefore we ask that clients do not comment on our work online.
Some psychologists might live locally to their place of practice. Due to professional ethics psychologists do not connect personally with clients outside of their professional work roles. Were you and your psychologist to encounter each other in the community (e.g school, or event) your psychologist will respect your privacy and not approach you or discuss your personal information in public, but will be polite and respectful, interacting in a manner that is appropriate to the setting.
Online Information in Therapy
I do recommend use of online Apps, such as those that allows you to record your emotions and thoughts during the day. I will not monitor this usage online. You will be expected to bring any useful reporting from these Apps to your session to share. The material in them remains your own, and it is your decision as to what information you wish to share with me. It is preferable that you ask your therapist first before showing any material that might be offensive, such as explicit material. It may be that you can simply describe this material rather than showing it to your therapist.