This policy has been prepared in
accordance with the requirements of the Privacy
Amendment (Private Sector) Act 2000.
NATIONAL PRIVACY PRINCIPLES
Gulf & Ranges Optometrist follows
the 10 National Privacy Principles (NPP’s) contained in the Privacy Act 1988,
as amended. These NPP’s set out how
information may be collected and used, and the rights and responsibilities of
the various parties in the collection, storage and use of that information.
Information collected by GULF
& RANGES OPTOMETRIST about a patient is intended to only be used
for the purpose of providing the best possible standard of eye care to that
patient. This information may include
information specifically about their visual status, as well as information
about their general health and the health of their relatives, where this is
relevant to their visual status.
Information will generally be
collected directly from the patient, although in some cases it will be necessary
to obtain information from others, for example the patient’s parents, where the
patient is not able to provide the information themselves.
The optometrist will answer any
queries the patient may have about the information being collected or the reasons
that it is being collected.
NPP2: USE AND DISCLOSURE
Information provided by a patient
will be used for the benefit of that patient, in particular to provide them
with the highest possible standard of eye care.
In some cases, this may require providing
information about the patient to another health care practitioner, for example,
when a patient is referred to a specialist for treatment. When this occurs, the patient will be
informed that the information is being provided.
Information will be released when
the optometrist is legally required to do so.
In most cases this will require a court to order the release of the
information, although information may also be released when the optometrist
believes that this is necessary to prevent a serious and imminent threat to a
person’s life, health or safety, or to public health and safety.
Some information, such as the patient’s
identity and the type of consultation provided, may be released in order
Medicare benefits to be claimed.
Commonwealth legislation also allows records to be inspected by
representatives of the Health Insurance Commission in order to investigate where
Medicare benefits have been paid inappropriately.
NPP3: DATA QUALITY
The optometrist will make all
reasonable efforts to ensure that the information held about the patient is
complete, accurate and up-to-date. When
a patient informs the optometrist of any inaccuracy, it will be corrected as
soon as possible.
NPP4: DATA SECURITY
The optometrist will take all
reasonable steps to ensure that they hold about the patient is protected from
misuse, loss and unauthorised access or disclosure.
The only people who have access
to patient records are the optometrists involved in the care of the patient,
and practice staff, who need access for purposed such as optical dispensing and
billing. No unauthorised persons are
permitted to access the records.
It is policy of GULF
& RANGES OPTOMETRIST that unauthorised release of personal
information about patients is grounds for dismissal.
This policy document outlines the
& RANGES OPTOMETRIST collects, handles and releases information
about patients and is available to anyone who requests a copy. Patients who wish to find out more about how
the practice manages personal information should discuss this with the
NPP6: ACCESS AND CORRECTION
Patients may have access to the
information held about them and, if the information is incorrect, amended
information will be added to the record.
Patients who wish to examine the
information held about them should notify their optometrist, who will arrange
for them to have access. The optometrist
will assist the patient in interpreting the information in the record, and will
explain any technical terms abbreviations or jargon.
If the patient believes that any factual
information in the record is incorrect, the may ask the optometrist to correct
it. Such corrections will be noted on
the record, along with information such as when the alteration was made, who
made it, and the reasons for the alteration.
If there is a disagreement about whether the information is accurate,
and this disagreement cannot be resolved, the patient my request that the
disagreement be noted on the record, along with what they believe to be
The optometrist will prepare a
summary of the information held about the patient for any patient who requests
it. A reasonable fee may be charged for
preparing the report.
Under some circumstances, the
optometrist may refuse to provide access to the information held about a patient. This will only occur where releasing the
information would pose a serious threat to the health of the patient or another
person, would unreasonably impact on the privacy of another person, who
interfere in legal investigations or other proceedings, or would otherwise be
The physical record and the
intellectual property contained in it remain the property of the optometrist
and / or GULF & RANGES OPTOMETRIST at all times.
GULF & RANGES OPTOMETRIST will
only use an identifier that has been assigned by a Commonwealth agency for the
purpose for which it has been assigned.
Such identifiers will not be used for the practice’s own internal
The patient’s Medicare number
will only be used for the purpose of claiming Medicare benefits.
Patients may request anonymity if
they so desire, however they should be aware that this may lead to them
receiving a lower stand of care, due to difficulty in accessing information
about their previous condition. Anonymity
may also prevent them claiming Medicare benefits.
NPP9: TRANS-BORDER DATA FLOWS
GULF & RANGES OPTOMETRIST will
not transfer data about the patient to a recipient in a foreign country unless
the data will receive at leas the same level of protection as in Australia,
unless the patient gives their permission for the practice to do so.
GULF & RANGES OPTOMETRIST will
not collect sensitive information about the patient without the patient’s
consent, except where collecting such information is required by law, or where
the patient (or their representative) cannot give consent and the information
is needed to provide a health service to the patient or to reduce a threat to
the life or health of another person.
‘Sensitive Information’ is defined as information about a person’s
health, their racial or ethnic origin, their political, religious or
philosophical beliefs and affiliations, their membership in professional or
trade associations or unions, their sexual preferences or practices, or their
Call: (08) 8642 2766
Gulf and Ranges Optometrists,
7 Chapel Street, Port Augusta, SA, 5700