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.
NATIONAL PRIVACY PRINCIPLE 1 – COLLECTION
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.
NATIONAL PRIVACY PRINCIPLE 2 – 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.
NATIONAL PRIVACY PRINCIPLE 3 – 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.
NATIONAL PRIVACY PRINCIPLE 4 – 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.
NATIONAL PRIVACY PRINCIPLE 5 – OPENNESS
This policy document outlines the way GULF & 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 optometrist.
NATIONAL PRIVACY PRINCIPLE 6 – 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 accurate information.
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 illegal.
The physical record and the intellectual property contained in it remain the property of the optometrist and / or GULF & RANGES OPTOMETRIST at all times.
NATIONAL PRIVACY PRINCIPLE 7 – IDENTIFIERS
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 purposes.
The patient’s Medicare number will only be used for the purpose of claiming Medicare benefits.
NATIONAL PRIVACY PRINCIPLE 8 – ANONYMITY
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.
NATIONAL PRIVACY PRINCIPLE 9 – 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.
NATIONAL PRIVACY PRINCIPLE 10 – SENSITIVE INFORMATION
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 criminal record.
Call: (08) 8642 2766
Gulf and Ranges Optometrists,
7 Chapel Street, Port Augusta, SA, 5700