The Queensland Maxillofacial Group is committed to providing quality health care for its patients. As a health care provider in the private sector, The Queensland Maxillofacial Group is bound by the National Privacy Principles provided for in the Privacy Act 1988.
The National Privacy Principles set the standards by which we handle, collect, use, distribute and store personal information collected from our patients. A copy of these Principles is available for inspection at the reception desk.
As a part of our commitment to providing quality health care we maintain files containing information concerning to your health history. The following type of information is maintained: Personal details such as your name, address, date of birth;
- Medicare number;
- Your medical history;
- Past and present medications prescribed to you;
- Notes made during the course of medical consultations;
- Referrals to other health service providers;
- Results and reports received from other health service providers.
This information, the “medical record or file” is, at all times, the property of the Queensland Maxillofacial Group.
Routine Procedures For Collecting And Disclosing Health Information
Health information is generally collected by the treating doctor during the course of the consultation.
Ancillary health Information may also be collected by medical administration staff both before and after the consultation.
Health information may also be disclosed to specialist doctors and allied health professionals the treating doctor may refer you to in order to continue your health care.
Ordinarily we will not release the contents of your medical file without your consent. However, we advise that there may be occasions where we will be required to release the details of your file irrespective of whether you consent to the disclosure of the information is given. This will occur where the law requires disclosure. Some examples are:
- there is a serious threat to an individual’s life, health and safety;
- there is suspected unlawful activity;
- there is a specific requirement by law, for example, when served with a subpoena or other court
- reasonably necessary for a range of functions or activities carried out by or on behalf of a law
- enforcement body;
- you are physically or legally incapable of giving consent and the disclosure to a person responsible for you is necessary to provide appropriate health care or treatment or for compassionate reasons and this is not contrary to any prior wish or wish that the responsible person is aware.
We advise that as a patient of this practice you have general rights of access to any information we hold concerning you. Please note there are exceptions. We are happy to discuss these with you. Should you wish to access this information please contact the reception staff and ask for an Accessing Medical Records brochure.
Handling and Storage of Health Information
As part of our commitment to preserving the confidentiality of the information contained in your medical record we advise that strict secure storage policies are observed in this practice. Your electronic records are accessible only by staff of this practice and are protected by a security password. Your paper records are kept in secure filing cabinets or rooms and are accessible only by practice staff. Each member of staff understands the importance of doctor–patient confidentiality.
Information Pre-Dating The Legislation
The privacy legislation came into effect on 21 December 2001 and it may be that in certain circumstances you will not be eligible to access information collected pre-21 December 2001.
Medical files are handled with the utmost respect for patient privacy. A patient’s file will be accessed by the medical practitioner, and when necessary, for example in the absence of a patient’s usual medical practitioner, by other medical practitioners in the practice. It may also be necessary for our staff to handle medical files from time to time to address the administrative requirements of running a medical practice.
The Queensland Maxillofacial Group’s staff is bound by confidentiality requirements as a condition of employment. They sign strict confidentiality agreements upon commencement of employment that remain in place during and after employment with the Practice.
Such confidentiality requirements will be observed if it is necessary for them to view your records.
External Parties and Confidentiality
On occasion it is likely that external organizations will need to access our practice to allow us to maintain a functioning workplace. Further, it may be likely that the medical records kept on site will be viewed, for example, by IT contractors. Such contractors to this practice sign a confidentiality agreement, and where that external organization provides service or advice to this practice, they will be bound by the terms of the confidentiality agreement.
Should you, at any time, have a query or complaint in relation to the privacy policies in place at this practice please contact the Practice Manager who will be happy to address any concerns you may have.
It is the practice’s policy that any complaint must be made in writing and addressed to the Practice Manager and marked “private and confidential”. Upon receipt of the written complaint we will make our best endeavor to address complaints within 60 days of receipt of your complaint.