Please note: This Policy will be reviewed on a regular basis. Any updates will be advised to our patients via signage in our waiting room and on our website.
When you register at our practice you provide consent for our GP’s and practice staff to access and use your personal information so they can provide you with the best possible healthcare. If we are required to use your personal information for anything else, we will seek additional consent from your prior. We take the security of your information very seriously and all our staff are required to keep your information safe. Each staff members signs a confidentiality agreement prior to their employment, any breach of this agreement would result in instant dismissal.
Information we may collect includes your name, address, date of birth, phone number, next of kin, Medicare/pension details, marital status, gender, occupation, and ethnicity. Medical information includes medical history, including current/previous medications, allergies, adverse reactions, immunisations, social history, family history, and any relevant risk factors.
This information is collected and recorded to provide quality care and is only used for its intended health purposes.
How do we collect your personal information?
Blacksmiths Family Medical Practice collects your information when you register as a patient. Your health history is obtained when you visit one of our GP’s and is updated each visit as required.
How does our practice manage patient confidentiality and your health information?
All our staff are trained in regards to patient confidentiality. We avoid using names when calling patients and have access to an isolated phone for any private phone calls to patients. All your information is protected by high grade virus protection software which is updated and reviewed on a regular basis through our external IT company Hunter Primary Care. All unnecessary paper copies of patient information are stored in a secure unit and shredded by an external registered company, “Clean Away Beresfield”. Our systems are backed up to encrypted hard drives upon close of business every day as a contingency for any IT outages that may occur and we have specialised privacy screens adapted to our computers to improve patient privacy. Any hard copy paperwork is handled with care and is concealed. Cupboards are secured and staff can only access electronic information through individualised logins and passwords.
All patients have the right to deal with us anonymously or under a pseudonym unless it is impracticable for us to do so or unless we are required by law to only deals with identified individuals.
We take feedback about our privacy practices very seriously. If you have feedback or concerns about your privacy, we encourage to lodge detailed feedback in writing. This can be sent to the following mailing address:
Blacksmiths Family Medical Practice
65 Turea St
After receiving your feedback, we will make contact with you within 2 weeks and arrange an informal meeting to discuss your concerns. You are welcome to bring along a support person to the meeting if you wish.
How you can access your health information
Based on our GP’s discretion, we are able to provide copies of your information to you. Alternatively, you can make arrangements to sit down with our GP’s to discuss your information together. There may be a cost involved depending on the time spent with the GP, usually, this would be approximately $30 for 15 minutes. Unfortunately, we cannot give copies of specialist’s letters without the specialist giving permission prior.
If you require your personal and health information to be transferred to another practice, we would require you to make a written request to the above mailing address. Your request would be processed within 2 weeks at a cost of $30.
Your personal and health information will only be given to a family member or friend that you have provided consent for. If you would like a family member or friend to have access to your information, please notify staff and it will be documented within your file.
The most likely third party that we will need to communicate with (in regards to your personal and health information) are specialists or another health care professional. Consent is given when a referral is created. Other circumstances that may result in us needing to discuss your information include:
Courts (if subpoenas)
If there is a serious threat to your life or if it is impractical to obtain your consent
To assist in locating a missing person
Mandatory notification of disease
Through medical services like “My Health Record” or a shared health summary
It is important to note; our practice will never share your information for marketing purposes.
All information is sent by safe electronic communication. We require third parties to email us initially to obtain the correct email address and verify this information before passing on personal information. We always contact you before we email information to get your permission and to provide increased awareness that we cannot be certain that the only person who sees the email’s contents is the person it is intended for.
All faxes sent from Blacksmiths Family Medical Practice are sent with a cover note asking to respect patient confidentiality.
Our practice does not transfer patient information overseas as we cannot be certain that it is not seen by any unintended parties.
Automation technology is used by this practice. This includes the patient's name, address, date of birth, medical history and medication summaries for referrals. The Doctor can add or delete information as required.
Our practice Doctors are the only staff members to be able to access electronic prescription writing services used within our practice. All paper prescription pads and letter heads are kept in secured locations.