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Privacy Policy and Data Security

Introduction

 

This privacy policy is to provide information to you, our patient, on how your personal information (which includes your health information) is collected and used within our practice, and the circumstances in which we may share it with third parties.

Why and when your consent is necessary

 

When you register as a patient of our practice, you provide consent for our Clinicians and practice staff to access and use your personal information so they can provide you with the best possible healthcare. Only staff who need to see your personal information will have access to it. If we need to use your information for anything else, we will seek additional consent from you to do this.

Why do we collect, use, hold and share your personal information?

 

Our practice will need to collect your personal information to provide healthcare services to you. Our main purpose for collecting, using, holding and sharing your personal information is to manage your health. We also use it for directly related business activities, such as financial claims and payments, practice audits and accreditation, and business processes (eg staff training).

What personal information do we collect?

 

The information we will collect about you includes your:

  • names, date of birth, addresses, contact details, emergency 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, claiming and referral purposes healthcare identifiers health fund details.

Dealing with us anonymously

 

You 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 or authorised by law to only deal with identified individuals. If you do choose to remain anonymous or use a pseudonym this may impact our ability to process health insurance or medical insurance claims on your behalf, or liaise via referral networks efficiently.

How do we collect your personal information?

 

Our practice may collect your personal information in several different ways.

 

  1. When you make your first appointment our practice staff will collect your personal and demographic information via your registration. This may be in-person, over the phone or online via the online booking calendar available on our website.

  2. During the course of providing health services, we may collect further personal information. Clinicians at this practice may access your My Health Record via Shared Health Summary or Event Summary, to provide you with the best care and may add to these records. You will be informed before this occurs and your consent sought, which you may decline at any time.

  3. We may also collect your personal information when you visit our website (Online enquiry form), send us an email or SMS, telephone us, make an online appointment or communicate with us using social media.

  4. In some circumstances personal information may also be collected from other sources. Often this is 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 and pathology and diagnostic imaging services

  • your health fund, Medicare, or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (as necessary).

When, why and with whom do we share your personal information?

 

We sometimes share your personal information:

  • with third parties who work with our practice for business purposes, such as accreditation agencies or information technology providers – these third parties are required to comply with APPs and this policy

  • with other healthcare providers

  • when it is required or authorised by law (eg court subpoenas)

  • when it is necessary to lessen or prevent a serious threat to a patient’s life, health or safety or public health or safety, or it is impractical to obtain the patient’s consent

  • to assist in locating a missing person

  • to establish, exercise or defend an equitable claim

  • for the purpose of confidential dispute resolution process

  • when there is a statutory requirement to share certain personal information (eg some diseases require mandatory notification)

  • during the course of providing medical and/or healthcare services, through eTP, My Health Record (eg via Shared Health Summary, Event Summary), Halaxy and GinkgoAI.


 

Only people who need to access your information will be able to do so. Other than in the course of providing medical and/or healthcare services or as otherwise described in this policy, our practice will not share personal information with any third party without your consent. We will not share your personal information with anyone outside Australia (unless under exceptional circumstances that are permitted by law) without your consent.

 

Our practice will not use your personal information for marketing any of our goods or services directly to you without your express consent. If you do consent, you may opt out of direct marketing at any time by notifying our practice in writing or via any provided online links to this effect attached to said marketing.

 

Our practice may use your personal information to improve the quality of the services we offer to our patients through research and analysis of our patient data.

 

We may at times provide de-identified data to other organisations within Australia to improve population health outcomes, if requested by government agencies such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This information is secure, patients cannot be identified and that information is stored within Australia. You can let our reception staff know if you do not want your information included.

How do we store and protect your personal information?

 

Your personal information may be stored at our practice in various forms.

 

This includes paper records, electronic records, visual records (X-rays, CT scans, videos and photos) either hard copy or digital, and audio recordings (where appropriate, applicable for health record keeping and with your consent).

 

Our practice stores all personal information securely and includes encryption of all electronic data on our systems, the use of passwords, and secured cabinets for hard copies. Regarding electronic data, we implement a tiered access permissions structure (staff, practice administrators and clinicians have appropriate restrictions and levels of access to information). We also employ confidentiality agreements for all staff, clinicians and contractors of this practice.

 

Prior to discarding electronic equipment, we will securely erase all confidential material from any devices that store data. We will use CCleaner and a ‘long format’ formatting option to erase any free space on any digital storage media to complete the sanitisation procedure for any PC systems. Any locked out devices will have their memory modules (i.e SD Cards) removed and erased. Any and all devices will also be factory reset before disposal.

 

Regarding cloud based storage, our patient management and EMR systems are hosted on Microsoft Azure Cloud and the data is stored on the database in Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS). Your data is stored safely here in Australia and the USA by way of 256-bit AES encryption, one of the strongest block ciphers available, and is FIPS 140-2 compliant. Microsoft Antimalware for Azure is a real-time protection that helps identify and remove viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. Azure VMs backup is encrypted at rest and in transit with Storage Service Encryption (SSE) and stored in a Recovery Services vault with built-in management of recovery points where they are only accessible via TLS/SSL. The full backup of the VM is once a day, and daily backups are retained for 30 days. The AWS systems are FIPS 140-2, PCI DSS Level 1 (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) and ISO 27001 (Information Security Management System) compliant. Microsoft Antimalware for Azure is a real-time protection capability. In the event of a data breach, an internal policy and response plan has been prepared in accordance with the Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme and there are end-to-end backup and disaster recovery solutions in place.

How can you access and correct your personal information at our practice?

 

You have the right to request access to, and correction of, your personal information.

 

Our practice acknowledges patients may request access to their medical records. We require you to put this request in writing and must be addressed via email to admin@lotuspalm.org with the subject line MEDICAL RECORDS REQUEST: [insert patient name] and our practice will respond within a reasonable time frame of 30 days. In the event extraneous administration tasks are required to process this request (i.e substantial scanning of hardcopy records/media), a fee of $27.50 per hour will be applied (billed at 15min intervals). Any out of pocket postage requirements will also be at the expense of the patient.

 

Our practice will take reasonable steps to correct your personal information where the information is not accurate or up to date. From time to time, we will ask you to verify that your personal information held by our practice is correct and current and is not a billed service. You may also request that we correct or update your information, and you should make such requests in writing to admin@lotuspalm.org.

How can you lodge a privacy-related complaint, and how will the complaint be handled at our practice?

 

We take complaints and concerns regarding privacy seriously. You should express any privacy concerns you may have in writing to admin@lotuspalm.org or mailed to 66 Atherton Road, Oakleigh Victoria 3166. We will then attempt to resolve it in accordance with our resolution procedure within 30 days of which you will be notified. This will include a review of systems and procedures, and discussion with senior administrators and clinicians. During this period of resolution you may be contacted by our staff to discuss the matter and asked to provide further information if required.

 

You may also contact the OAIC. Generally, the OAIC will require you to give them time to respond before they will investigate. For further information visit www.oaic.gov.au or call the OAIC on 1300 363 992. You may also contact the Victoria Health Complaints Commissioner via their website https://hcc.vic.gov.au/ or call 1300 582 113.

Privacy and our website

 

We may collect your personal information when you visit our website if you use our Online enquiry form, send us an email or SMS, telephone us, make an online appointment or communicate with us using social media.

 

Our company is hosted on the Wix.com platform. Wix.com provides us with the online platform that allows us to sell our products and services to you. Your data may be stored through Wix.com’s data storage, databases and the general Wix.com applications. They store your data on secure servers behind a firewall.  

 

We receive, collect and store any information you enter on our website or provide us in any other way. In addition, we collect the Internet protocol (IP) address used to connect your computer to the Internet; login; e-mail address; password; computer and connection information and purchase history (if applicable). We may use software tools to measure and collect session information, including page response times, length of visits to certain pages, page interaction information, and methods used to browse away from the page.

 

We may also collect personally identifiable information (including name, email, password, communications); payment details with consent (including credit card information), comments, feedback, product reviews, recommendations, and personal profile.

 

When you conduct a transaction on our website, as part of the process, we collect personal information you give us such as your name, address and email address. Your personal information will be used for the specific reasons stated above only. This information is used to answer enquiries, book appointments or inform administration of complaints or feedback.

 

This practice does not actively use website advertising or tracking cookies. Please review the above sections of this privacy policy for additional details regarding data security, collection and uses. If you don’t want us to process your data anymore, please contact us at admin@lotuspalm.org or send us mail to: 66 Atherton Road, Oakleigh Victoria 3166, Australia.

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