What happens to information about me?
When you become a client of any health service provided by Dhelkaya Health a health record will be created. This will contain basic identification data, contact details, information for billing purposes and information about your condition and treatment given. Each time you attend the service new information is added to your record. Some information may be recorded on our computer system and a paper history will be kept to record all relevant information about you.
Why is this information necessary?
It is necessary for us to collect and keep this information to ensure that each health care professional involved in your care has all the facts. Your previous history of care can help us quickly identify which treatments are likely to be safe and effective for you. We rely on information you give staff to help us provide the right care and attention for you. Withholding relevant information may delay your treatment or put your health at risk.
How is my information used?
Your health information will be shared amongst those health care professionals in your treating team. All staff at Dhelkaya Health are bound by professional ethics and legal obligations with respect to maintaining the confidentiality of your information.
When you are discharged from our services we usually send a letter to your local doctor, health care provider or the service which referred you to us. This also applies if you are transferred or referred to another hospital or agency. The letter summarises your care with us, your medications and any special instructions we need your healthcare provider to know. Only people who are directly involved in your ongoing care can receive this information about you.
If you do not wish information to be released to your other health care providers please let your Unit Manager or treating Therapist know as soon as possible so that any concerns can be discussed. Refusals need to be documented.
My Health Record
My Health Record is an Australian Government initiative to provide a national digital health record. The My Health Records Act 2012 allows the upload of patient information to the My Health Record system. Your consent is implied for the uploading of clinical information to your My Health Record, unless you expressly withdraw this consent. The Act also permits access to the information in your My Health Record by authorised clinicians who are providing your care at Dhelkaya Health. You can withdraw your consent to upload by expressing this to your clinician during your admission.
In the future, if you are an inpatient in a hospital, or in a medical emergency situation, we will release information about you to facilitate your care if the treating hospital asks us. In all other circumstances, your written consent will be sought prior to the information being released. Some of your information may be used to:
- help educate staff
- help staff review the care they provide to ensure it is of the highest standard
- plan future services and check that we are running an efficient service
- study disease patterns or treatments offered
- conduct health research and planning.
Wherever possible this information will not identify you. If identification is necessary, your permission will be sought.
Our legal obligations
We are required by law to release information in certain circumstances. These include reporting of specific diseases to databases maintained by the Department of Health or other health care organisations. We must also provide medical records to the courts when subpoenaed. We are also required to report statistical information to the Department of Health and other agencies, however, no identifying details are included.
How long is my information kept?
Your information is stored securely and can only be accessed by authorised staff. It can only be destroyed according to standards set by the Public Records Office Victoria and other government agencies.
Access to information about me
The Freedom of Information Act 1982 allows people to have access to their health records in most circumstances. All requests for access should be made via the Chief Executive Officer. There is a small fee charged for this service.
Australian Privacy Principles
We uphold the Australian Privacy Principles by:
- taking precautions to keep data safe
- following the Retention and Disposal guidelines as required by the Public Record Office of Victoria.
- act on email list unsubscribe requests promptly
If you have feedback about the management of your privacy, you can talk to any member of your treating team. There are also external organisations which assist with health care complaints:
- Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner (OVIC) – 1300 006 842
- Health Complaints Commissioner – 1300 582 113
If you have any questions or concerns during your episode of care with us please discuss them with your Unit Manager or treating Therapist. After discharge, if you have any concerns, you can write to:
Chief Executive Officer
PO Box 50
CASTLEMAINE Vic 3450
The Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 and the Health Records Act 2001 regulate the information handling of personal and health information. They include standards for information collection, use, disclosure and protection of personal and health information. Find out more at www.dhs.vic.gov.au
The Public Record Office Victoria sets the standards for disposal of public records. The Public Record Office Standard on the Retention and Disposal Authority for Patient Information Records (PROS 11/06) provides a mechanism for the disposal of records created during and post 1950. Find out more at www.prov.vic.gov.au
The Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights describes the rights of patients, consumers and other people using Australian health services to receive high quality and safe healthcare. Find out more at www.health.vic.gov.au
Website Contact Forms
Including contact information within contact forms is not compulsory, however it may impact our ability to contact you. We:
- only collect personal information you have voluntarily elected to submit via the contact form
- only use the personal information for the purpose you have agreed
- destroy the personal information when we have no business reason for retaining it.