What happens to information about me?

What happens to information about me?

When you become a client of any 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. The collected information may be stored in our computer system and in a paper record.

Why is this information necessary?

It is necessary for us to collect and keep this information to ensure that each health 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 the information you give our staff to help us provide you with optimum care and attention. Withholding relevant information may delay your treatment or put your health at risk.

How is my information used?

Your health information will be shared among the health 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, or the health care provider or service which referred you to us. This also applies if Dhelkaya Health transfers or refers you to another hospital or agency. The letter summarises your care with us, your medications and any special instructions we need the 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 another health care service or provider, please let your treating therapist, or the manager of the Unit treating you, know as soon as possible so that any concerns can be discussed. Refusals need to be documented.

In the future, if you are an inpatient at another health service, or in a medical emergency situation, we will release information about you to facilitate your care if the treating health service 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.

My Health Record

My Health record is an Australian Government initiative to provide a national digital health record. The My Health Record 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 for the uploading by expressing this to your clinician during your admission.

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 federal and state governments. The law also requires us to provide medical records to the courts when subpoenaed. We must also report statistical information (no identifying details included) to the Department of Health and other agencies.

How long is my information kept?

Your information is stored securely and can only be accessed by authorised staff. It can only be destroyed in accordance with standards set by the Public Records Office Victoria.

Access to information about me

The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Victoria) allows people to have access to their health records in most circumstances. All requests for access should be made to the Freedom of Information Officer. A fee is 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 Victoria.
  • reviewing and updating our Privacy Policy

Privacy Feedback

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:

If you have any questions or concerns during your episode of care with us, please discuss them with your treating therapist or the manager of the Unit treating you. After discharge, if you have any concerns, you can write to:

Chief Executive Officer
Dhelkaya Health
PO Box 50

More information

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. 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 Data Collection Forms

Including your contact information within our data collection forms is not compulsory, but it may impact our ability to contact you if it isn’t included. We:

  • only collect personal information you have voluntarily elected to submit via the data collection 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.