Privacy is important to your medical care. At Direct Endoscopy we are committed to protecting our patients’ privacy, through explaining our practices, only collecting and disclosing medical information with patients’ consent, and resolving any privacy-related problems as quickly as possible.
Recent amendments to the Privacy Act 1988 require private sector organisations to protect the privacy of an individual’s personal information. This document explains Direct Endoscopy’s measures to comply with the Privacy Act.
Direct Endoscopy will protect your privacy by:
- Only obtaining information about your health with your consent
- Keeping your health information secure
- Giving you access to the information we have concerning you
- Not disclosing this information outside the organisation without your consent
- Allowing you to withdraw your consent at any stage
- Providing you with a simple complaints mechanism for complaints relating to privacy issues
- Ensuring a process for working with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner to resolve any complaints that can not be resolved directly with you
- Providing written procedures and instruction for staff to ensure that privacy sensitive processes are adhered to
- Ensuring Direct Endoscopy’s external contractors comply with the Act
- Continuing to review and improve our privacy practices.
At Direct Endoscopy we appreciate and highly value the relationship we have with you. As an important part of this relationship, we are committed to protecting the personal information that you entrust to us.
Your personal information
Direct Endoscopy collects personal information in order to provide quality diagnostic services and assist in the provision of medical care.
The main categories of personal information Direct Endoscopy collects are:
- phone contact
- date of birth
Direct Endoscopy also collects sensitive (health) information in the course of providing health services to an individual including:
- The results of any tests or procedures
- Information about your past clinical history (eg: medication taken, previous test results etc)
- Other health information provided by your referring doctor
- Payment and administrative information such as your Medicare or private health insurance information
- Information collected from you directly when you attend our clinics
- Information provided by third parties such as your referring doctor or your authorised representative.
If you choose not to provide your personal information to Direct Endoscopy we may be unable to provide you with the services you request.
How we use your information
Direct Endoscopy may use your information for the purposes of:
- Making an assessment of your health status
- Providing a specialist medical report about your health to your referring doctor
- Billing and collection of any outstanding debts
- Sending you reminder notices of specific repeat tests (eg: gastroscopy, colonoscopy)
- Notifying relevant organisations such as insurance companies and legal advisers of an incident/accident when a claim of medical malpractice has been alleged.
Disclosure of your information
Direct Endoscopy does not sell or disclose information about our patients to drug companies or other health organisations who are not involved in your medical care.
Direct Endoscopy may sometimes need to disclose information about you to organisations outside of Direct Endoscopy for medical, ethical, legal and/or procedural reasons.
These organisations may include:
- Forwarding to consultant medical specialists or organisations outside of Direct Endoscopy for further advice on your medical condition
- Contractors who (under strict privacy guidelines) assist us in some of our business operations, such as
- maintenance of our information technology systems and
- billing and debt-recovery, finance and general office services
- Your representative(s) (eg: your guardian, authorised representatives such as family members or legal advisers)
- Medicare or your private health fund for the purpose of benefits payable
- Our professional advisers (such as accountants, auditors and legal advisers)
- Government and regulatory authorities and other organisations, as required or authorised by law
Accuracy of your information
Direct Endoscopy endeavors to ensure the information we collect, use and disclose is accurate and up-to-date.
The accuracy of that information depends on the information you provide to us. We recommend that you:
- Tell us if there are any errors in the information we hold
- Inform us of changes to your information such as your name, address, or Medicare number
- Your information is being kept safe and will not be disclosed to anyone without your permission. Internal procedures have been developed and staff training has been provided to ensure the privacy of your information is secure.
Access to your information
The best way to obtain your results is in consultation with your doctor so they can be explained in the context of your healthcare.
You may request access to information however, depending on the nature of your request, we may ask you to complete a personal information access request form, and require you to properly identify yourself by producing two forms of identification to verify your right to receive the personal information requested.
In some instances, charges may apply for the reproduction of results. We will inform you of any costs before they are incurred. In some circumstances your requested may be denied for specific legal reasons as set out in the Privacy Act, including if the request is vexatious or a criminal investigation is under way.
If your request is denied, a reason will be given to you.