In operating our practice, we collect, use and disclose personal information. We understand the importance to our patients of maintaining privacy in relation to the personal information we collect.
Personal information is information or an opinion about an identified person, or someone who is reasonably identifiable, whether or not the information or opinion is true and whether the information or opinion is recorded in a material form or not.
The types of personal information we may collect and hold about you include:
- Date of Birth
- Next of kin
- Contact Details
- Health Fund details
- Medical history
- Clinical notes
- Treatment plan
- Referral details
- Disease conditions
We collect personal information about you in several ways, including:
- information collected by independent dental service providers and recorded on patient records;
- information from external health providers which is provided and placed on the record of the patient;
- information collected through websites in the form of online enquiries or requests for appointments;
We take reasonable steps to protect patient medical records from misuse, interference and loss and also from unauthorised access, modification and disclosure.
We collect, maintain, use and disclose personal information about you in order to provide you with appropriate care, treatment and services.
Your personal information is used by us:
- to provide you with dental care and services;
- to provide you and/or technician with information that may assist you in managing and improving your oral health; and
- as a dental history for you that allows us to provide you with better care as it assists with identifying changes to your dental health over time.
We use your personal information as necessary to manage our administration, including storage of data, and management of accounts and payment for the services provided to you. Specifically, we will use and, where necessary, disclose your personal information:
- to obtain payment from you, your private health insurance fund or from any organization responsible for payment of any part of your account, such as the Department of Veterans Affairs;
- if the circumstances require, we may disclose your personal information to our insurers;
- to manage and store your personal information in a secure fashion, including management and storage by third parties;
- for data entry and data analytics purposes;
Any such disclosures are subject to strict conditions relating to confidentiality and data security.
We may use your personal information to communicate with you, including to:
- give you important information (including by SMS or email) about the products and services offered by our practices;
- respond to your online enquiries or process requests for appointments;
- advertise to you particular products and services that may be of interest to you; and
- send you appointment reminders (including by SMS or email) in relation to obtaining services from our clinic. This enables us to contact you, for example, to make follow-up appointments to discuss test results, or to remind you that you, or a dependant, are due for a particular consultation or procedure.
We may be required by law to disclose your personal information without your consent.
We take reasonable steps, and implement reasonable safeguards, to ensure the protection of the personal information that we hold. All patient information is handled securely and in accordance with professional duties of confidentiality.
We are subject to a range of rules relating to the periods for which health information and records must be retained. We must generally retain health information about an individual:
for 7 years from the last occasion on which we provided a health service to the individual – if we collected the information when the individual was 18 years old or older; or
until the individual turns 25 – if we collected the information when the individual was less than 18 years old.
If you do not provide us with all the personal information we request, we may not be able to provide services to you. We only collect as much personal information from you as we need to provide you with services and to allow us to obtain payment on their behalf for those services.
You may request access to the personal information we hold about you. You can also request that corrections be made to it.
There are some circumstances where we are not required to give you access to or correct your personal information. We will normally give you a written notice setting out our reasons for not complying with your request and informing you of how you can complain about our refusal.
There is no fee for requesting access to your personal information or for us to make corrections.
If you have any concerns about how we handle your personal information or you wish to make a complaint that we have breached the Australian Privacy Principles prescribed by the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), please contact us. If you would like to make a complaint, you will need to send us a written complaint (see details below).
We will endeavour to respond to your complaint within a reasonable time after it is made.