Our practice respects your privacy
We take your privacy seriously.
We are bound by the Australian Privacy Principles contained in the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act) and the Health Records Act Victoria 2001.
Collection and use of information
We collect health information directly from you and your authorized representatives to provide you with dental treatment.
The personal, or individually identifiable information that We hold about You may include:
- name, address, telephone and email contact details;
- personal details such as age and gender;
- details of previous dentists you’ve been a patient of;
- your Medicare number
- records of service contacts such as system notes and voice recordings of telephone conversation you’ve had with our employees
- financial information (for example, credit card numbers to assist in the administration of payments for dental services).
- details of purchases made, and professional services used, including the date;
- and sensitive information including:
- medical history;
- family medical history;
- current health and dental assessment; and
- health insurance details.
Personal information such as your name, address, health insurance and financial details are used for the purpose of addressing accounts to you, as well as for processing payments, collecting unpaid invoices via an external collection agency, and writing to you about our services and any issues affecting your health care.
During accreditation procedures, some of your de-identified details may be released to the accrediting agency. The accreditation agency is also bound by the privacy act. We will de-identify any information we use including data for research, evaluation and benchmarking. We may also collect health information from a third party such as a health fund or referrer.
We will only collect your e-mail address if you send us a message or you provide us with your address directly. It will only be used for the purpose for which you provided it. You have the option of having your email address deleted from our records at any time.
Non-disclosure of information
If you choose not to provide us with information relevant to your care, we may not be able to provide a service to you, or the service we are asked to provide may not be appropriate for your needs.
Importantly, you could suffer some harm or other adverse outcome if you do not provide information relevant to your care.
Individuals can make a request to remain anonymous or use a pseudonym when receiving healthcare, however requests will only be considered providing it is not impractical or unlawful.
Our Internet Service Provider makes a record of your visit to our practice website and logs the following information for our reference:
- Your server addresses
- Your domain or top-level domain name (for example practice.com, .gov, .au, etc.)
- The date, time and duration of your visit to the site
- The pages you accessed, and documents downloaded
- The previous site you visited
- The type of browser you are using
- Your ISP may collect more or less information for you
This non-identified information is used to monitor usage patterns on our site in order to improve navigation and design features – helping you to get information more easily.
Our website does not provide facilities that guarantee secure transmission of information over the internet. You should be aware that there are risks in transmitting information across the internet, including online forms and email. If you are concerned about conveying sensitive or personal material to Us over the internet, contact us by telephone to discuss the matter.
Our website contains links to other websites. We are not responsible for other websites’ privacy practices, and care should be taken when providing personal information on any website.
Upon closing your browser, the session cookie set by this website is destroyed and no personal information is maintained.
All staff employed in this practice are required to undergo training to understand their responsibilities in maintaining your privacy and to sign a confidentiality agreement in order to protect your personal information.
The purpose of collecting your information is to provide you with a dental service; for internal and external administrative purposes, insurance purposes and record keeping.
We will not use your health information for any other purpose unless one of the following applies:
- You have consented;
- You would reasonably expect that your information may be used for that purpose; for example we may disclose your health information to another health service provider such as a specialist dentist, a technician, your GP or another health practitioner for the purpose of providing you with health care; or
- to Your nominated relatives in an emergency;
- to government and regulatory bodies, eg. Medicare
- to auditors and other service providers We may appoint to ensure the integrity of Our operations
- to third party health benefit providers and insurance companies (contact information only) to assist in the processing of a claim for reimbursement or payment of all or part of the cost of dental treatment submitted by You or on Your behalf
- The use of your health information is required or authorized by law.
The practice takes steps to ensure that the health information we collect is accurate, up to date and complete. These steps include maintaining and updating personal and health information when you attend the practice, or you advise us that your personal information has changed.
The practice keeps hard-copy, electronic records or a hybrid of both.
We protect them by ensuring hard-copy records are kept in locked files and there are security processes in place regarding computer access. Electronic data is backed-up.
Given the inherent insecurity of information passed over the Internet, If you send or request any personal health information to us via the Internet, we cannot guarantee its security.
The practice will transfer records/referrals via email or registered post to dental/medical specialists and/or other dental/medical practices as required. This can be necessary in urgent circumstances or the necessity of quality resolution radiographs.
This practice maintains a Patient Disclosure Register (Patient Record of Transfer or Disclosure) to log all records transferred, to whom, how and date transfer was made. Details of transfer are also entered into patient Dental4Windows records. Privacy warnings are included in all emails.
Your photographs could be used for study/research, or marketing purposes. Unless it’s a referral to other health providers or discussion between your health providers, every possible measure will be applied to keep your identity concealed. All the before and after photographs on Our website are from actual procedures on patients at our practice. No retouching or other modification has been conducted on the photographs. If patient’s identity is revealed in any of the above activities, a signed consent release forms would be obtained. The photographs published do not predict future patient results, as all customer or patient results are different for each person.
Access and correction
You can request access to your health or personal information we hold, or request that we change that information.
Requests for access or correction must be in writing and directed to the practice Privacy Officer.
You can access or make changes to your health or personal information unless we consider that there is a sound reason under the Privacy Act, or other relevant law to withhold the information, or not make the changes.
We may charge You a reasonable fee for access to some types of information. This charge will be limited to the cost of recouping Our costs for providing You with the information. For example, document retrieval, photocopy, labour and delivery to You.
After a period of 7 years (and if you attended the practice as a child, you have reached the age of 25) we may destroy your records in accordance with applicable laws.
Our practice may use your information for the purpose of direct marketing; however, we will not on-sell your personal information.
We understand that you may not wish to receive marketing materials. If you would prefer not to receive such information, please approach the Privacy Officer or another staff member at the practice
Sending information overseas
As part of maintaining your records, the practice may use off-site electronic data storage providers, transcription service providers, professional indemnity insurers, marketing agencies or other third-party service entities. These providers may be located offshore.
We will try to inform you about where your information is sent. Please be assured that we take reasonable steps to ensure compliance with the Australian Privacy Principles in relation to any offshore transfer of your information.
If you suspect there has been or may have been a breach of your privacy, you can complain directly to the practice Privacy Officer. (See Enquiries below).
We take complaints very seriously.
You can lodge a complaint in a number of ways: by phone, email, in writing or in person.
Your complaint will be reviewed in house.
Any appropriate corrective action required to manage this breach and any preventive actions required in order to prevent breach in future will be discussed and decided.
You will be sent a letter explaining the review process and the consequences of the review.
Privacy and general complaints about your care can also be directed to the Health Services Commissioner.