Privacy & Information Collection Policy
Bay Medical Aesthetics takes its obligations under the Victorian Health Records Act 2001 and the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988 seriously and takes all reasonable steps in order to comply and protect the privacy of personal information.
This policy explains how we collect, use, disclose and otherwise handle personal and sensitive information. We recognise that individuals have a right to control how their personal information is collected and used. Providing personal information is an act of trust and it is taken seriously. Unless given consent to do otherwise, we will only collect and use personal information as set out below.
For the purposes of this policy, personal information may mean some or all of the following:
Collection of Information
Bay Medical Aesthetics collects and holds personal information about you in order to provide the best possible service.
Any information collected by Bay Medical Aesthetics is collected via correspondence from you. This may be via the telephone, e-mail, mail, digital chat or directly through our website or electronic check-in process.
This information enables us to properly assess, diagnose, treat your concerns and be proactive in your health care needs. The information we may ask you may be very personal but not having this information may restrict our capacity to provide you with the standard of care that you expect.
When a treatment or product is purchased, personal information will be requested in order to provide the treatment or product, provide updated information, and advise of other treatments and products which may be of interest. You are not obligated to provide personal information, but failure to do so may result in us being unable to provide services or products to you.
You don’t need to identify yourself when you deal with us. However, in certain situations we will only deal with individuals who have identified themselves to us.
All members of the team involved in your care will have access to your personal information. This means we may use and disclose the information you provide in the following ways:
Our goal is to ensure that your information is accurate, complete and up-to-date. To assist us with this, please contact us if any of the details you have provided change or if you believe the information we have about you is inaccurate, incomplete or outdated. We will use all reasonable efforts to maintain the accuracy and currency or your information in our system of records.
The storage, use, and where necessary, transfer of personal information will be undertaken in a secure manner that protects patient privacy.
We will take all reasonable steps to protect the security of the personal information that we hold. This includes appropriate measures to protect electronic materials stored and those generated in hard copy. Even if you leave the practice, we are still required to keep patient information for as long as required by law, i.e. seven (7) years or more after your last appointment depending on your age.
We may be required to use various government identifiers. For patients, these identifiers include Individual Healthcare Identifiers, Medicare card numbers and Department of Veterans Affairs file numbers. concession card details, and Safety Net Numbers.
We may disclose personal information about you to various government departments and other entities for the purpose of billing those entities for the health services that we provide to you. We may also be required to disclose personal information to other government departments.
We will not sell or otherwise use or disclose your personal or treatment information unless authorised by you, except where the use or disclosure is required by law or where the disclosure of your health information is reasonably required due to a permitted health situation. We may charge these other entities for our intellectual property (the information collected by us, and the clinical management, thoughts and processes associated with that information).
What happens if you choose not to provide the information?
You are not obliged to provide us your personal information. However, if you choose not to provide Bay Medical Aesthetics with your personal details such as name, contact number, email address, date of birth, allergies, and medical & drug history, we may not be able to provide you with the full range of our services.
Access to Personal Information
Patients have a general right of access to all treatment information held about them The following is a list of treatment information to which individuals have a right to access:
Bay Medical Aesthetics is required to provide the individual with access in the format requested by the individual.
Request for Access
Patients do not have to give reasons for requesting access
The privacy legislation does not require immediate handing over of a treatment record. Access should however be provided within a reasonable time (no longer than 45 days).
If a patient requests access to a test result (whether before the doctor has had the opportunity of consulting with the patient, or after) the doctor should handle this situation in accordance with usual clinical practice. A hard copy of test results may be given to the patient after consultation with their doctor.
Where a patient requests access to a test report from 12 months (or more) ago, after appropriate clinical investigations had occurred, the request should still be referred to the doctor to handle in accordance with usual clinical practice.
Where a patient requests more detailed access, for example a copy of the entire file or a chance to view a large portion of the file, this would normally require written application for access as described below.
If the patient requests a copy of the file, then Bay Medical Aesthetics will only supply an accurate summary of the original file. All original files, in physical or digital formats, are the sole property of Bay Medical Aesthetics.
There are some circumstances in which access is restricted, and in these cases reasons for denying access will be explained.
Patients can only be given access to their medical record while their doctor is present to explain and discuss the record. No patient will be allowed unsupervised access to their record.
The access process:
Types of Access and Costs:
The types of access available, and relevant costs, are outlined below. A range of fees (as set by the Health Records Act) are payable to cover Bay Medical Aesthetics’ costs in providing access.
Viewing file with explanation by Practitioner:
Changes to the medical record
If a patient finds that the information held on them is not accurate or complete, the patient may have that information amended accordingly by their practitioner.
Disclosure of Health Information to Medical Defence Organizations and Lawyers
Doctors may be obliged to disclose patient information relating to adverse outcomes to their Medical Defence Organization, insurer, medical experts or lawyers, without obtaining patient consent, so long as the disclosure is within the reasonable expectations of the patient.
Discretionary refusal of access
Bay Medical Aesthetics could refuse access if:
If access is refused on the grounds of serious threat to the patients’ life or health, the patient can ask for a second opinion – this process is described in the Complaint Handling Process section.
The doctor may choose not to provide access where:
Where there are direct inconsistencies between the Victorian Health Records Act and the Commonwealth Privacy Act, the Commonwealth law will prevail.
Second opinion of refusal of access
When advised that access has been refused on the grounds of serious threat to the individual’s life or health, the individual can ask for a ‘second opinion’. The individual may nominate any health service provider who has consented to being nominated.
Bay Medical Aesthetics must accept this nomination if they provide the same kind of service as a practitioner and can interpret and understand the information. The clinic must give a copy of the file to the nominated health service provider within 14 days. That person then looks at the file, discusses it with the usual doctor at Bay Medical Aesthetics, and decides as to whether it poses a threat to the individual’s life or health. If the second opinion is that there is no threat, access must be provided in the form of inspection, but a copy does not have to be provided.
Complaint Handling Process
The patient’s practitioner would usually be the first appropriate person to discuss any complaints. Most issues can be resolved simply through discussion with the patient. Only on failure to reach common ground would the Privacy Commissioner be asked to investigate a complaint.
Contact details for Privacy Commissioner:
Contact Details for the Health Complaints Commissioner are:
Hotline 1300 582 113
Fax 03 9032 3111
Level 26 570 Bourke Street