We are committed to ensuring that your personal information is kept private and confidential.
1. What information do we collect?
We will only collect information that is necessary to provide our adequate dental care.
We collect the following types of personal information from patients and prospective patients:
- name and contact details
- age, date of birth and gender
- dental history and previous dentists
- medical history
- details about your current health and medications
- health insurance details.
We collect personal information from you if you ask us to claim directly to your health fund when you are paying your account (through HICAPS). This includes your credit card details, if you pay by credit card.
Our hosting provider and Google Analytics record visits to our official website and store the following information for our reference:
- Your server address
- 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
Note, 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 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.
2. How do we collect your personal information?
We collect personal information in several ways. You may be asked by us to complete a patient questionnaire and give us the information needed to provide dental services, in a safe and appropriate manner. This information includes details of your dental and medical history and current health. You may also be asked to provide personal information verbally to our dentists or other staff members.
We may also collect personal information about you from third parties if you have agreed that they can provide us with this information. For example, we may collect information from:
- your health insurance provider
- other dentists, dental specialists or other health practitioners (including your General Practitioner)
If a person is unable to provide us with sufficient necessary personal information (for example if the patient is a young child or is physically unable to provide these details) we require that this information be provided by the patient’s legal guardian or another person, who is legally entitled to act for that person.
3. How do we use your personal information?
We may use your personal information for any of the following purposes:
- to assess whether we can safely provide you with our dental services
- to maintain and administer your patient file
- to invoice you for our fees
- to process your health insurance claims
- to contact you for follow up services and check-up reminders
- to collect unpaid invoices
- to send information to you about our dental practice
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. In addition, 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.
4. How do we make sure that your information is accurate?
We take reasonable steps to ensure that the personal information we collect from you is accurate, up-to-date and complete. These steps include:
- maintaining and updating your personal information when you attend the practice
- amending information when you let us know that any of your information has changed
5. How do we protect and store your information?
We provide ongoing training to our staff to ensure that the personal information provided to them is kept confidential.
We keep hard copy and electronic records of all patients’ personal information. We take steps to protect these records against loss, misuse, unauthorised access, use, modification or disclosure. We ensure that hard copies of records are kept in locked files and there are security processes in place regarding computer access. We take steps to ensure that electronic data is backed up.
We, or our contracted data storage providers, may use servers, systems and cloud computing providers outside Australia. We use our best endeavours to ensure that our storage providers are required to comply with Australian Privacy laws.
We have deployed encryption and password protection as security measures to support more secure communication of sensitive information across the Internet.
I.e. Transmission of confidential information between practitioners/specialists via encrypted mail.
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.
After a period of 7 years (or in the case of a person under 18, until the person turns 25) we may securely destroy or de-identify your records in accordance with Australian laws.
The marketing functions support the growth and development of the practice and seek to provide prospective patients with information about services offered at the practice.
The practice does not use your personal information for the purpose of direct marketing; and will not on-sell your personal information.
Your consent will be taken before marketing materials are directed to you. If you decide not to receive such information, a request can be made to the Privacy Officer or another staff member at the practice.
6. When will we disclose your personal information?
We will disclose your personal information to third parties if you have agreed that we can do so. For example, we will disclose your personal information:
- if you ask us in writing or provide us with your written consent to disclose your information to a third party
- in an emergency situation, if you have nominated relatives or next of kin as emergency contacts
to other dentists, dental specialists and healthcare providers, for the purpose of seeking a second opinion or a referral
- to laboratories and dental specialists (within Australia or overseas) to provide advisory services relating to your treatment
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 purposes.
We may also disclose specific personal information (your name, address, contact details and amount owing to us) to debt collection providers engaged by us if you do not pay our invoices within the required time.
Other than as set out in this Section 5, we will only disclose your personal information without your agreement if we are legally required to do so. Under the Privacy Act, we must disclose your personal information if we are directed to do so by a government or regulatory body (including Medicare) or a statutory body (eg a court or a tribunal) with legal powers to obtain your information.
7. Accessing your personal information
You have the right to access the personal information that we hold about you. You can contact us in writing, by email or by telephone and request access to your personal information. We will always try to meet your request within a reasonable time.
In some circumstances, your request for access may be denied. These circumstances include:
- if we no longer hold any personal information about you
- if your request is frivolous or vexatious
- if the information requested relates to existing or anticipated legal proceedings and would not normally be disclosed as part of those proceedings
- if providing access would be unlawful
- if denying access is required or allowed by law
If we are unable to give you access to the information you have requested, we will give you written reasons for this decision when we respond to your request.
We may charge you a reasonable fee for access to some types of information requested by you. This charge will be limited to the cost of recouping our costs for providing you with the information. Charges may include document retrieval, photocopy, the costs of duplication of X-rays and models, and delivery costs to you.
8. Correcting your personal information
To enable us to provide you with the best service, it is important that the information we hold about you is accurate and up-to-date. You will need to provide us with any changes to your personal information (including change of address, name, telephone number and health providers) to enable us to update your records. We will take reasonable steps to ensure that the information that we hold about you is accurate and up-to-date.
9. Our contact information and resolving your concerns
In the event of a privacy breach, we will comply with applicable guidelines issued by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
For more information about Privacy laws, or to raise concerns about any matter not satisfactorily resolved within the practice you can contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (www.oaic.gov.au or ph. 1300 363 992).
Privacy and general complaints about your care can also be directed to the Health Services Commissioner