Ashmore Podiatry Privacy Policy

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Privacy of personal information, including health information, is more than a professional and ethical responsibility – it is a legal requirement. Ashmore Podiatry is committed to complying with the Australian Privacy Act 1988 in conjunction with the Australian Privacy Principles, privacy provisions of Queensland legislation and any reasonable recommendation, guideline or policy set down by the Australian Information Commissioner. We understand our privacy obligations which enables us to identify and implement practices that reduce privacy risk and generate public trust in our handling of individuals’ health information.

Patients can be assured that:

  • their privacy and personal data will be protected when visiting the podiatry clinic.
  • reasonable steps have been taken to ensure the information collected and retained in our records is complete and up to date; and
  • they can access their information for review.

Health Information

Ashmore Podiatry needs to collect information about you for the primary purpose of providing a health service to you. To thoroughly assess, diagnose and provide health care, we need to collect some personal information from you. We recognise that the information collected is often of a sensitive nature and as an organisation we have adopted the highest privacy compliance standards relevant to ensure personal information is protected.

Where a patient chooses not to provide requested information, we will advise that individual of what impact this non-disclosure may have. Withholding certain information may limit our ability to provide relevant services to individuals.

Collection and holding of personal information will generally include:

  • the patient’s name, date of birth, address, telephone number and email address.
  • Medicare number, pension card number and/or Department of Veteran Affairs number where applicable.
  • current medications or treatments used by the patient.
  • previous/current medical history, including, where clinically relevant, a family medical history.
  • the name of any health service provider or medical specialist to whom the patient is referred with copies of any letters of referrals and reports.
  • taking biological samples from a patient for the purpose of pathology testing and labelling these with the patient’s name and date of birth; and
  • storing photographs in which a patient can be reasonably identified.

Ashmore Podiatry may access information:

  • provided directly by the patient.
  • provided on the patient’s behalf with the patient’s consent; and
  • from a health service provider who refers the patient to allied health practitioners providing services at or from Ashmore Podiatry, or from health service providers to whom patients are referred.

Personal information collected may be used or disclosed for:

  • the purpose advised to the patient at the time of collection of the information.
  • for the administrative purpose of running the practice including quality assurance and training.
  • billing either directly or through an insurer or compensation agency.
  • liaising with applicable government departments regarding Medicare or Department of Veteran Affairs entitlements and/or payments.
  • use within the practice if discussing or passing your case to another practitioner within the practice for your ongoing management.
  • disclosure of information to your doctors, other health professionals or to teachers to facilitate communication and the best possible care for you.
  • in the case of an insurance or compensation claim it may be necessary to disclose and/or collect information that concerns your return to work to an insurer or your employer.
  • as required under compulsion of law; or
  • where there is a serious and imminent threat to an individual’s life, health, or safety, or a serious threat to public health or public safety.

We do not disclose your personal information to overseas recipients.

Data Accuracy and Quality

Ashmore Podiatry will take all reasonable steps to ensure that the data we collect, use, or disclose is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, and has been obtained directly from individuals or reputable sources. If you believe that the personal information we hold about you is inaccurate, please inform us when next attending the practice.

Security of information collected

Other than as described in this Policy or permitted under the Privacy Principles, Ashmore Podiatry uses its reasonable endeavors to ensure that identifying health information is not disclosed to any person unnecessarily or irresponsibly.

Due to the sensitive nature of the information collected by the podiatry clinic to provide its services, extra precautions are taken to ensure the confidentiality and security of that information. Information is mostly stored electronically however some hard copies are archived in a secure storage facility. As required by law, we keep health information for a minimum of seven years from the date of last entry in the patient records. Hard copy files are destroyed appropriately and securely when no longer required.

All electronically stored files are password-protected on several levels, and regular backups of data are performed. Our server is an in-house system that is not shared by other parties. We will monitor and implement appropriate technical advances or management processes to safeguard personal information.

Consultation reports are shared with relevant health providers using secure messaging via Medical Objects software.

Unauthorised disclosure, access, or breach

Ashmore Podiatry requires its employees to observe obligations of confidentiality in the course of their employment to ensure the protection of the privacy of individuals. All staff and contractors are required to sign a confidentiality agreement. We will view unauthorised disclosure of, or access to, personal information as a serious breach of this policy. Appropriate action, which may include disciplinary or legal action, will be taken in such cases. Podiatrists are bound by the Podiatry Code of Conduct and additional guidelines set forth by the Podiatry Board of Australia and other relevant regulatory bodies.

The Privacy Act requires any organisation which is subject to the Act to notify an affected individual and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) about any notifiable data breaches.

Access to personal information

Individuals will be able to access their personal information upon request. Ashmore Podiatry may, however, occasionally need to deny access to information in accordance with the exemptions contained in the Privacy Act.

Can I transfer my medical records to a new allied health practitioner and how can I arrange this?

Patients have the right to attend a podiatrist of their choice and are free to leave a practice and attend another if they wish.

This is usually done by the patient completing a ‘transfer of file’ form and producing an original source of identification for the receptionist to make a copy of.

When a patient requests that their health records be transferred to a medical/allied health practitioner outside Ashmore Podiatry, the podiatrist has an obligation to provide a copy or summary of the patient health record in a timely manner to facilitate care of the patient.

For medico-legal reasons, our practice retains the original record and provides the new medical practitioner with a summary or a copy. If a summary of the patient’s health record is provided to the new medical/allied health practitioner, a copy of the summary should be kept on file for record purposes.

Can the podiatrist charge for the handing over of medical records?

Some medical/allied health practitioners may charge a fee for handling and copying their records to cover the administrative costs involved. The previous medical/allied health practitioner may charge a fee for providing a summary, especially if a patient’s medical history is long and/or complex.

Website Privacy

Ashmore Podiatry’s website contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Ashmore Podiatry is not responsible for the privacy practices of any linked sites. We encourage users who leave our site to read the privacy statements of each linked website that they choose to visit. All links to external sites are provided for your convenience. The information, products and advertisements contained in the linked sites are neither approved nor endorsed by Ashmore Podiatry and Ashmore Podiatry is not responsible for such information, products, or advertisements.

Information provided on the website is for information purposes only. All pages have been written by a qualified health care professional however nothing on the website pages constitutes medical advice or diagnosis.

Your privacy is important to us and we want you to feel comfortable visiting our website. The Ashmore Podiatry website can be viewed without requiring the disclosure of your personal information. Any personal information that you choose to provide, including email addresses, will be used ONLY in the following ways:

  • personal data given to us by you will be securely stored,
  • we will not provide your personal data to any third party without your permission,
  • we do not automatically collect your personal email address simply because you visit our site,
  • if we join with a third party to provide services and you sign up for those services, we will share your name and other contact information necessary for our partner to provide the services to you,
  • if you view specific pages or download information from specific pages on our website, we will track and add the number of your visits to the aggregate number of visits by all users in order to better design our website,
  • we may share aggregate demographic information with our affiliates. This is not linked to any personal information that can identify you or any other visitor to our website.
  • By using Ashmore Podiatry’s website, you consent to the collection and use of your personal information as detailed in this Privacy Policy.

Availability and review of policy

A copy of our Privacy Policy is available on request and our website provides a link to this document at the footer of the home page.

Ashmore Podiatry has the right to amend the Privacy Policy at any time and any amendments due to this revision will be incorporated into the updated document.

Privacy enquiries and complaints

If you have any enquiries or concerns about our privacy practices or wish to make a complaint about how your personal information is managed, please contact the practice manager/privacy officer Olivia Mellsop. All concerns will be dealt with promptly and fairly.

A privacy complaint relates to any concern or dispute that you have with our privacy practices as it relates to your personal information. This could include matters such as how personal information is collected, stored, used, disclosed or how access is provided. We would prefer that your complaint is in writing and addressed to:

Ashmore Podiatry
P0 Box 4583
Ashmore QLD 4214

or alternatively