Australian Privacy Principles Policy
and the Resident
We are committed to safeguarding the privacy of our residents. We appreciate that as our customer, you trust us with your personal information. In handling your personal information, we are bound by the Australian Privacy Principles in the Privacy Act 1988, and where applicable, the policies and codes of industry groups to which we belong. All of the above set out the requirements for ensuring systems and processes are in place to appropriately manage personal information.
We collect personal information such as:
- name, gender, date of birth, next of kin details, pension status and number
- photograph for identification on records including the medication chart
- Medicare number, health fund details if relevant, ambulance membership number, pharmaceutical entitlement, state trustee number if relevant
- financial and banking details relevant for payments as required by the Aged Care Act
Health information including:
- previous and current physical and mental health conditions and or disabilities
- advance care wishes
- health assessments about physical, mental and lifestyle needs and preferences, an individualised plan of care, ongoing health charting, health professional reports and notes and test results that form the health record.
Sensitive information for example:
- Ethnicity or cultural background
- Religious beliefs and practices
- Sexual preferences.
Please note you have a right not to provide sensitive information if you do not wish to.
How we collect and hold information?
Information is collected using a combination of paper based forms and computer programs and is stored either as a paper record files or electronic records in our computer system. A unique number referred to as a Unit Record (UR) number is assigned to your health records and is not used for any other purpose.
Processes are in place to ensure your personal and health information is safeguarded against loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. For example, record storage areas are secured at all times with limited access and computer records are password secured with levels of access according to staff role and responsibility.
Please note, the building has security cameras located throughout the facility and grounds for the purpose of safety and security. The cameras and images are not used for any other purpose.
Purposes for which we collect, hold, use and disclose personal/health information?
Your personal and health information is used by nursing and care staff and visiting health professionals involved in your care such as: medical practitioner(s), physiotherapist, pharmacist, podiatrist to enable them to provide you with care and services appropriate to your needs and preferences. In an emergency information is provided to health professionals such as ambulance officers and locum doctors.
Personal information is also provided on a need to know basis to service departments (finance, catering, cleaning, laundry and maintenance) and specialist suppliers (for example suppliers of incontinence aids).
As required by the Aged Care Act, the Police and the Department of Health are informed where a resident is unexplainably missing or if physical elder abuse has occurred. There is an additional requirement by the Department of Health for the reporting of certain illnesses such as gastroenteritis or influenza outbreak.
As an aged care service we are required by law to communicate some personal information to the Department of Health to enable the organisation to receive the correct level of funding for the care required and the appropriate running of the service. This information includes personal details about your identity (name, date of birth, etc.) and health information (medical conditions, the level of assistance required for activities of daily living and specialised care needs).
The organisation is also bound by law to provide access to your personal and health information to the Aged Care Quality Assessors. The Department of Health and quality assessors are also bound by the Australian Privacy Principles.
Information is also used to monitor and assess the effectiveness and appropriateness of care through a range of continuous improvement activities including documentation audits, surveys, reviews and data analysis activities. Such activities are undertaken by managers and staff and in some cases contracted consultants who are all bound by the privacy legislation to maintain confidentiality of your information.
We do not use your personal details to direct market. And it is unlikely that your information will be disclosed to an overseas recipient unless required by law or if requested or consented by yourself for a particularly purpose.
How can you access and or correct your information?
The Quality Manager has been delegated as the Privacy Officer for the organisation to assist you with your right to access or correct your personal information held by the organisation. If you have any questions or would like to access or correct information that you believe is incorrect please write or speak to the Quality Manager. The Privacy Officer will inform you of any documentation requirements associated with your request and promptly deal with your request as soon as practicable and within 30 days.
HOW TO MAKE A COMPLAINT IN REGARDS TO THE HANDLING OF YOUR INFORMATION
If you wish to make a complaint about a situation where you believe your personal information has been inappropriately handled or there has been a breach of privacy please write or speak to the Privacy Officer.
The Privacy Officer will follow the organisation’s Complaints Procedure which involves a response as soon as practicable and action taken based on a risk assessment and within 30 days. A copy of the procedure is available upon request.
If you are dissatisfied with the response and or the handling of your complaint you may contact the following:
OFFICE OF THE AUSTRALIAN INFORMATION COMMISSIONER
PHONE: 1300 363 992
POST: GPO BOX 5218 SYDNEY NSW 2001