Wallsend Dental Surgery (WDS) and Charlestown Dental Surgery (CDS) understands that an integral part of providing health services is that we respect your right to privacy and recognise that we maintain patient confidentiality.
The Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) was amended effective 21 December 2001 to include seven National Privacy Principles, which apply to all parts of the private sector and all health service providers. In addition, to the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), some states have also enacted privacy legislation.
WDS and CDS complies with our obligations to you under this Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) as at the latest update to the Act which came into effect 24 September 2007.
This policy informs you how we manage any personal and health information we have obtained by you.
What is Personal Information?
Personal Information is any information which WDS or CDS may have obtained from you or other sources associated with your health care. Information that WDS and CDS may obtain may include;
- Name, Address and Phone numbers
- Date of Birth
- Employers/Work place name
- Health Information
- Name of Doctor (GP) or Referring Practitioner
- Health Fund Information
- Medicare Number/Drivers’ Licence Number (where applicable)
- Workers’ Compensation Details
- Transaction Details associated with your dental services
- Clinical Treatment Notes associated with your dental services
- Any other information you may provide to us
WDS and CDS will destroy or remove identification on personal information after our legal requirements to preserve this information have expired.
Personal Information – Who will collect this?
WDS and CDS will collect your personal information. This information is used for providing health care and for administration purposes. Your personal information will only be used and collected by fair and lawful means. WDS and CDS collect such information directly from you unless it has been collected from another authorised person or provided by another referral.
At WDS and CDS, all employees understand their obligations regarding patient confidentiality.
Personal Information – What does WDS and CDS do with this information?
WDS and CDS use patient information for purposes directly related to your health care. Your information is used in ways that are consistent with your expectations for quality and continuity of care
WDS and CDS uses your information for;
- To provide dental treatment and care
- To provide information to other dental, medical practitioners or specialists who provide treatment or ongoing health care to you
- To assist you with any enquiries you may ask/have
- Administration requirements (internally)
- Processing health fund claims (Hicaps)
- Processing Medicare claims (Bulk Billing – Child Dental Benefit Schedule – where applicable)
- For distributing information about WDS and CDS services to you
- For complaint handling, workers compensation cases, existing legal activities.
- Planning and assessing for improvement in particular areas of service provided
- Lawfully instructed to disclose information
The National Privacy Principles forbid the use of the personal information that WDS and CDS collect and store about you for certain purposes unless you provide consent.
At any time you may opt out of your consent to receive any communications from WDS and CDS (other than for purposes of operating our business such as payment of your account) by advising WDS and CDS in writing.
If your personal information is to be used for educational purposes, additional consent will be obtained. This will always be anonymised.
WDS and CDS will not disclose personal information except on a confidential basis to agents that we use in our business for ordinary operations, such as for data processing, mailing, printing, personal accreditation and quality assurance.
Requests for your information (such as dental records and x-rays) to be forwarded on to another dental provider or specialist will not be released until a Release of Dental Records form has been completed by the patient or parent/guardian. Dental records and x-rays (taken at WDS and CDS) will not be directly issued to a patient.
WDS and CDS will be taking practical steps to keep all current personal and health information it holds up to date, accurate and complete.
Data Security and Storage
At WDS and CDS all practical measures are taken to protect personal and health information from unauthorised access, improper use, unlawful destruction, disclosure and accidental loss. WDS and CDS endeavours to contain all patient information electronically. Any paper-based information after use (and is not needed after being scanned electronically into patient’s file) is shredded.
WDS and CDS store person information;
- Contained in electronic databases in a secure environment. This is also with controlled access.
- WDS and CDS have security alarms which operate outside business hours.
- Paper based and hard copy documents and located securely within the practice.
- All archived information is stored securely.
If you have any questions or would like further information on this policy or concerns regarding treatment of your privacy, please contact us at;
Wallsend Dental Surgery
59 Nelson Street
Wallsend NSW 2287
Ph: 02 49517733
Charlestown Dental Surgery
18 Frederick Street
Charlestown NSW 2290
Ph: 02 49436884
In this policy, personal information, health information and sensitive information have the same meaning as under the Privacy Act.