One of our highest priorities is patient privacy and we value the importance of handling patient personal information (which includes health information) correctly.
We are bound by the Australian Privacy Principles contained in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and the Health Records Act 2001 (Vic).
Collection and use of information
We collect health information directly from you and your authorised representatives to provide you with dental treatment.
Personal information such as your name, address, health insurance and financial details are used for the purpose of addressing accounts to you, as well as for processing payments and writing to you about our services and any issues affecting your health care.
We may de-identify and use your information and data for research, evaluation and benchmarking purposes.
We may also collect health information from a third party, such as a health fund or referrer.
We will only collect your email address if you send us a message or you provide us with your address directly. It will only be used for the purpose for which you provided it. You have the option of having your email address deleted from our records at any time.
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.
Importantly, you could suffer some harm or other adverse outcome if you do not provide information relevant to your care.
Our Internet Service Provider makes a record of your visit to our Practice website and logs 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
- Your ISP may collect more of 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.
This website only uses session cookies during a search query of the website.
Upon closing your browser, the session cookie set by this website is destroyed and no personal information is maintained.
All staff employed at Winter Smiles are required to undergo training to understand their responsibilities in maintaining your privacy and to sign a confidentiality agreement in order to protect your personal and health information.
The purpose of collecting your information is to provide you with a dental service; for internal and external administrative purposes; insurance purposes; and record keeping.
We will not use your information for any other purpose unless one of the following applies:
- You have consented;
- You would reasonably expect that your information may be used for that purpose (for example, we may disclose your health information to another health service provider, such as a specialist dentist, technician, your GP or another health practitioner for the purpose of providing you with health care;)) or
- The use of your health information is required or authorised by law.
The Practice takes steps to ensure that the personal and health information that we collect is accurate, up-to-date and complete. These steps include maintaining and updating your information when you attend the Practice or when you advise us that your information has changed.
The Practice keeps hard-copy, electronic records or a hybrid of both.
We protect them by ensuring hard-copy records are kept in locked files and there are security processes in place regarding computer access. Electronic data is backed-up.
Access and correction
You can request access to your health or personal information that we hold, or request that we change that information.
Requests for access or correction must be in writing and directed to the Practice Manager.
You can access or make changes to your personal or health information unless we consider that there is a sound reason under the Privacy Act, or other relevant law to withhold the information, or not make the changes.
After a period of 7 years (and if you attended the Practice as a child, after you have reached the age of 25) we may destroy your records in accordance with applicable laws.
Our Practice may use your information for the purpose of direct marketing; however, we will not on-sell your personal information.
We understand that you may not wish to receive marketing materials. If you would prefer not to receive such information, please approach the Practice Manager or another staff member at the Practice.
Sending information overseas
As part of maintaining your records, the Practice may use off-site electronic data storage providers, transcription service providers, professional indemnity insurers, marketing agencies or other third party service entities. These providers may be located offshore.
We will try to inform you about where your information is sent. Please be assured that we take reasonable steps to ensure compliance with the Australian privacy Principles in relation to any off-shore transfer of your information.
If you suspect that there has been or may have been a breach of your privacy, you can complain directly to the Practice Manager.
We take complaints very seriously.
You can lodge a complaint in a number of ways: by phone, email, in writing or in person.
Your complaint will be reviewed in house.
Any appropriate corrective action required to manage a breach and any preventative actions required in order to prevent breaches in the future will be discussed and decided.
You will be sent a letter explaining the review process and the consequences of the review.
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 with 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 Complaints Commissioner.
For further information about the Practice’s management of privacy, please contact our Practice Manager, Anne Winter, at firstname.lastname@example.org