Australian Clinical Labs is bound by the National Privacy Principles in the Commonwealth Privacy Act and by state and territory privacy laws.
Australian Clinical Labs is committed to the right to privacy and the protection of personal and health information in accordance with privacy laws.
DEALING WITH US ANONYMOUSLY
Where it is lawful and practicable to do so, individuals may deal with us anonymously (e.g. when inquiring about our services generally).
WHY DO WE COLLECT PERSONAL INFORMATION?
If an individual is to receive or has received a service from Australian Clinical Labs, we will collect and hold their personal information to:
- gain an understanding of the individual’s needs so we may provide them with the required service and advice
- contact the individual to provide advice or information in relation to the way in which the service will be provided
- improve the quality of our service
- administer and manage those services including charging, billing and collecting debts
- or where required by law
WHAT PERSONAL INFORMATION DO WE COLLECT AND HOLD?
The information collected may include an individual’s:
- date of birth
- address (postal and email)
- telephone numbers
- health fund and health insurance cover details
- medical history and other health information
- current medication
- other information necessary for our functions and activities
- persons to contact in case of emergency
HOW DO WE COLLECT PERSONAL INFORMATION?
We will, if reasonable and practicable to do so, collect personal and health information directly from the individual concerned. This may take place when the individual fills out documents such as an admission form or an administrative form or when the individual gives us personal and health information in person or over the telephone.
We may collect personal and health information from third parties such as:
- an individual’s representatives (e.g. authorised representative or legal adviser)
- an individual’s health service provider
- a health professional who has treated the individual
- the individual’s family
- other sources where necessary to provide a health service
DISCLOSING PERSONAL INFORMATION
We respect the value of your personal information and the Australian Privacy Principles as set out in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth). Whilst disclosure of your personal information is limited, we may disclose your personal information in certain circumstances, including though not limited to:
- continuity of care with other health service providers involved in the individual’s treatment or diagnostic services
- providing an individual with further information about treatment options
- conveying information to a responsible person (e.g. parent, guardian, spouse) when the individual is incapable or cannot communicate, unless the individual has requested otherwise
- conveying information to close family members in accordance with the recognised customs of medical practice
- management, funding, service-monitoring, planning, evaluation and complaint-handling
- legislative and regulatory compliance
- quality assurance or clinical audit activities
- accreditation activities
- health insurance funding
- billing and debt recovery
- addressing liability indemnity arrangements including reporting to the Pathology’s insurers and legal representatives
- preparing the defence for anticipated or existing legal proceedings
- research or the compilation or analysis of statistics relevant to public health and safety
- activities directly related to the provision of health services to an individual where the individual would reasonably expect disclosure
TRANSBORDER DATA FLOWS
We operate and communicate with organisations throughout Australia and overseas. Therefore some disclosures may occur outside the state or territory in which an individual is resident, and in some circumstances, outside Australia. We will only disclose information to an organisation in a country which has a substantially similar privacy regime.
USING GOVERNMENT IDENTIFIERS
In certain circumstances we are required to collect government identifiers such as Medicare, pension or Veteran’s Affairs numbers. We will only use or disclose this information in accordance with the law.
STORING PERSONAL INFORMATION
We store personal and health information in different ways, including in paper and electronic form. The security of personal and health information is important to us and we take reasonable steps to protect it from misuse or loss and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.
Some of the ways we do this include:
- requiring our staff to maintain confidentiality
- implementing document storage security
- imposing security measures for access to our computer systems
- providing a discreet environment for confidential discussions
- only allowing access to personal and health
information where the individual seeking access to their own information has satisfied our identification requirements
Personal and health information is retained for the period of time determined by law and is disposed in a secure manner.
KEEPING PERSONAL INFORMATION ACCURATE AND UP TO DATE
We take all reasonable steps to ensure that the personal and health information we collect, use and disclose is accurate, complete and up to date.
However, the accuracy of that information depends largely on the quality of the information provided to us. We therefore suggest that individuals:
- let us know if there are any errors in their personal or health information; and
- keep us up to date with changes to their personal information (e.g. their name and address). Individuals may do this by mail or email (see “Contacting us”).
ACCESSING PERSONAL INFORMATION
Medical records are the property of Australian Clinical Labs, however individuals have a right to access them subject to some exceptions allowed by law. Individuals can contact us to request access (see “Contacting us”). We may charge a fee for collating and providing access to personal and health information. It is recommended that patients obtain the information from the referring doctor.
Australian Clinical Labs is committed to protecting online privacy. In general, visits to Australian Clinical Labs websites can be made without revealing any personal information.
Australian Clinical Labs websites contain links to websites operated by third parties. Australian Clinical Labs has no control over the privacy policies and practices of such third – party sites. When following links to other sites from an Australian Clinical Labs website we recommend that you read the privacy statement of that site to familiarise yourself with its privacy practices.
Email addresses provided will only be used to provide the requested service or response to specific user queries and will not be added to any mailing lists, nor disclosed to any other party without users’ knowledge and consent, unless required by law.
Australian Clinical Labs may provide third parties with aggregate statistics about our visitors, traffic patterns and related site information. This data reflects site usage and does not contain identifying information.
PATIENT HEALTH INFORMATION SUBMITTED ELECTRONICALLY
Office of The Privacy Commissioner
GPO Box 5218, Sydney NSW 2001
Individuals may ask any questions about privacy and the way we manage personal and health information, complain about the handling of their information or obtain a form requesting access to personal and health information by contacting the Quality Manager of the laboratory either by phone or in writing.
If you would like more information about privacy in general, please refer to the Privacy Commissioner’s website: www.privacy.gov.au