Health Information Collection & Use
What information about you do we collect?
At your first visit, we will commence a medical file for you. We will need to know:
- Your name, address, date of birth, Medicare number and/or concession card numbers, home/work/mobile phone numbers, details of person/s to contact in the case of an emergency
During the consultation the doctor will ask a series of questions relating to your health and well-being. This information will be recorded to assist in your continuing care.
What do we do with the information we collect?
All information is placed in your patient file and is only accessed when necessary for your care. We may need to disclose your personal information to others involved in your health care, including specialists, allied health providers and diagnostic providers. This will include referral, reports and results to those providers. In an urgent situation, you may be unable to give consent, but we may still need to provide this information.
You can decline to have your health information used in all or some of the ways outlined above but this may influence our ability to manage your health care to provide the best outcome for you.
Your information may be accessed for research and quality assurance purposes, to improve individual and community health care. This may occur during the accreditation process. In some situations your information may need to be provided to government agencies under particular laws.
If you do not want your information used for any purpose other than that what you have come to us for, you must let us know.
We take care to avoid inadvertent disclosure of personal information, e.g. patients are identified appropriately, follow-up reminders envelopes are marked “private and confidential”. Appointment schedules and patient files are not visible to other patients. Computer screens in consulting rooms are cleared prior to the next patient.
We takes steps to protect the personal information it collects from misuse, loss and unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. Electronic personal health records are backed-up. Your consent is required when transferring files to another practice. Your new doctor will arrange this with you. Your records are kept for a minimum of seven years after your last attendance or up to the age of twenty five years for a child who has attended our clinic.
Patient consent for the transfer of health information to other providers or agencies is obtained on the first visit. Once signed this form is scanned into the patient’s record and its completion noted.
Note: Consent for transfer of information differs from procedural consent.
We understand that you may be unwell, stressed or anxious. Our Practice has a zero-tolerance policy towards violence and does not tolerate verbal or physical threats made towards members of the staff or GPs.
APPOINTMENT CANCELLATION AND “NO SHOW” POLICY
We request that patients provide a minimum of 2 hours’ notice if they cannot attend or need to reschedule an appointment.
This provides us with the opportunity to offer that appointment to another patient who may need to see a doctor more urgently. An appointment can be cancelled or rescheduled online at any time or by calling the Centre on 8373 0355.
Our doctors reserve the right to charge a 'Did Not Attend' fee of $35.00 if a patient fails to cancel an appointment within the requested time. This fee can be paid either before or at the next appointment at the Centre.
Patients who repeatedly fail to attend appointments without notice (“no shows”) may face a restriction being placed on their patient record and will not be able to make further appointments.
PATHOLOGY AND TEST RESULT FOLLOW UP
MMC prefers that patients make appointments to follow up the results of any tests undertaken. Unless advised otherwise, results of tests will not be provided over the telephone.
If test results require follow up your doctor will ensure you are contacted to arrange an appointment.
DRUGS OF DEPENDENCE
MMC is committed to providing the most appropriate and medically sound advice at all times. This means, that on occasion, if you are not known to a particular doctor, and have a request for certain medications, your request may be denied. This includes, but is not limited to, medications that fall into the category of drugs of dependence, such as:
- Benzodiazepines (and other sleeping tablets)
- Morphine-based medications
- Oxycodone, Oxycontin, Tramadol and Panadeine Forte
- Any other strong pain medication or sedative.
MMC policy is to ensure, as far as practicable, the safety of our patients and to ensure that appropriate care is given. It is unlawful for our doctors to prescribe some of these medications to any patient without appropriate authority. If you have further questions regarding your medication scripts, please contact Drug & Alcohol Services SA on 1300 13 1340.
The supply of medication without a consultation is potentially hazardous. In the interests of patient health and safety prescriptions will usually only be issued after a medical consultation. If the treating doctor decides to prescribe a prescription without a consultation a fee may apply.
Referrals to a medical specialist generally require consultation by the referring doctor.
Certificates for sickness or carer’s leave require a medical consultation. Certificates cannot be backdated.
MMC sterilises our non-disposable instruments in accordance with the Royal Australian College of General Practice Guidelines.
Every effort is made to keep appointment times. However, delays can occur due to unforeseen and emergency needs. We appreciate your patience during these times.
Patients are welcome to ring the Centre to check whether their doctor is running on schedule. We can give an estimate by advising how many patients are waiting to be seen.
This practice is committed to maintaining the confidentiality of your personal health information at all times and to ensure that this information is only available to authorised members of staff. Your medical record is confidential.
Please note that we are unable to give information about other patients or confirm whether they are in attendance or have made an appointment.
As required by law patients’ medical records are kept for at least seven years after their final consultation and for children until age twenty five. Please advise our reception staff should you require your records to be forwarded to another health care provider.
Practice policy is to maintain the security of personal health information at all times. Access to information is only granted to authorised persons.
As a courtesy to others we request that patients’ use of mobile phones in the waiting room be kept to a minimum.
If you choose to answer your phone while speaking with the doctor he or she may choose to immediately end your consultation.
Doctors are not usually available to take telephone calls during consulting times. Our receptionists can take a message which will be passed to the doctor as soon as practicable. Urgent calls will be handled by a practice nurse.
We have a policy of not receiving emails from patients requiring medical advice. The following message appears if an email is sent to firstname.lastname@example.org:
This is an Automatic Reply. Please DO NOT reply to this email. This email address is not monitored so there will not be any response to your email. Malvern Medical Centre DOES NOT accept any correspondence electronically (i.e. email, SMS, websites) from patients, relatives, friends of patients, medical providers, insurance companies etc. requiring medical advice. If medical advice is required, please phone the surgery to arrange an appointment on 8373 0355. If this an emergency, dial 000.
Communication with patients via electronic means, namely SMS or facsimile, is conducted with appropriate regard to the privacy laws relating to health information and confidentiality of patients’ health information.
If you require interpreting assistance, please advise us so that arrangements for interpreting can be made.
We welcome feedback from patients. Our website includes a feedback section and we invite you to use that facility.
We gratefully receive expressions of gratitude.
On a regular basis we invite patients to complete a questionnaire on their views of MMC and how it could be improved. We use an independent provider to review and report on this feedback to ensure confidentiality. The feedback is also compared with other practices and helps us consider improvements to our services and facilities.
Where the feedback is a complaint with any aspect of our service we will investigate the matter with the treating doctor if appropriate and confirm the outcome of the investigation to you in writing.
We believe it is best to handle feedback locally. However, if patients wish to address feedback through external parties you may contact the following agency:
Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner:
Level 4, East Wing, 50 Grenfell Street, Adelaide, SA 5000 PO Box 199, Rundle Mall SA 5000.
Complaints: 08 8228 8666/ Freecall 1800 232 007
Hours: 10.00am to 4.00pm Monday to Thursday