To provide you with the highest standard of dental care, we need to collect some personal information from you. This information is vital to enable us to provide you with appropriate, individual oral health care.
As a provider of health services, we are bound by the Australian Privacy Principles contained in the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988. We also have professional and ethical obligations to protect your privacy and keep your personal information confidential.
We are committed to ensuring that your personal information is kept private and confidential and all our team receive regular training in confidentiality and Privacy procedures.
1. What information do we collect?
We will only collect information that is necessary to provide our services and operate our Dental Practice. We collect the following types of information from patients and prospective patients:
If you are claiming from your health insurance fund, your insurance card details are used when processing claims through HICAPS. Your details are also required if you pay using your credit card. Any receipts for HICAPS and/or credit card payment containing personal information are kept confidentially and securely for the legal time required. All records are then disposed of through secure and confidential means.
2. How do we gather your personal information?
We gather personal information in several ways.
We are dedicated to looking after you as an individual, and ensuring that you are satisfied with all aspects of your visit and treatment at our Practice.
To enable us to do this, you will be asked to complete our medical history form and to provide us with information we need to provide dental services to you in a safe and appropriate manner. In addition to basic details such as your name, address and contact details, it is also necessary to collect information about your general health including details about medical conditions, including surgical treatment you are having or may have had, and any medications you are taking, or have taken.
You may also be asked to provide personal information verbally to our dentists or other staff members. We do appreciate that this information is personal and some of it may be sensitive. All our staff are trained in privacy laws and respect the confidentiality of all information.
When signing our medical history form, you will be giving us permission to obtain personal information about you from third parties. For example, we may need to obtain information from:
If a person is unable to provide us with personal information which we need to provide them with dental care (for example, if the patient is a young child or lacks the capacity to provide these details), we will need this information to be provided by the patient’s legal guardian or another person who is legally entitled to act on behalf of the patient.
3. How do we use your personal information?
We may use your personal information for any of the following purposes:
We will not use your information to send any promotional materials which are not related directly to the dental services we provide from our Practice.
4. How do we make sure that your information is accurate?
We take reasonable steps to ensure that the personal information we collect from you is complete, accurate and up-to-date. In order to do this, steps include:-
5. When we may have to disclose your personal information.
To provide you with quality and appropriate care, we may need to disclose your personal information to third parties. When completing and signing our medical history form, we ask that you agree for us to do so. For example, we may disclose your personal information:
If you request your records go overseas, we will gain consent from you and ensure that the recipient will follow Australian law on privacy procedures. The recipient must follow Australian law on privacy for us to release your records to them.
We may also disclose specific personal information (your name, address, contact details and any amounts owing to us) to debt collection agencies engaged by us if you do not pay your account within the required time.
Other than as set out above (in this Section 5), we will only disclose your personal information without your agreement if we are legally required to do so. Under the Privacy Act 1988, we must disclose your personal information if we are directed to do so by a government or regulatory body (including Medicare) or a statutory body (for example a court or tribunal) with legal powers to obtain your information.
6. How do we protect and store your information?
We respect and protect your privacy. To ensure that the personal information which we hold about you is kept confidential, all our team is trained in confidentiality, privacy laws and procedures and sign confidentiality agreements as part of their employment with the Practice. We also provide on-going training to all our team as part of our focus on the importance of confidentiality and privacy.
We take all reasonable steps to protect these records against loss, misuse, unauthorised access, use, modification or disclosure. We keep hard copies and electronic records of patients’ personal information. There are security processes and policies in place regarding restricted access to both hard copy and computerised records. We have systems in place to ensure that electronic data is backed up. We do not store any electronic information in 'the cloud'.
7. Accessing your personal information.
Legally we are required to keep original patient records at the Practice. You have the right to request access to personal information that we hold about you and we will always try to meet your request within a reasonable time. This may be to inspect your dental records or to obtain copies.
To request access to your personal information please contact the Practice in writing, in person or by telephone. Our contact details are set out in Section 9 of this policy. In some circumstances, we may not be able to provide you with access to your personal information. These circumstances include:
If we are unable to give you access to the information you have requested, we will provide you with written reasons for this decision when we respond to your request.
We may charge you a reasonable fee for access to some types of information requested by you. This charge will be limited to the cost of recouping our administration costs for providing you with the information. Charges may include document retrieval, photocopy, the costs of duplication of x-rays and models, costs associated with interpretation and discussion of your records, and delivery costs to you and/or third parties (if applicable).
8. Correcting your personal information.
It is important that the information we hold about you is accurate, complete and up-to-date and we take reasonable steps to ensure that this happens. To allow us to do this, please ensure that you keep us informed of any changes about your personal details (including: change of address, name, telephone number and health provider) and also any changes relating to health matters (including new or changed medication).
9. Our contact information and resolving your concerns.
If you would like to download a PDF copy for printing, click here, or you can contact us and request that we send you a copy of this policy by mail or email. Our contact details are:
Aberdeen Street Dental Care
78 Aberdeen Street
Albany, 6330, Western Australia
Telephone: (08) 9841 4355