At Virtus Diagnostics our primary concern is providing you with treatment and healthcare of the highest quality. This requires a relationship of trust and confidentiality – one where we treat your personal health information appropriately and respect your privacy.
Our pathologists, scientific staff, pathology collector and administration staff all work together to provide your diagnostic care. They may need access to your personal health information to make sure we provide the most appropriate care.
You are entitled to know what personal information is held about you, how you can access it, why it is held, to whom we may disclose it, and when we need your consent to do this. This Policy explains all these details. You can discuss any issue relating to the privacy of your information with us at any time.
Our staff collect information that helps us provide the level of advice, care and management you need;
This information may include:
- contact details and date of birth
- medical history
- family medical history
- symptoms, diagnosis and recommended treatment
- Medicare/private health fund details, and
- billing or account details.
We normally collect this information directly from you, but we may need to get it from other sources – for example, from other medical practitioners, health funds or health providers.
Purposes for handling your information
To ensure we provide you with the most appropriate treatment.
- communicating with the referring medical practitioners
- referrals to other medical practitioners, hospitals or health providers
- referring specimens to external laboratories for analysis
- accounts and billing, including Medicare and private health insurance claims
- managing our practice – including quality assurance, practice accreditation, market analysis and keeping our records up-to-date
- complaints and incident handling, and notifications to our insurers
- disclosure, where legally required, to third parties – for example, in response to a court subpoena or for mandatory reporting of specific diseases
- disclosure to our service providers, where doing so is necessary for your treatment or for our management and administrative purposes
- We may also use non-identifying information from your medical file for data analysis and research.
If you request us to send materials related to your treatment to another country we will be required to disclose your personal information to people in that country.
We use secure services, hosted in the United States, to manage communications and events. Accordingly, some of your personal information may be securely held by that service in the United States. We use globally hosted (country of storage changes intermittently) secure servers to process some patient and client information for market analysis purposes.
Data quality and security
We take all reasonable steps to ensure the personal information we collect, use, hold or disclose is accurate, complete, up-to-date and relevant to the functions and services we provide. You can help us achieve this by providing correct and up-to-date information, as described in our Patient Rights and Responsibilities document. When we exchange your personal information internally, we will do so via encrypted emails where possible. If you ask us to exchange your personal information with an external party, we may send your personal information by unencrypted (ie, normal) email to ensure that the external recipient can access this information.
We store your personal information securely and protect it from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.
Access and correction
In all but a few rare cases, you can access the personal information we hold about you, in part or in full, or ask us to provide it to a third party such as another healthcare provider.
We may require you to make this request in writing. There may be an administration fee for this service, depending on the nature of access required.
If you feel any of the personal information we hold about you is inaccurate or incomplete, please let us know. It is our policy to note your corrections and add them to your records. In accordance with good clinical practice, we do not erase the original record.
We want to make sure your expectations about your privacy protection are the same as ours. If you have any concerns, please discuss them with your doctor or any member of our staff. If, after this discussion, you still have concerns, you can contact our Privacy Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org
You may also complain to:
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner
Level 8, Piccadilly Tower 133 Castlereagh Street Sydney NSW 2000
GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 1042
Privacy hotline 1300 363 992
Health Care Complaints Commission
Level 13, 323 Castlereagh Street, Sydney NSW 2000
Locked Mail Bag 18, STRAWBERRY HILLS NSW 2012
T: (02) 9219 7444