Noosa Optical is bound by the Privacy Act 1988 (The Act), the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) and the Optometrist’s Code of Conduct.
Why and when your consent is necessary
When you register as a patient of our practice, you provide consent for our Optometrists and practice staff to access and use your personal information so they can provide you with the best possible healthcare.
Only staff who need to see your personal information will have access to it. If we need to use your information for anything else, we will seek additional consent from you to do this.
How we collect your personal information
Generally speaking, your personal information is collected directly from you at the time of making an appointment and at the time of a consultation.
We may also collect your personal information when you visit our website, send us an email or SMS, telephone us, make an online appointment or communicate with us using social media. In some circumstances, your personal information may also be collected from other sources. Often this is because it is not practical or reasonable to collect it from you directly. This may include information from your guardian or responsible person.
The practice may also collect information about you through a third party such as Medicare, the Department of Veterans Affairs or a private health fund. This information only relates to eligibility for services provided by those bodies and is only used within the practice, for third party billing processes.
How we retain your personal information
The practice will take all reasonable steps to ensure that the information held about you is protected from misuse, loss and unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. Patient records are stored in a combination of hard copy (paper) and electronic format.
Data and information security
The practice will take all reasonable steps to ensure that the information we hold about a patient is protected from misuse, loss and unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.
All electronic patient records are encrypted and password protected. All hard copy (paper) records are securely stored on the practice premises.
The only people who have access to patient records are the Optometrists involved in the care of the patient, and practice staff, who need access for purposes such as optical dispensing and billing. No unauthorised persons are permitted to access the records.
Practice staff are bound by confidentiality clauses in the terms of their employment.
The practice will also take reasonable steps to destroy information held about a patient once that information is no longer required, is not contained in a public record or the practice is required to maintain under an Australia Law or court order.
In the event of a data breach, we will follow these steps:
- Contain the data breach to prevent any further compromise of personal information.
- Assess the data breach by gathering the facts and evaluating the risks, including potential harm to affected individuals and, where possible, taking action to remediate any risk of harm.
- Notify individuals and the Commissioner if required. If the breach is an ‘eligible data breach’ under the NDB scheme, it may be mandatory for the entity to notify.
- Review the incident and consider what actions can be taken to prevent future breaches.
What personal information we collect
The practice will collect personal information such as your name, date of birth, contact details, eye disease history (including family eye disease history and risk factors) and general medical history.
Why we need your personal information
The practice will need to collect, use hold and share your personal information to provide optometry, optical and related eye health care needs.
This includes treating, coordinating and implementing care plans for the treatment of your vision or related eye health care needs.
We also use your personal information for directly related business activities, such as financial claims and payments, practice audits and accreditation, and business processes, for example: staff training.
Dealing with us anonymously
You have the right to deal with us anonymously or under a pseudonym unless it is impracticable for us to do so or unless we are required or authorised by law to only deal with identified individuals.
If you don’t provide us with your personal information
Without your personal information, the practice’s ability to provide you with quality healthcare and advice will be impacted and may not be possible.
When your personal information may be disclosed
The Practice may share your personal information to third parties for the purpose for which that information was collected and also for related purposes that could reasonably be expected by you.
We sometimes share your personal information:
- with third parties who work with our practice for business purposes, such as accreditation agencies or information technology providers – these third parties are required to comply with APPs and this policy;
- with other healthcare providers;
- when it is required or authorised by law (for example: court subpoenas);
- when it is necessary to lessen or prevent a serious threat to a patient’s life, health or safety or public health or safety, or it is impractical to obtain the patient’s consent;
- during the course of providing optometry services (for example: via health reporting software and communication systems).
Only people who need to access your information will be able to do so.
Other than in the course of providing optometry services or as otherwise described in this policy, our practice will not share personal information with any third party without your consent.
We will not share your personal information with anyone outside Australia (unless under exceptional circumstances that are permitted by law) without your consent.
Our practice will not use your personal information for marketing any of our goods or services directly to you without your express consent. If you do consent, you may opt out of direct marketing at any time by notifying our practice in writing.
Our practice may use your personal information to improve the quality of the services we offer to our patients through research and analysis of our patient data.
How can you access and correct your personal information at our practice?
You have the right to request access to, and correction of, your personal information.
We require you to put your request in writing, delivered by mail or email to our location. The practice will, on request, provide you with access to your personal information, unless there is an exception which applies under relevant privacy laws. If we refuse to provide access to the information, we will provide reasons for the refusal and inform you of any exceptions relied upon.
A suitable time will be arranged for a viewing, with an Optometrist available to interpret the information, or explain any terms used. A fee may be charged for this service.
A response to a question for access must be provided within a reasonable time.
The physical and/or electronic record and the intellectual property contained in it remain the property of the Optometrist and/or the practice at all times.
How can you lodge a privacy-related complaint, and how will the complaint be handled at our practice?
We take complaints and concerns regarding privacy seriously. You should express any privacy concerns you may have in writing. We will then attempt to resolve it in accordance with our resolution procedure.
How to contact us
|Telephone:||07 5447 3711|
|Post:||1 Lanayana Way, Noosa Heads QLD 4567, Australia|
Privacy and our website
When you interact with us online, we may collect personal information via our practice website or interact with you digitally, for example: through social media or by email. Your information may also be collected and tracked through website analytics and cookies so that we may understand and improve the way we interact with our patients online.
Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act) – https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2013C00482
Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) – https://www.oaic.gov.au/privacy/australian-privacy-principles/
Optometrists Code of Conduct – https://www.optometryboard.gov.au/policies-codes-guidelines.aspx