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Privacy

Knox Orthopaedic Group takes the privacy of patients seriously.  Privacy protection and confidentiality of health information is essential for quality health care and KOG is committed to protecting the privacy and confidentiality of all information concerning patients.

This policy explains

  • how personal information is collected, stored, used and disclosed
  • how patients may access their personal information
  • how KOG protects the quality and security of personal information
  • how patients may seek correction of any personal information hold by KOG
  • how patients may make a complaint about the handling of personal information by KOG

KOG handles patient’s personal information in accordance with federal and state privacy law.  This includes complying with the federal Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) forming part of the Privacy Act 1998 (Cth) and the Victorian Health Privacy Principles (HPPs) forming part of the Health Records Act 2001 (Vic).

More information about the APPs and HPPs can be found on the Australian Information Commissioner's website www.oaic.gov.au or in hard copy on request from KOG reception.

Collection of information

The type of personal information collected by KOG may include:

  • personal details (name, address, date of birth, Medicare number)
  • medical history
  • notes made during the course of a medical consultation
  • referral to other health services providers
  • results and reports received from other health service providers
  • credit card or direct debit information for billing purposes

Wherever practicable KOG will collect this information directly from the patient - either at KOG reception, over the phone, via written correspondence or via internet if patients transact with KOG online.

In some instances KOG may need to collect information about patients from other sources such as referring doctors, treating specialists, pathology, radiology, hospital or other health care providers.

In an emergency, KOG may collect information from immediate family members, friends or carers.

Use and disclosure

Patient’s personal information will only be used or disclosed for purposes directly related to providing quality health care, or in ways in which the patient would reasonably expect KOG to use it in order to provide them with this service.

This includes use or disclosure:

  • to the professional team directly involved in the patient’s health care, including treating doctors, pathology services, radiology services and other specialists outside this medical practice.  For example, this may occur through referral to other doctors when requesting medical tests or in the report or result returned to KOG
  • to KOG’s administrative staff for billing and other administrative tasks necessary to operate the practice.  KOG staff are trained in the handling of personal information in accordance with the Practice Privacy Policy
  • to patient’s health insurance fund, Medicare or other agencies responsible for the financial aspects of patient care and where required by law, for example, pursuant to a subpoena
  • to insurers or lawyers for the defence of a medical claim
  • to assist with training and/or education of other health care professionals

KOG does not disclose patient’s personal information to overseas recipients.

Information Quality

KOG aims to ensure the information held about patients is accurate, complete, up to date and relevant.  To this end KOG staff may ask patients to confirm the accuracy of their personal details at the time of consultation. 

KOG requests that patients notify administrative staff if information held by KOG is incorrect or out of date.

Storage

KOG takes all reasonable steps to protect the security of the personal information held by:

  • securing KOG premises
  • using passwords on all electronic systems and databases and varying access
  • level to protect electronic information from unauthorised interference, access, modification or disclosure
  • storing hard copy records in secure filing cabinets or rooms that are accessible only to KOG staff

Access to personal information

Under law patients have a right to access their personal information held by KOG.  Please contact our Practice Manager for more information on KOG Access to Medical Records Policy.
We ask that patients put their request in writing.  A fee for the retrieval and copying of medical records will apply, charged in accordance with the schedule of fees specified in the Health Records Regulations 2008 (Vic), plus GST.  This fee is not redeemable through Medicare.

Amendment of personal information

If patients consider the information held by KOG is not correct, they are asked to contact the Practice in writing.  Patients have the right to have any incorrect information amended.

What happens if patients choose to withhold their personal information?

Patients are not obliged to provide their personal information.  However, if they choose to withhold personal details requested by KOG, it may limit the capacity of KOG to provide a full service.  Patients are encouraged to discuss ant concerns with KOG reception staff prior to the first consultation.

The use of personal information for direct marketing

Australian privacy laws limits the use of personal information for direct marketing of goods and services.  KOG does not ever use patient personal information for direct marketing.

What should patients do if they have a privacy complaint?

If patients have a complaint regarding the way their personal information has been handled by KOG, they are requested to put that complaint in writing and address it to Tracey Jackson, Practice Manager, Knox Orthopaedic Group, 262 Mountain Hwy, Wantirna 3152.  KOG will acknowledge receipt of the complaint within 14 days, and endeavour to provide a full response within 30 days of receipt.

Should patients be dissatisfied with the response from KOG, patients may lodge a written complaint with the Victorian Privacy Commissioner at https://www.privacy.vic.gov.au and/or the Victorian Health Services Commissioner at http://www.health.vic.gov.au

If patients have any queries regarding KOG’s privacy policy, the practice manager at KOG is available to respond to those queries.