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This information is designed to be used in consultation with your health professional. Read our Legal Disclaimer here.

We strongly value and respect the protection of your privacy at SHQ.

We understand that some clients have concerns about how their information is collected, stored, and who gets to see or has access to it. We will make every effort to ensure that you are made aware of how we manage your privacy.

We hope the following brochure will be useful in answering your questions.

When you become a client at SHQ, a record is created containing your name, address and contact details, along with other information, such as the nature of the problem for which you are seeking treatment, and the treatment advice you are given. Every time you attend our service, new information is added to your record.

We only collect information that is necessary to your current care. You will be asked to sign a ‘Consent to Service and Authority to Share Information’ form prior to your first appointment, which will explain this further. If you are unsure why information is being
collected, please ask your healthcare professional.

It is necessary for us to collect and keep this information to ensure that each healthcare professional involved in your care has all the facts and is able to help you the best they can. Your previous history of care can help us to quickly identify which treatments are likely to be safe and effective for you, and helps to reduce the likelihood of you having to repeat your story.

Information about you is stored in an electronic medical record, which is stored securely at SHQ.

Details such as your name, address, date of birth and contact details, as well as test results, diagnoses, treatment information and counselling session notes, are electronically available to healthcare professionals at SHQ who are involved in your care. These include nurses, doctors and counsellors. All staff are bound by a strict legal duty of confidentiality.

In some circumstances, SHQ is required by law to release personal information about you.
Examples of this include:

  • presentation of your medical record as evidence in court when subpoenaed (in case of legal action)
  • reporting of notifiable diseases to the WA Department of Health
  • you or another person are at risk of harm, and we must take steps to keep you or another person safe.

If you consent, we may also share your information with your GP or a specialist whom we refer you to.

Your records may also be used to:

  • undertake quality assurance, which will help us to provide a better service
  • plan future service delivery
  • assist in professional development for our staff.

Identifying information is not used without your consent in these instances.

There is also a possibility that you may be asked to participate in clinical trials or research projects when you visit us. Your participation in these projects is entirely voluntary and personal information will not be taken outside our facilities. Individuals who undertake research must follow strict guidelines and maintain the confidentiality of the information they access.

No, they cannot call for your results, and we cannot/ will not give them any information about you, either in person or on the phone, except if you have asked us to.

We understand that some people may wish to remain anonymous when using a health service. You have the right to deal with us anonymously or under a pseudonym (alias), unless it is impractical for us to do so, or unless we are required by law to only deal with
identified individuals.

Cervical screening results are automatically sent to the National Register. The National Register maintains and operates a central, computerised, confidential database of women’s cervical screening results, which ensures they are reminded when their cervical
screening is overdue, and that any abnormal results are followed up.

When you have a cervical screen for the first time, you will receive a welcome letter from the National Register. If you would prefer not to be on the Register, you can notify them in writing. Please speak with your healthcare professional if you have any queries.

SHQ supports your right to access health information held about you, and will attempt to provide you with access to your information if you request it. If you request a summary or direct access to your medical or counselling record, your healthcare professional will need to consider the risk of any physical or mental harm to you or any other person, which may result from disclosure of your information. They may also need to remove any information that may compromise the privacy of other individuals. Depending on what is involved, you may be asked to contribute to the cost of providing the information.

Occasionally, there may be times when it is not appropriate for someone to have access to their medical record.

If you have any concerns regarding the accuracy of information held by SHQ, please discuss this with your healthcare professional. Inaccurate information will be corrected, or your concerns noted in the records.

In the first instance, please contact us to discuss your concerns. We take complaints and concerns regarding your privacy seriously. You should express any privacy concerns you have with us in writing; you can do this through the form available on our website, or contact us to have a form sent to you. We will then attempt to resolve your concern in accordance with our resolution procedure, and will advise you of the outcome within 30 days.

If you are still concerned, you can also contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC).
For further information visit www.oaic.gov.au or call 1300 336 002.

Information last updated February 2017

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