Respecting and protecting your privacy at SHQ - Sexual Health Quarters
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This information is designed to be used in consultation with your health professional. Read our Legal Disclaimer here.

We value and respect the protection of privacy at SHQ. Some of our clients may have concerns about how information is collected, stored, and who has access to it. We want you to be aware of how we manage your privacy and to feel respected.

When you visit SHQ, a record is created with your name, address and contact details, along with other information, such as why you are visiting us, and what treatment we provide. This information is updated each time you visit. 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 record 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 appointment history can help us to quickly identify which treatments are likely to be safe and effective for you and reduces 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 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. Participation is 100% voluntary, and personal
information will not be shared outside of SHQ. People who undertake research must follow strict guidelines and maintain the confidentiality of the information they access.

SHQ supports your right to access your health information, 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 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 people. 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.

No – SHQ will not give them any information about you, either in person or on the phone, unless you have asked us to first.

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.

The results of cervical screening tests are automatically sent to the National Cancer Screening Register. The National Register maintains and operates a central, computerised, confidential database of cervical screening results, which ensures people are reminded when their cervical screening is overdue, and that any abnormal results are followed up.

When you have a cervical screening test 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 at ncsr.gov.au. Please speak with your healthcare professional if you have any queries.

We take concerns regarding privacy seriously, so please contact us to discuss any concerns first. It is best to do this in writing, which can be done through our website: shq.org.au/feedback

We will aim to resolve your concern following 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 oaic.gov.au
or call 1300 336 002.

A note about Medicare

If you have pathology tests, and are concerned about the privacy of the results, please contact Medicare directly.

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Information last updated June 2023

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