Protecting privacy is both an ethical obligation and a legislative requirement Swan Hill District Health has to its individuals. The Health Records Act establishes privacy standards for the handling of health information and regulates the collection, use and disclosure of, and access to health information. The Information Privacy Act establishes a regime for the responsible collection and handling of personal information in the Victorian public sector.
At Swan Hill District Health we have adopted the privacy principles and all efforts are made to inform our individuals of what information is maintained on them and in what circumstances it must be given to a third party and who else may have access. Patients/Residents/Clients are then given the opportunity to withdraw consent to the sharing of their information unless it is covered under other legislation.
Swan Hill District Health staff only collects personal and health information necessary to perform our functions. As far as reasonable, information is collected in a sensitive and unintrusive manner sensitive to the individual’s circumstances. Where reasonable and practical, collection of personal information will be collected directly from the individual or their authorised representative.
Use & Disclosure
Information is only used for the purpose for which it was collected. Personal information will not be disclosed about an individual for a purpose other than the primary purpose for which it was collected unless:
- the secondary purpose is directly related to the primary purpose;
- the individual has consented to the disclosure;
- the use or disclosure is necessary to prevent a serious and imminent threat to either the individual or the general public;
- the use or disclosure is required or authorised by law.
Swan Hill District Health’s ‘Protection & Use of Your Personal & Health Information’ pamphlet outlines for individuals what information is collected, who normally has access to that information and in which circumstances information may be shared with third parties.
Swan Hill District Health must take reasonable measures to ensure information is kept accurate, complete and up-to-date. Information used for internal study, quality, research or education activities is not identified unless it is impractical for the purposes of the study to remove identifying data.
Data Security & Data Retention
All reasonable measures are taken to protect all information maintained by Swan Hill District Health from unauthorised access, improper use and disclosure, unauthorised destruction or accidental loss. Both paper based and electronic information is stored securely and can only be accessed by those who have authorised access rights.
The Swan Hill District Health ‘Protection & Use of Your Personal & Health Information’ pamphlet is available to anyone who asks for further detail regarding how information is handled.
Access & Correction
The Freedom of Information Act gives individuals the right to access their own personal information maintained by Swan Hill District Health. In some circumstances access may be refused to which an explanation will be provided. Individuals also have a right to request an amendment to incorrect information held.
Every patient treated at Swan Hill District Health is allocated a unique identifier which is called a UR number. This enables the correct treatment is provided to the correct patient.
Where reasonable to do so, patients are identified using their UR number, however it is impractical to provide healthcare to individuals completely anonymously.
Transborder Data Flow
Transferring information outside of Victoria will only be undertaken where the provision of service is required for an individual. Consent is always gained from individuals beforehand, and information is transmitted with the appropriate protection.
Australian Federal Privacy Commissioner’s website - http://www.privacy.gov.au/
Personal information about visitors to our site is collected only when knowingly and voluntarily submitted. For example, we may need to collect
such information to provide you with further services or to answer or forward any requests or enquiries. It is our intention that this
policy will protect your personal information from being dealt with in any way that is inconsistent with applicable privacy laws in Australia.
Use of Information
Apart from where you have consented or disclosure is necessary to achieve the purpose for which it was submitted, personal information may be disclosed in special situations where we have reason to believe that doing so is necessary to identify, contact or bring legal action against anyone damaging, injuring, or interfering (intentionally or unintentionally) with our rights or property, users, or anyone else who could be harmed by such activities. Also, we may disclose personal information when we believe in good faith that the law requires disclosure.
We may engage third parties to provide you with goods or services on our behalf. In that circumstance, we may disclose your personal information to those third parties in order to meet your request for goods or services.
We strive to ensure the security, integrity and privacy of personal information submitted to our sites, and we review and update our security measures in light of current technologies. Unfortunately, no data transmission over the Internet can be guaranteed to be totally secure.
However, we will endeavour to take all reasonable steps to protect the personal information you may transmit to us or from our online products and services. Once we do receive your transmission, we will also make our best efforts to ensure its security on our systems.
In addition, our employees and the contractors who provide services related to our information systems are obliged to respect the confidentiality of any personal information held by us. However, we will not be held responsible for events arising from unauthorised access to your personal information.
Cookies are data that a Web site transfers to an individual's hard drive for record-keeping purposes. Cookies, which are industry standard
and are used by most Web sites, including those operated by us, can facilitate a user's ongoing access to and use of a site. They allow
in most browsers that allows you to deny or accept the Cookie feature. But you should note that Cookies may be necessary to provide you
with some features of our on-line services.
Access to Information
We will endeavour to take all reasonable steps to keep secure any information which we hold about you, and to keep this information accurate and up to date. If, at any time, you discover that information held about you is incorrect, you may contact us to have the information corrected.
In addition, our employees and the contractors who provide services related to our information systems are obliged to respect the confidentiality of any personal information held by us.
Links to other sites
We provide links to Web sites outside of our web sites, as well as to third party Web sites. These linked sites are not under our control, and we cannot accept responsibility for the conduct of companies linked to our website. Before disclosing your personal information on any other website, we advise you to examine the terms and conditions of using that Web site and its privacy statement.