Everyone working at or for Swan Hill District Health has a moral, ethical and legal duty to keep information about you confidential. We only pass on information about you to those who are involved in your treatment, or if authorised by you or by law. We have strict rules on who can access or receive your personal information and all staff are bound by these.
Why do we collect this information?
Your medical record is the means of communication for the health professionals at Swan Hill District Health who contribute to your care.
It is necessary for us to collect and keep this information to ensure that each health care professional involved in your care has all the facts.
Your previous history of care can help us quickly identify which treatments are likely to be safe and effective for you. It is a means of communication amongst your healthcare team.
What do we collect?
When you become a patient of Swan Hill District Health as an inpatient, resident of an aged care facility, or through our Emergency, Community or Outpatient services, a health record is created. This will contain your name, address, date of birth, contact details, information required for billing purposes, and medical information regarding the nature of the problem you are seeking treatment for, together with your past medical history and future treatment plans.
Your health information or your medical record is the basis for planning your care and treatment. The healthcare professionals who care for you at Swan Hill District Health compile your medical record.
While you have contact with our health service your treating team will collect ongoing information about you, your condition and how you respond to treatment. Every time you attend the health service new information is then added to your health record.
We ask you for information so that you can receive the proper care and treatment. We keep this information, together with details of your care because it may be needed if we see you again.
My Health Record
Swan Hill District Health participate in the uploading of discharge summaries to My Health Record. Your discharge summary will be automatically uploaded to My Health Record unless you advise admission staff or ward clerks you don’t want it uploaded, which can be done at any time during your stay.
For more information regarding My Health Record, please visit: www.myhealthrecord.gov.au
Who has access?
YOUR TREATING TEAM
So that we can work together for your benefit while you are a patient here, your health information is shared with the health professionals on your treating team.
Other health care facilities that you attend in the future may ask to have access to your health information to assist in planning your ongoing care.
Sometimes your local doctor may request access to your medical information. It is usual procedure to provide a discharge summary to your local general practitioner.
RESEARCH, TEACHING AND QUALITY
We may use some of your health information for the purpose of research, statistical analysis or quality improvement activities. We may also use the information for teaching of our staff. Whenever possible we remove any information which identifies you before it is used for this purpose. Information in these instances is only available to approved health professionals who must abide by our confidentiality policy.
We are required to report information to the following authorities where relevant (these authorities are also bound by privacy laws and principles):
· Victorian Cancer Registry
· Victorian Perinatal Data Collection Unit
· Victorian Communicable Diseases Prevention & Control Unit
· Safer Care Victoria
· Victorian Agency for Health Information
· If the record is subpoenaed for court.
· Where there is immediate danger to an individual or to the public.
· Victorian Department of Health (statistical information only-contains no names).
How is the information stored?
The information collected about you is stored in secure areas and is only accessed by authorised staff. It can only be destroyed in accordance with the standards set by the Public Records Office Victoria and the Public Records Act 1973. The main patient medical record is kept for a minimum of 15 years after the last attendance, and 30 years if you attended the hospital as a child.
What if I object to sharing my information with person(s) who would normally have access?
If you wish to withdraw consent from sharing your information with person(s) or agencies that would normally have access to your information (e.g. you may not wish your local GP to receive a copy of the discharge summary), and we are not bound by legislation to report the information, then you can state this on the ‘Patient Authority for Release of Information’ form, which you will be asked to sign on admission or pre-admission to the health service.
If you have any concerns or queries regarding the information that is collected and how it may be used, please speak with your treating team or contact the following staff:
HEALTH INFORMATION MANAGER:
Phone: (03) 5033 9341
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION OFFICER:
Phone: (03) 5033 9489
PRIVACY & DATA PROTECTION COMMISSIONER:
Phone Toll Free: 1300 666 444
Web site: www.cpdp.vic.gov.au
MY HEALTH RECORD HELP LINE
Phone: 1800 723 471
Web site: www.myhealthrecord.gov.au/support