What information is collected and why?
As a patient of St Vincent's Private Hospital Melbourne a medical record is made containing your name, address, contact details and other information such as the problem for which you seek treatment, past medical conditions and the treatment and advice you were given. Every time you attend our hospital new information is added to our medical record.
Your medical record is the means of communication for many health professionals at our hospital who contribute to your care. We ask you for information so that you can receive proper care and treatment. 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. We aim to keep your information accurate and up-to-date at all times to make sure the best possible care and service can be provided.
Protecting your privacy
Information about you is stored in a central paper medical record, which is housed securely in our Health Information Services Department (HIS). Information is also stored on our computer system. We keep personal information secure from unauthorised access, use or loss. We have strict policies on who can access and receive your personal information and all staff are bound by a strict code of conduct and legal obligations with respect to maintaining the confidentiality of your information.
How is information used?
Your information is used by those involved in your care and treatment. It may also be used to help educate staff, plan for the future and to evaluate our services. Whenever possible information that identifies you is removed before it is used for teaching purposes or for evaluating our services.
Your information may also be used for research. Individuals who carry out research must follow strict guidelines, which includes gaining your consent to be part of the research, and the individual must maintain confidentiality of all the information they access.
What happens to information?
When you go home we may send a letter to your local doctor. This includes details on your treatment, medication and any special instructions. If you do not wish this information to be sent to your doctor please let the admission clerk or your nurse know as soon as possible.
Sometimes your local doctor will call for additional information following your discharge from hospital. If you have specified this doctor as your local doctor on your patient registration form and consented to releasing information to them then we will routinely release information to this doctor. If you prefer that information not be given to your local doctor please indicate this on the patient registration form. Information may also be given to the other specialists that treated you while you were in hospital.
In an emergency situation we will release personal information about you to facilitate your care. Circumstances may arise where you may wish for a relative to access your personal information on your behalf. Please note that we will only release information to the next of kin nominated on your registration form. In all circumstances your written consent will be sought to information being released.
Your personal information will be sent to your health fund. The law also requires that certain information about patients who have specific conditions and treatments must be reported to databases or registers maintained by the Department of Human Services or other health care organisations. Patient information recorded on these databases and registers is kept strictly confidential. De-identified information is also sent to the Department of Human Services and is used for funding, planning and improving health care quality.
The information we collect about you can only be destroyed after a specified period of time. Most patient records are kept for a minimum of seven years. Please contact the Privacy Officer if you would like further information on this.
We may contact you before you are admitted and after you have gone home to; check pre-admission details, to inform you of out-of-pocket expenses, follow-up from Day Procedure Unit,12-24 hours post discharge follow-up post midwifery discharge
Access to your information
Staff in your health care team are the best source of information about your care and treatment. Speak to a staff member if you have any questions.
If you would like a copy of your health information, you will need to complete the ‘Request for Personal Health Information’ form and provide a copy of identification such as a driver’s license or passport.
Please contact the HIS department on (03) 9411 7695 if you would like the form posted to you. The signed form together with identification should then be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or post to:
The Privacy Assistant
Health Information Service
St Vincent’s Private Hospital Melbourne
59 Victoria Parade
Fitzroy Vic 3065
A fee is charged for this service in accordance with the Health Records Act 2002. Please do not send any money with your form, an invoice will be sent to you in line with this procedure. If there is information we hold that is incorrect, or you do not agree with, you have the right to request that it be corrected.
Who do I contact for more information?
If you would like more information about any of our privacy policies or accessing your medical record please contact the Privacy Assistant on (03) 9411 7695.