The Privacy Act 1988, and the Health Records Act 2001, determine how
organisations such as North East Family Medicine, collect, store and who has
access to information about you.
This information sheet aims to explain how we collect and administer your health
information. Your doctor will be happy to discuss this with you.
Why do we collect personal and health information?
To ensure we provide high quality care and improve the quality of our services and
administer those services to fulfil our obligations as required by law
How do we collect personal information?
North East Family Medicine collects information regarding each patient, from the
patient, parent or guardian. This information is normally collected when the patient
first attends our Practice.
Our Practice is fully computerised. Information is kept secure at all times and any
paper files which have not yet been scanned to computer, are protected and kept
secure in a staff only area. The computer data is backed up each night and the
success of the backup is verified regularly to ensure retention of the data.
Clinical information such as medications, classifications, allergies, immunisations,
family history and social history are obtained by the doctor. Clinical notes are
recorded either during the consultation or on completion. Prescriptions, specialist
and allied health referrals, pathology, x-ray and ultrasound requests are computer
generated. Clinical information can only be accessed by Doctors, Nurses, Allied
Health care workers and specially authorised administrative staff.
Your personal health record
Your doctor will aim to make sure that your medical records:
What personal information do we collect and hold?
Reception staff collect personal information such as name, address, date of birth,
ethnicity, contact telephone numbers, next of kin (NOK) and Medicare card number,
reference number and expiry date. This information is recorded and forms the basis
of your computer file. Each patient is allocated a unique individual patient file. Your
details will be updated regularly to ensure your file is kept up to date. Patients can
ask for their personal information to be corrected or updated at any time.
For patients who are eligible for Veteran Affairs, their card status and number is
recorded. For patients who hold a Health Care Card, Pension Card or Seniors Health
Care Card, the number and expiry date is recorded. For patients who have a claim
with WorkCover or TAC, an accident date, claim number and employer may need to
We receive a combination of electronic and paper based results and
correspondence. All paper based results and correspondence are scanned into the
patient’s file enabling us to have a fully computerised patient record.
For referred services, the doctors gain consent from the patient during the
consultation. Only relevant patient information is released to these service providers.
Providing your information to other health care providers
All patients have a general right of access to their own health records. When
requesting information, to assist our Practice, we will require specific details about
what type of information is required. When access is sought, it may be useful to
make an appointment with your Doctor to discuss your health information, to prevent
the information being misunderstood or taken out of context. Some requests for
information may need to be in writing.
Some information may be provided with a verbal request.
Administrative staff are not authorised to provide clinical health information to
patients therefore these requests will be referred to the appropriate Doctor.