Privacy of Patient Information
This leaflet provides you with details of what personal information is held about you, how you can access this information and the purposes for which your personal information is used and disclosed. Your personal information includes your personal details and personal health information relating to your treatment/care.
Collection of Personal Information
We collect your personal information so that we can provide you with treatment and advice. Test results and further information collected while you are being treated are kept with your health record. We only collect information that is relevant and necessary for your treatment and to manage the health services we provide.
We collect information directly from you, wherever possible. We may need to collect information from other health professionals who have treated you. In an emergency, we may also need to collect information from a family member, friend, carer or other person who can help us to provide you with the best care.
Your information may be held in paper or electronic files, including visual image and audio formats. We take all reasonable steps to ensure the information we collect about you is stored securely. We are required by law to retain health records for certain periods of time, depending on the type of record and facility. We have appropriate systems and policies in place to protect your information from loss, unauthorised access and misuse.
If you do not wish for us to collect certain information about you, you need to tell us and we will discuss with you any consequences this may have for your health care.
Use and Disclosure
All staff are bound by law and ethical practice to keep your information confidential. Western NSW Local Health District will use or disclose your information for purposes directly related to your treatment, and in ways you would reasonably expect for your current and future care.
Your personal health information will be shared with staff involved in your care, in order to determine the best treatment for you and to assist in the management of the health services provided to you.
Relevant information about the health services you have received will be sent to your nominated GP, unless you request otherwise. Where relevant information will be sent to other treating health services or hospitals involved in your care, or to the Ambulance Service of NSW, to a specialist for a referral, for pathology tests, x-rays and so on.
We may be required to disclose some patient information to Courts and Tribunals and to State and Commonwealth government agencies to comply with laws regarding the reporting of notifiable diseases and statistics, and for the registering of births and deaths. Your personal information may be required as evidence in court when subpoenaed.
We may use or disclose patient information for billing and other purposes required for the operation of the NSW Health Service, including safety and quality improvement initiatives. Where relevant, we may need to disclose patient information to Medicare, private health funds, the Department of Veterans Affairs or The Australian Council on Healthcare Standards.
We may use your information to contact you regarding patient satisfaction surveys that help us to evaluate and improve our services.
We may use or disclose your information for the following purposes in accordance with Statutory Guidelines issued under privacy law:
For public interest research projects complying with strict protocols and approved by a Human Research & Ethics Committee
For staff and student training purposes
For other planning, financial or management purposes for health service activities
The Statutory Guidelines ensure that where your information is needed for these purposes and it is impracticable to seek your consent, a minimum account of personal information is used, and the personal information is handled in accordance with strict standards.
We will seek your consent prior to the use or disclosure of patient information for purposes other than those listed above, such as for fundraising activities.
Access to your Information
You are entitled to request access to all personal information including your health record held by Western NSW LHD.
Key Privacy Resources
For information relating to Western NSW LHD and NSW Health’s compliance with privacy law, please refer to the following documents:
Other Privacy Resources that may be of use to you:
If you would like further information relating to the privacy of your personal health information, please refer to the Local Health District Privacy Information leaflet (in English).
This leaflet is also available in other languages via the NSW Health Privacy website.
The Privacy Acts and related Regulations and links are listed belOW:
If you have a complaint relating to your privacy on the grounds that you believe a health service provider has contravened an Information Protection Principle or Health Privacy Principle, you may wish to request an internal review to be carried out by Western NSW Local Health District.
If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of the internal review, you may lodge an appeal with the Administrative Decisions Tribunal, who will further investigate your complaint.
For further information:
Contact the Privacy Contact Officer (details below)
Contact the Office of the NSW Privacy Commissioner on telephone (02) 8868 8585 or go to the Privacy NSW website
If you have a privacy enquiry or complaint regarding a health service you have received, please contact:
The Privacy Contact Officer
Health Information Management Unit
Western NSW and Far West Local health Districts
PO Box 4061
Dubbo NSW 2830
Phone: (02) 6841 2272