WHAT HAPPENS TO INFORMATION ABOUT ME?

Meridian Health Privacy Statement
Protecting patient privacy is something we respect at Meridian Health. Wherever possible, we will provide you with choices about how your information is used and to whom it is disclosed. Confidentiality of health information is assured. Information is stored in a secure manner, both paper-based and electronically. We support, promote and comply with the 11 Health Privacy Principles (HPPs) in the Health Records Act 2001 (Vic).

Your health information will only be used and disclosed for the purposes for which it was collected and be protected from misuse. The collection or sharing of information is limited to that which is necessary, rather than what may be useful in the future. It is important to be clear about the purposes for which information is being shared. It is also important to be open with you about why information is being shared and with whom, what will happen to it, and how you can get access to it and correct it if necessary. When you become a patient of Meridian Health, a record is made containing your name, address, contact details and other information such as the nature of the problem for which you seek treatment and the treatment or advice you were given. Every time you attend Meridian Health, new information is added to your record. Your information may also be included on clinical databases where necessary for your treatment or ongoing care. Meridian Health will also collect information about you from other health services as necessary and this information will be added to your record.

WHY IS THIS INFORMATION NECESSARY?

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 and is able to help you the best they can. Your previous history of care can help us quickly identify which treatments are likely to be safe and effective for you and helps to reduce the likelihood of repeating tests that you have already had in the past. This information may also be used for research and planning, which will help us provide better healthcare overall. No personal, identifiable information apart from that which is described in this pamphlet, will leave the Meridian Health without your prior consent. If information is taken away, it is de-identified (that is, details are stripped away so that you personally cannot be identified).

HOW IS MY INFORMATION PROTECTED AND WHO HAS ACCESS TO IT?

As you are a private patient, information about you is stored in a central paper medical record which is stored securely within Meridian Health Information Services at the clinic. Information about you is also stored within Meridian Health’s computer systems. Although your paper medical record can only be used by one healthcare professional at a time, the information contained within the computer system allows multiple healthcare professionals to access your information whenever necessary. Details such as your name, address, date of birth, telephone number as well as test results, diagnosis and treatment information are available, electronically, to healthcare professionals who are involved in your care.
Meridian Health maintains strict policies with respect to who receives passwords and access to your personal information. All staff are bound by a strict code of conduct with respect to maintaining the confidentiality of your information.

YOUR LOCAL DOCTOR

It is routine practice that we can fax or electronically transfer a letter to your local doctor if you so request. This letter summarizes your treatment at Meridian, your medication and any special instructions we need your doctor to know about.
Sometimes your local doctor will write or telephone us for additional information about your treatment. In this situation, we routinely release information to the doctor whom you have specified or nominated as your local doctor on your patient registration form.

WE MAY CONTACT YOU AT HOME

The Meridian Health may send you information on advances in Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture via letter or electronically. If you do not wish to receive this important information please exercise opt out functionality on the newsletter.

OTHER PEOPLE WHO RECEIVE INFORMATION ABOUT YOU

In some circumstances, Meridian Health is obligated, by law, to release personal information about you. Examples of this include:
• Presentation of your medical record as evidence in court when subpoenaed (in case of legal action);
• We have to report notification (Victoria); and
• We have to report other demographic information about you to the Department of Human Services (Victoria). (This information is essentially de-identified).
The Department of Human Services has strict policies relating to access and the use of information.

CAN I HAVE ACCESS TO INFORMATION ABOUT ME?

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 1982, (Vic) and the Health Record Act 2001 (Vic), you have the
right to request access to your medical record and personal information held by Meridian Health. If there is information
in the record which is incorrect or you do not agree with, you have the right to request that it be corrected.
Requests for access to your Meridian medical record can be made in writing to The Meridian Health Clinic, 1606 High St Glen Iris

WHO DO I CONTACT FOR MORE INFORMATION?

If you have any questions regarding what happens to the information about you please contact the Practice Manager at Meridian Health.

HEALTH PRIVACY PRINCIPLES

Meridian Health supports and complies with the 11 Health Privacy Principles (HPPs) relating to health information under the Health Records Act 2001.
They are:

  1. Collection
  2. Use and Disclosure
  3. Data Quality
  4. Data Security and Data Retention
  5. Openness
  6. Access and Correction
  7. Identifiers
  8. Anonymity
  9. Transborder Data Flows
  10. Transfer or Closure of the Practice of a Health Service Provider
  11. Making information available to another Health Service Provider