At Physio Now Group Pty Ltd we aim to ensure confidentiality and safety of all personal health information collected regarding our clients and participants.
This policy primarily addresses the management of “personal health information” in the company.
This company policy covers the following areas:
Personal health information is defined as information which concerns a client’s / participants’ health, medical history or past or present health care; and which is in a form that enables or could enable the client’s / participants to be identified.
While the policy focuses on the management of the client’s / participant’s medical record, it also relates to information recorded, for example, in billing and accounting records, pathology and radiology results, medical certificates and letters to and from hospitals and other doctors.
Retention and Culling of clinical and administration records
All hard copies of information are stored safely and scanned securely to a computer hard drive. In the case of a child, files are stored for 7 years after the final attendance after the child has turned 18 (25 years of age).
Our company software Cliniko stores most administrative and clinical records. All electronic records are kept indefinitely and are made inactive at the discretion of the Company Manager and treating practitioner or partner in the event the treating practitioner is unable to advise.
If necessary inactive electronic records are made active again using our computer software.
No record will be destroyed at any time without the permission of the treating practitioner or of a company partner if the treating practitioner is no longer involved in the company.
In the event of a practitioner being deceased or transferring out of the company, the company will post a notice on the company website informing clients / participants.
OR a departing practitioner may choose to individually inform each client / participant, asking the client / participants to nominate a practitioner to whom the record should be transferred.
If the company closes, client’s / participants will be contacted individually, and a notice will be displayed on our website.
When hard files are due to be destroyed, they are shredded as directed by the Company Manager.
All practitioners and staff will take steps to ensure that client’s / participant’s can discuss issues relating to their treatment and that the practitioners and other staff can record relevant personal health information, in a private setting where unauthorised people cannot access the information.
Consultations are all conducted in the clinic or in the client’s / participant’s home to ensure confidentiality.
Client’s / participants’ are informed of who in the company has access to their records. This includes administrative staff and the treating therapist.
Client’s / participant’s will be informed, and consent gained if the practitioner undertakes research and quality improvement activities in which client’s / participants information is to be used.
The practitioner responsible for the activity will ensure that appropriate information is available from the reception staff for client’s / participants.
Access to identified records without client’s / participants consent may occur if this disclosure is necessary for the practitioners in the company to carry out a review of their company for the purpose of improving the quality of care provided and the activity has been approved under Commonwealth or State legislation or by a professional college. This may occur for example during a record audit carried out as part of company accreditation. This provides safeguards to protect the confidentiality of the information provided.
When research projects are conducted in the company under the approval of an institutional ethics committee, staff must be aware of the requirements to obtain consent specified in the research protocol and ensure that consent is properly obtained.
Where possible identifying information will be removed from personal health information being used for research and QA activities. Where this is not possible, internal staff accessing personal health information are aware that they are under an obligation of confidentiality not to disclose the information. Breaches of that obligation may result in dismissal. The responsible practitioner will ensure that any external researchers are also under an explicit written obligation of confidentiality with appropriate penalties for disclosure.
Practitioners and staff will ensure that personal health information is disclosed to third parties only where consent of the client’s / participants has been obtained. Exceptions to this rule occur when the disclosure is necessary to manage a serious and imminent threat to the client’s / participant’s health or welfare, or is required by law.
Practitioners will explain the nature of any information to be provided to others about the client’s / participants, for example, in letters to referrers, other practitioners and hospitals. If appropriate the letter may be shown to the client’s / participants. In terms of a letter client’s / participants consent is implicit in their agreement to be referred by their referrer or to take the letter to a hospital or other practitioner.
Practitioners and staff will only disclose to third parties that information which is required to fulfil the needs of the recipient.
Information disclosed to Medicare or other health insurers will be limited to the minimum required to obtain insurance rebates. Information supplied in response to a court order will be limited to the matter under consideration by the court.
Information classified by a practitioner or client’s / participants as restricted will not be disclosed without the explicit consent of the client’s / participants and/or practitioner.
Access to accurate and up-to-date information about the client’s / participants by a new treating practitioner is integral to the practitioner providing high quality health care. If a client’s / participants transfers away from the company to another practitioner, and the client’s / participants requests that the health record is transferred, the existing practitioner will provide a copy of the record. This may incur a reasonable administration charge.
It is company policy that all client’s / participant’s have access to the health information contained on their file. The treating practitioner will provide an up-to-date and accurate summary of their health information on request or whenever appropriate.
The treating practitioner will consider in a timely manner any written request made by a client / participant for access to the health record itself. In doing so he/she will need to consider the risk of any physical or mental harm resulting from the disclosure of health information.
If the practitioner is satisfied that the client’s / participants may safely see the record, then he/she will either show the client’s / participants the record or arrange for provision of a copy and explain the contents to the client’s / participants. A charge may be incurred by the client’s / participants for any copying.
Practitioners and staff will protect personal health information against unauthorised access while it is being stored and transmitted.
Staff will ensure that client’s / participant’s and other visitors to the company will not have access to the health record and that records or any other papers containing personal health information are not left where they may be accessed by unauthorised persons.
Non-clinical staff will limit their access to personal health information to the minimum necessary for the performance of their duties.
E-mail and telephone messages will be treated with security equal to that applying to health records.
Computer screens will be positioned in a way which prevents unauthorised viewing of a client’s / participant’s personal information.
Practitioners and staff will ensure that personal health information held in the company is secured against loss or alteration of data.
Client’s / participants records will not be taken away from the company except when required by clinical staff for the care of a client’s / participants and kept securely during this time. The responsible clinician will ensure that the record is returned to the company and left in an appropriate place for filing.
Health records and other papers containing personal health information are either securely disposed of or filed promptly after each client’s / participant’s contact.
On induction, all company members are trained in the importance of confidentiality. All staff sign a confidentiality statement stating that breaching confidentiality is a dismissible offense.
Staff are encouraged to attend in house privacy seminars, where available, as these contain segments on the management of personal health information.
The staff induction program will contain a specific segment on the management of personal health information.
We strive to deliver highly educational content and ways to improve your overall experience as a client / participant. We would like to send a periodic email from time to time to keep you updated. You can UNSUBSCRIBE to these emails by clicking the link at the bottom of the email sent to you.
Complaints / Feedback Handling Policy
A complaint is an expression of concern, dissatisfaction or frustration with the quality or delivery of service, a policy or procedure, or the conduct of another person.
The Complaints Manager must:
NDIS Complaints and Feedback
How to make a complaint?
Physio Now Group Pty Ltd strives to provide professional, high quality clinical care for all client’s / participant’s. If you feel we not provided a level of care or service that meets these standards, you can make a complaint or provide feedback by contacting our team via email: [email protected] or Ph: 08 8351 2270.
If you are not satisfied with your response from Physio Now Group Pty Ltd, you can contact the NDIS Commission by calling 1800 800 110, visit one of their offices in person or through the NDIS website, www.ndiscommission.gov.au .
The Privacy Act 1988 gives you certain rights in relation to personal information that you provide to us or which we otherwise collect.
This form explains what your rights are over the use we make of the information and how we may disclose it to other medical service providers and organisations.
We will only collect information that is necessary to properly assess, advise and treat you. Such necessary information may include your contact details; a full medical history; Medicare or health fund details; and billing or account details.
The information will normally be collected directly from you. There may be occasions when we will need to obtain information from other sources, such as other doctors or health professionals; where this is the case, your written permission will be obtained in advance in respect of any health or other sensitive information.
Our staff and therapists will participate in the collection of this information.
In rare emergency situations, where your life may be threatened and where you are physically incapable of giving your prior express consent, we may need to collect personal information from relatives or other source or provide information about you to doctors who are treating you.
Use & Disclosure
We will use and disclose your information for purposes such as:
Consequences for not Disclosing Information
If we are unable to collect the information about you referred to above, we may be unable to provide you with the services you require.
Requests for access to your personal information should be in writing. Photo identification may be required, and an access fee may be payable. You can request an amendment to your records should you believe that it contains inaccurate information.
We may contacted regarding all privacy matters using the following details:
Physio Now Group Pty Ltd
Office and clinic – 805/147 Pirie St, Adelaide, SA, 5000.
Phone 08 8351 2270