Patients have 24/7 phone and video access to a team of My Emergency Doctor emergency specialist physicians who can remotely assess, diagnose and arrange treatment for a range of acute medical conditions.
We have written this policy to inform you of:
- the kind of information that we collect and hold, which as a medical practice includes your confidential health information;
- how we collect and hold personal information;
- the purposes for which we collect, hold, use and disclose personal information;
- how do we hold your personal information;
- how you may access your personal information and seek the correction of that information;
- how you may complain about a breach of the Australian Privacy Principles and how we will deal with such a complaint.
2. What kinds of personal information do we collect?
We only collect the information that is necessary and relevant to provide you with the Services including medical care and treatment, and to manage our medical practice. This information may include:
- Your name, address, date of birth, gender, email and contact details
- Contact details of your parent, carer or guardian
- Medicare number, DVA number and other government identifiers
- Enquiry or response (including survey and feedback responses), Service request, information request or complaint details which may include sensitive’ health information about you, including notes of your symptoms or diagnosis and the treatment given to you; your specialist reports and test results; medical history (including that of family members if a condition might be hereditary); current medications and allergies; your appointment and billing details
- Payment information
- Details of your use of the Website, Social Media Websites and App including information you upload via the App, and details of any communications you have with us or any member of the My Emergency Doctor team
- Qualifications, employment history and other employee data in connection with a job application or expression of interest.
- Statistical information about visitors to our Website, App and our Social Media Sites, some of which may be collected using cookies, but none of the statistical information we collect allows us to identify a visitor.
Sometimes we may be required or permitted by law, court or tribunal order to collect personal information about you. Where required to do so, we will notify you in accordance with relevant privacy legislation when we collect your personal information and for what purpose.
3. How do we collect and hold personal information?
We will generally collect personal information:
- from you directly when you provide your details to us;
- from a person responsible for your care;
- other health service providers such as but not limited to private health insurers, private and public hospitals, nursing homes and other aged care providers, interpreters and emergency service providers as well as other institutions responsible for your care;
- from third parties where the Privacy Legislation or other law allows it: for example other members of your treating team, diagnostic centres, specialists, hospitals, the My Health Record system, electronic prescription services, Medicare, your health insurer, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
Personal information may be collected via an online form, telephone conversations with our staff, video conferences with our staff and/or paper registration form. In emergency situations we may also need to collect information from your relatives or friends.
We may be required by law to retain medical records for certain periods of time depending on your age at the time we provide services.
As required by some of the contracts which we have with our partner organisations, we may also be required to record consultations for quality assurance and confidential record keeping purposes. Please let us know if you do not want a consultation to be recorded.
If you don’t provide us with certain information, or if you request that we de-identify Personal Information we hold about you, we may be unable to provide you the information or Services you request and we may terminate your access to some or all of our Services including via the App.
4. Why do we collect, hold, use and disclose personal information?
We will treat your personal information as strictly private and confidential. We will only use or disclose it for purposes directly related to your care and treatment, or if we are required by law to disclose it or are requested to provide it, or in ways that you have authorised us or would otherwise reasonably expect that we may use it for your ongoing care and treatment. For example, the disclosure of blood test results to your specialist or requests for x-rays. From time to time a second emergency specialist doctor may access your patient records for quality assurance purposes only. Please also see our Service Terms.
You agree that we may also retain and use your personal information:
- To contact you about our Services and business, and about other My Emergency Doctor content (for example information about our doctors, tele-health related educational material such as video examples of how our doctors work and information from tele-health data and studies), that we think may be of interest to you as well as following up with you about such matters by phone, post, email or other means. You can opt out of receiving such content and communications by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and typing “unsubscribe” in the subject line of your email. However, even if you opt out of receiving such content and communications, please note that we will still contact you regarding your use of our Services, your care and treatment and as otherwise explained in this policy.
- To contact you regarding customer assistance matters regarding your use of our Services, billing, account management and other administrative matters, sending you information about changes to our organisation, policies and terms and conditions or other legal matters
- For our research purposes including improving your browsing experience and personalising your user experience, and developing and improving our business and Services.
There are circumstances where we may be permitted or required by law or are requested to disclose your personal information to third parties such as, to statutory authorities, public health authorities for infectious disease notification, Medicare, Police, insurers, solicitors, government regulatory bodies, tribunals, courts of law, hospitals, or debt collection agents. In these cases, you authorise us to disclose your personal information where we are requested or required to do so.
We may also disclose your personal information to other health service entities such as but not limited to other health service providers, private health insurers, private and public hospitals, government, state or territory funding bodies or area health services (and their related entities), nursing homes and other aged care providers, allied health providers, interpreters and emergency service providers. If the patient is a student and the student is using our Service through his/her school, we may need to disclose the student’s personal information to the relevant school.
If you contacted us from a facility or where a third party has agreed to fund the cost of your consultation, depending on the legal contract which we have in place, My Emergency Doctor may be required to disclose certain information about your consultation back to that funding party for reporting and invoicing purposes.
We may also provide statistical data to third parties for research purposes. This will be de-identified (meaning you are not able to be identified from the information given).
We may disclose information about you to outside contractors to carry out activities on our behalf, such as an IT service provider, solicitor or debt collection agent. We impose security and confidentiality requirements on how they handle your personal information. Outside contractors are not permitted to use information about you for any purpose except for those activities we have asked them to perform.
5. How do we hold your personal information?
All personal information will be kept secure on Australian-based servers. We take all reasonable steps to ensure that your personal information is kept secure, accurate, complete, up to date and relevant. For this purpose our staff may ask you to confirm that your contact details are correct from time to time. We request that you let us know if any of the information we hold about you is incorrect or out of date.
Personal information that we hold is protected by:
- securing our premises;
- placing passwords and varying access levels on databases to limit access and protect electronic information from unauthorised interference, access, modification and disclosure; and
- providing locked cabinets and rooms for the storage of physical records.
6. How can you access and correct your personal information?
You have a right to seek access to, and to correct, the personal information which we hold about you. For details on how to access and correct your health record, please send an email to our practice as noted below. We will normally respond to your request within 30 days.
We may deny access to your medical records in certain circumstances permitted by law, for example, if disclosure may cause a serious threat to your health or safety. We will always tell you why access is denied and the options you have to respond to our decision.
Where permitted by law, we may charge you a reasonable fee to access or correct your personal information.
7. Privacy related questions and complaints
If you have any questions about privacy-related issues or wish to complain about a breach of the Australian Privacy Principles or the handling of your personal information by us, please send us an email in the first instance. If the matter is urgent, please call the number below. Non-urgent matters will normally be responded to within 30 days:
My Emergency Doctor
If you are dissatisfied with our response, you may refer the matter to the OAIC:
Phone: 1300 363 992
Fax: +61 2 9284 9666
Post: GPO Box 5218
Sydney NSW 2001
You may also contact the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission:
Phone: 1800 043 159
Address: Level 13, 323 Castlereagh Street (corner of Hay St), Sydney NSW 2000
8. Anonymity and pseudonyms
The Privacy Act provides that individuals have the option of not identifying themselves, or of using a pseudonym, when dealing with our practice, except in certain circumstances, such as where it is impracticable for us to deal with you if you have not identified yourself. Because we require payment by credit card before a consultation can take place, and because of the medical nature of the Services we provide, including obtaining relevant information from third parties such as laboratories or your GP we envisage that it will be impracticable for us to do consultations on an anonymous basis.
9. Overseas disclosure
We may disclose your personal information to the following overseas recipients:
- any practice or individual who assists us in providing services (for example if you have come from overseas and had your original health records are overseas, or your treatment is continuing from an overseas provider)
- overseas transcription services
- anyone else to whom you might direct or authorise us to disclose.
10. Updates to this Policy
This Policy will be reviewed from time to time to take account of new laws and technology, changes to our operations and other necessary developments. Updates will be published on our website.
Our Website, the App and our Social Media Websites may employ the use of analytical tools and cookies to collect and track personal information. By using our Services, the Website, App or our Social Media Websites, you agree to the use of such technologies and cookies. You may block or restrict any cookies by adjusting your internet browser settings but if you do so, our Website, App, and Social Media Websites may not function properly and you may not be able to access the Services.