Privacy information – What you need to know
Maintaining high standards of confidentiality and protecting the privacy of client/patient information is important to Bendigo Community Health Services Limited.
BCHS is committed to the National Privacy Principles and the Health Records Principles outlined in the Victorian Health Records Act 2001.
BCHS values clients/patients having confidence in BCHS to protect their privacy and to provide integrated and co-ordinated services which only share information for the benefit of clients/patients.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or her delegate is the Chief Privacy Officer.
The primary purpose for maintaining personal information is to assist with the provision and co-ordination of high quality services, to charge or make a claim for a service provided, or to plan or allocate a service. De-identified and aggregated information is sent to funding bodies for accountability purposes and internally for the purposes of service monitoring and planning.
Information is only collected if it is needed to provide a service. The content of client/patient personal files may include any of the following: identifying names, addresses and contact details, socio-demographic information, health status information, medical history, medications, care plans and assessments, financial status, service provision information, referral information and the results of clinical investigations and tests. Records are kept of individual consultations and attendances.
Sensitive information such as sexual health history, racial or ethnic origin, religious beliefs or affiliations, sexual preferences or practices or record of criminal convictions will only be collected and maintained where these are necessary to provide a service, are related to a health need or where they are required by funding bodies.
BCHS securely stores and maintains health, personal and sensitive information. Information is stored off-site on Class A data centres with active firewalls, password protected databases and in hard copy files. Active hard-copy files are housed in secure cabinets within BCHS facilities.
Health workers and administrative staff only have access to a client’s/patient’s records for the purposes of providing a service directly to that individual. Personal or sensitive information obtained about a client/patient will only be disclosed to external persons or organisations with the express written consent of that client/patient or where required by legislation. Clients/patients may use anonymous identifiers except in circumstances where a positive identification is required for administrative purposes, e.g Medicare claims.
Data analysis for research, planning and service development is conducted on de-identified information wherever possible. Identifiable information will only be used with prior written consent from clients/patients.
Individuals can access information held about them under the Health Records Act by applying in writing to the CEO. Suggested corrections of inaccurate, incomplete or out-of-date information may be added to the file upon request in writing to the CEO.
Records are disposed of according to the Health Records Act 2001, Victorian Public Records Office PRS99/04 General Disposal Schedule for Public Health Service Patient Information Records. General Disposal Schedule PRO 96/13.
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BCHS has taken all reasonable care to ensure that the material published on this site is free from error and is accurate, however, makes no warranties or representations about the material. It is subject to change without notice. By accessing this site, you agree that BCHS will not be liable for any inaccuracies or omissions or any direct, special, indirect or consequential damages or losses resulting from whatever cause through the use or any material obtained either directly or indirectly from or through the BCHS website.
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