What information is collected and why
Information is collected during your visit to Albury Wodonga Health to help with your care. It is necessary for us to collect and keep this information such as previous illness tests or medication to ensure that members of your health care team have all the facts to quickly identify which treatments are likely to be safe and effective for you. This information will normally be collected directly from you, although sometimes it is necessary to collect information from other health service providers.
Other information collected and stored includes your name, address, contact details and details of your local doctor. This helps us plan your treatment while you are with us and when you go home. Each time you attend Albury Wodonga Health your information will be updated with the aim of keeping it as accurate and up-to-date as possible. Please let a staff member know or contact us when your details such as address or local doctor change.
Use and disclosure of your information
Your information is used by those involved in your care and treatment. In addition:
- We also routinely provide information to your local doctor / service provider by fax or by secure electronic means after treatment at Albury Wodonga Health. A discharge letter to your local doctor summarises your stay at hospital, your medication and any special instructions we need your doctor to know about. If you do not wish for this information to be sent to your doctor please let your nurse know so that your decision can be acted on.
- Your health information may be used within Albury Wodonga Health in an anonymous form for planning, quality improvement and research. These activities provide the opportunity for improvements in care that benefit the community. Information is only made available for research projects that have been approved by the Joint Ethics Committee following thorough investigation and review. Information that identifies you can only be released with your consent.
- In some circumstances, the health service is required by law to release information. Some details about people who have specific conditions (for example, some infectious diseases and types of cancer) must be reported to databases and registers maintained securely by the Victorian and New South Wales Public Health bodies.
- Information may also be provided to a court or tribunal when subpoenaed.
- Health funds, Transport Accident Commission or Workcover Authority may require information for billing purposes.
- Certain information relating to your hospital visit may be forwarded to the Department of Health. This information is summarised and does not identify you. This information is used for funding, planning and improving health care quality.
- Other hospitals or new local doctors that you visit may contact us to obtain information about you so that they can care for you and treat you safely and effectively. We would ask them for written consent from you before releasing information to them. In an emergency situation, however, we will release information about you to facilitate care. In all other circumstances, no personal identifiable information will be released without your prior consent.
- General information about your condition may also be made available to your next of kin or a near relative unless you request otherwise.
Security of your information
Albury Wodonga Health protects privacy by keeping personal information secure from unauthorised access, use and loss. As a patient you will have a central medical record that is stored securely by Health Information Services. Information is is also stored on computer systems. Your information is accessed in the medical record and computer systems by staff involved in your care.
All staff employed by our health service have a duty to protect the privacy of personal information. Strict policies provide staff with guidelines for collection, use, release, security and disposal of personal information. This includes controls on password allocation for accessing the Albury Wodonga Health computer systems.
Accessing your Health Record
During your hospital stay the healthcare staff are the best source of information to answer questions about your care and treatment. If you identify any information that is incorrect or you do not agree with, you may request that it is amended. Speak with a staff member or a Health Information Manager who will arrange access or amendment to your information.
If you would like to request access to your information please contact the facility that you received your care from and /or put your request in writing by completing the Freedom of Information Application Form.
Would you like more information about your Health Record, privacy or confidentiality?
If you have any further questions please contact: The Albury Wodonga Health Privacy Officer during business hours on telephone (02) 6051 7474 or contact the The Victorian Health Services Commissioner on telephone on 1800 136 066, or the New South Wales Health Care Complaints Commission telephone on 1800 043 159