Tissupath Pathology Pty Limited trading as TissuPath (“TissuPath”) provides specialist pathology services to patients as well as research services to organisations, like the Cancer Council of Victoria and universities, as well as commercial clients.
In addition to our professional and ethical obligations, at a minimum, TissuPath handles your personal information in accordance with federal and state privacy law. This includes complying with the federal Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) forming part of the Privacy Act 1998 (Cth) and the Victorian Health Privacy Principles (HPPs) forming part of the Health Records Act 2001 (Vic).
TissuPath takes your privacy seriously. Privacy protection and confidentiality of health information is essential for quality health care and we are committed to protecting the privacy and confidentiality of the information we handle about you.
This policy explains:
– how we collect, store, use and disclose your personal information;
– how you may access your personal information;
– how we protect the quality and security of your personal information;
– how you may seek correction of any personal information we hold; and
– how you may make a complaint about our handling of your personal information.
More information about the APPs and HPPs can be found on the Australian Information Commissioner’s website www.oaic.gov.au or in hard copy on request from our Administration Manager.
What personal information do we collect?
TissuPath collects and holds personal information about you so that we may properly assess, diagnose, treat, and be proactive in your health care needs.
The type of personal information we collect may include:
Your personal identifiers:
• Telephone number and email address
• Date of birth
• Marital status
• Individual Healthcare Identifiers (IHI)
Information to assist administration and charging:
• Medicare number
• Health fund, policy number and insurance cover details
• Workers compensation or other insurance claim details
• Concession card details
• Credit card number or other account information for billing purposes
Your medical information including:
• Your referring doctor details and their clinical notes
• Details of other medical professionals involved in your care
• Pathology tests requested as set out in the referral
• Pathology test results and notes prepared by clinicians and other third parties such as radiologists
• Previous medical history and disease status
How do we collect this information?
Personal information about you is collected in several ways including from information that is recorded on the pathology request form your doctor provides to us with your specimen when recommending that you obtain pathology services from us, or from someone who has responsibility for your care such as your parent, carer or guardian.
In some instances information about you is provided from other sources such as referring radiology practices, hospitals, day procedure centres or other health care providers.
How do we use the collected information?
Your personal information will only be used or disclosed for purposes directly related to providing you with quality health care, or in ways you would reasonably expect us to use it in order to provide you with this service.
This includes the use or disclosure:
– of your medical referral to ensure that we provide the requested pathology services; to examine your specimen and to make an appropriate diagnosis; and to provide your referring doctor with information that may assist them in managing your health;
– to lodge claims with your health insurance fund, Medicare Australia or other organisations responsible for the financial aspects of your care;
– to the extent required to provide details of your personal information for debt collection purposes;
– where required by law, for example, pursuant to a subpoena;
– in a very limited number of situations, we may be required to seek additional testing of a specimen at a specialist third party laboratory. In that instance, we will be required to disclose personal information about you for purposes of obtaining a test result;
– to insurers or lawyers for the defence of a medical claim; and/or
– to assist with training and education of other health care professionals only where that information has been de-identified for use for these purposes.
TissuPath does not intend to disclose your personal information to overseas recipients.
How do we protect the quality of the information?
We aim to ensure the information we hold about you is accurate, complete, up to date and relevant. Please let us know if any of the information we hold about you is incorrect or not up to date.
How do we store and secure personal information?
TissuPath takes all reasonable steps to protect the security of the personal information we hold, by:
– securing our premises;
– requiring our staff to be aware of patient confidentiality at all times ;
– using passwords on all electronic systems and databases and varying access levels to protect electronic information from unauthorised interference, access, modification or disclosure; and
– storing hard copy records in secure filing cabinets or rooms that are accessible only to TissuPath staff.
How can you access your personal information?
Under law you have a right to access personal information we hold about you. Please contact our Practice Manager for more information on our Access to Medical Records Policy.
We ask that you put your request in writing. A fee for the retrieval and copying of your medical record will apply, charged in accordance with the schedule of fees specified in the Health Records Regulations 2008 (Vic), plus GST. This fee is not redeemable through Medicare.
How can you amend your personal information?
If you consider the information we hold about you is not correct, please contact TissuPath in writing. You have the right to have any incorrect information corrected.
What happens if you chose to withhold your personal information?
You are not obliged to give us your personal information. However, if you choose not to provide TissuPath with the personal details requested, it may limit our ability to provide you with full service. We encourage you to discuss your concerns with our reception staff or with your doctor.
What about use of personal information for direct marketing?
Australian privacy law limits the use of personal information for direct marketing of goods and services. We do not use your personal information for direct marketing.
What should I do if I have a privacy complaint?
If you have a complaint regarding the way your personal information has been handled by TissuPath, please put it in writing and address it to the:
The Privacy Officer
Tissupath Pathology Pty Limited
P O Box 5225
Pinewood Victoria 3149
We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 14 days, and endeavour to provide a full response within 30 days of receipt.
Should you be dissatisfied with our response, you may lodge your written complaint with the Victorian Privacy Commissioner at https://www.privacy.vic.gov.au and/or the Victorian Health Services Commissioner at http://www.health.vic.gov.au.