What information do we collect about patients and why?
Our practice collects personal information including name, phone number, contact address/billing address, private health care fund and number, Medicare number (if required for government-sponsored programs) for administrative and accounting purposes. Financial records, insurance claims records and work related injury records are retained for five years, as required by the Australian Taxation Office and under WHS legislation. We may also use your personal information to communicate with you by email, regarding practice events, special offers and newsletters, only with your consent.
We collect your personal information in dental records that include drug sensitivities, diagnostic tests, examination history, treatment, advice, referrals, communications with laboratories and other practitioners, x-rays etc. to help us provide appropriate ongoing care. Dental records are kept for a minimum of seven years after the last date of entry for adults, and for children under the age of 18 at the time of the last entry, until they reach the age of 25. We may collect and share your personal health information with other practitioners (being qualified Dental or Medical Doctors/Specialists) with your consent as part of this ongoing care. We update your personal information where you may advise us, and personal details and treatment records are verified & updated at every consultation.
For a detailed list of documentation please ask for a copy of Appendix 1.
How do we use and disclose your information?
With your prior consent we may use or disclose your patient information to other practitioners for treatment purposes. We may also use or disclose patient information with insurers or lawyers for the purpose of insurance claims or complaints made by you.
The practice will not adopt, use or disclose an identifier assigned by any government agency except health care identifiers for purposes permitted under the Healthcare Identifiers Act (2010) (Cwth).
Access and correction
You may request access to your personal information at any time by contacting us. We may charge a fee to cover costs to provide access to paper or electronic records
We aim to keep records accurate, complete & up to date and will take reasonable steps to correct any inaccurate information.
How safe is your information?
The practice holds all records electronically and takes all reasonable steps to protect your personal information from misuse, interference and loss and from unauthorized access, modification or disclosure. Our policy in relation to IT and web site privacy is outlined in Appendix 2.
If you have a complaint about the way in which your information is handled, contact the Practice Manager on (02) 8054 2722 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact the Privacy Commissioner if you are not satisfied with the response after 30 (thirty) days at http://oaic.gov.au/privacy/making-a-privacy-complaint.
Dental Board Guidelines on Records
Clinical records should include –
- Date of visit
- Identifying details of the practitioner providing treatment
- Information about the type of examination conducted
- The presenting complaint
- Relevant history
- Clinical findings and observations
- Treatment plans and alternatives
- Consent of the patient, client or consumer
- All procedures conducted
- Instrument batch tracking control identification where relevant
- Medicines/drugs prescribed, administered or supplied or any other therapeutic agent used (name, quantity, dose, instructions)
- Details of advice provided
- Unusual sequence of treatment
- Radiographs and other relevant diagnostic data (digital radiographs must be readily transferable and available in high definition)
- Other digital information including CAD-CAM restoration files
- Instructions to and communications with laboratories
- Relevant communication with or about the patient
- Details of anyone contributing to the dental record
- Estimates or quotations of fees
- Records of complaints should there be any.
IT and Web privacy
We will not send clinical information about patients via email unless it is appropriately security protected. We manage our IT systems with appropriate processes and systems to ensure data is not lost and if we store data offsite (eg in Cloud facilities) we only use facilities that comply with the Australian Privacy Principles. We will not transfer personal information to anyone in a foreign country for any other reason without prior written consent.
Our Internet Service Provider records the following information for statistical purposes to help us improve our external communications: your server address; your domain or top level domain name (eg. practice.com, .gov, .au, etc); date and time of visit, pages accessed, documents downloaded; previous sites visited.
Our web site only uses session cookies and only during a search query of the web site. The session cookie is destroyed at the end of your browsing session and we do not keep any identifying information.
- Neither our practice nor the ISP identifies users of our website.
- We will only collect your email address if you send us a message or you provide us with your address. We will not share it or use it for any other purposes other than for which you have provided it. We will seek your consent if we would like to send you any information about the practice and you may opt out of receiving information from us.