Talk with Susan Evans Counselling is commitment to providing a high level of care for clients includes ensuring a high level of protection for any personal information we have on our records. We view the privacy of clients as an important part of our duty of care and seek to comply with all elements of the Australian Privacy Principles as well as our existing obligations of confidentiality.
When you come for a session you will be asked to sign a consent form, which includes notices about privacy and requests your consent. The information on the consent form and on the Information Sheet that is handed to you for extra reading specifies how any information about you may be used and disclosed.
We take seriously the trust you place in us and at all times we will make every effort to ensure that your personal information is secure, protected from interference, misuse, loss and unauthorised access, modification and disclosure.
Collection Of Your Personal Information
PERSONAL AND SENSITIVE INFORMATION
Personal Information refers to information or an opinion, whether true or not, and whether recorded in a material form or not, about an individual whose identity is apparent, or can reasonably be ascertained, from the information or opinion.
Sensitive Information is a subset of personal information and includes your health information as well as information pertaining to racial or ethnic origin, political opinions or membership of a political organisation, religious belief or affiliations, membership of a professional or trade association, sexual preferences or a criminal record. Sensitive information attracts additional privacy protections compared with other types of personal information.
CONSENT FORMS AND CONSULTATION RECORDS
On your first visit for a session you will be asked to sign a Client Consent form and to provide certain personal information included:
- Your name, address, phone number and email contact details;
- Your date of birth and marital status;
- Contact details for your of emergency contact and your doctor;
- Information about your health and any medication you may be taking.
You will also be asked to consent to specific treatments and whether you are agreeable to your personal information being shared with other practitioners or medical professionals where this may enhance your treatment.
At the end of your treatment your Counsellor will make notes about any symptoms you may have exhibited and the treatment given. If you have a subsequent visit, these notes will be used by your Counsellor for review and support of your condition. [Should you have a further session with a different practitioner they will make separate notes during your consultation]. Practitioners will not share your consultation notes or personal information without your written consent.
Children and other persons who are not able to give informed consent may come for a session with the consent of a parent or guardian. In such cases, personal information will be collected and used as described above.
We will try to collect your personal information directly from you. However, there may be instances where we will need to collect your information from other persons or entities. Whenever possible we will request this other person to have your signed consent or email giving your permission for them to provide us with your personal information. Exceptions may be if you suddenly take ill and are incapable of providing certain information which may be important for your treatment, such as if you have had a recent operation, illness or an implant e.g. a pacemaker, and what medication you are taking.
If you have provided us with information about another person, then you will need to tell that person that you have done so, that they have a right to access their information and that they can refer to this policy for information on how we will handle their personal information.
STORAGE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
Personal information is used to:
- contact you about your appointment or any other matter in relation to the service provided to you;
- contact your Emergency Contact or GP in an emergency;
- better understand your health history and thus ensure your treatment is of the highest quality;
- discuss your case with other practitioners and / or medical professionals if you have consented to this;
- research purposes if you have consented to this, in which case your personal information will be ‘de-identified’ that is anonymous, unless you advise us otherwise;
- allow you to purchase products and services;
- answer your enquiries and resolve complaints;
- Credit card information is used only for payment processing and fraud prevention. This information is not used for other purposes and not retained by us.
- Anonymous data may be aggregated for reporting client statistics and to improve our customer support. If you complete a questionnaire, you may do this anonymously and you will have an option to provide your name if you have questions or are seeking further information.
SHARING YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
We take seriously the trust you place in us and on no account will we share your personal information with any third party without your permission unless required by law enforcement action or subpoena. For example, we may be required to provide your personal information to the appointed case managers of insurance companies managing your worker’s compensation case or third party case in the treatment of your injury or illness.
Personal information may be disclosed to anyone to whom you have given written and signed consent to have access to this information (e.g. a solicitor, accountant or a person who has authority to act as your attorney). This could also include referees, any financial institution nominated by you (for example in a direct debit) or anyone else you request.
ACCESSING YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
If you have completed a consent form at this clinic you can request access to your personal information at any time. By law it is necessary to make the request in writing and send it to:
Attention: Susan Evans email@example.com
Upon receiving your request we will discuss your access options. A copy will be supplied to you within ten working days depending on the nature of the request. We will endeavour to make your file available earlier if possible.
If you believe that any information is incorrect or outdated, you may ask for a correction to be made. There is no fee for requesting access to your information.
In a very few cases we may be unable to give you access to certain information for example where:
- we no longer hold or use the information;
- providing access would pose a serious threat to the physical or mental health of any individual;
- providing access would have an unreasonable impact on the privacy of others;
- the request is vexatious
- providing access would be unlawful;
- the information relates to existing or anticipated legal proceedings;
- providing access would prejudice or be likely to prejudice the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of unlawful activity;
- disclosure would pose a threat to the life or health of any individual.
If your request is refused, we will tell you the reason why. If we are not required to provide you with access to the information requested, we will consider, if reasonable, whether the use of a mutually agreed intermediary would allow sufficient access to meet our mutual needs.
Making a Complaint
You can ask at any time if you have any questions or concerns about this policy or about how your personal information has been handled.
We value your comments and opinions and will try to answer any questions, correct any errors or resolve any complaint that you may have about how your information is handled.
Once you have contacted us in relation to your concerns, if you are not happy with our response, or if you do not feel your complaint has been resolved, you are able to seek advice from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner by calling 1300 363 992.
Further information about making complaints regarding health care services or providers for each state and territory in Australia is available at the following websites [accessed 7/11/17].