At VHMI we are committed to protecting our patients’ privacy through explaining our practices, only collecting, using or disclosing medical information as is necessary for health purposes, or with patients’ consent, and resolving any privacy-related problems as quickly as possible.
VHMI collects and stores personal information including sensitive (health) personal information in order to provide quality diagnostic services and assist in the provision of medical care.
The main categories of personal information collected by VHMI include:
- phone number(s);
- date of birth; and
VHMI also collects sensitive (health) personal information in the course of providing health services to an individual including:
- the results of any tests or procedures;
- information about your past clinical history (eg medication taken, previous test results, etc);
- other health information provided by your referring doctor;
- payment and administrative information such as your Medicare, Workers Compensation insurance, Transport Accident Compensation or private health insurance information;
- information collected directly from you (including verbally) when you attend our clinics; and/or
- information provided by third parties such as your referring doctor or your authorised representative.
If you choose not to provide your personal (including sensitive) information to MIA Radiology, we may be unable to provide you with the services you request.
How we use your information
VHMI may use your personal (including sensitive) information for the purpose of:
- making an assessment of your health status;
- providing a specialist medical report about your health to your referring doctor;
- billing and collection of any outstanding debts;
- sending out appointment reminders;
- sending you reminder notices of specific tests as required by law (eg Pap smear registry, Mammography, etc);
- notifying relevant organisations such as insurance companies and legal advisors of an incident/accident when a claim of medical malpractice has been alleged; and/or
- ongoing research of specific cases for the continuing education of professional personnel (all information is de-identified prior to use).
Disclosure of your information
VHMI does not sell or disclose personal (including sensitive) information about our patients to drug companies or other health organisations who are not involved in your medical care.
VHMI may sometimes need to use and disclose personal (including sensitive) information about you to organisations outside of MIA Radiology for medical, ethical, insurance, legal and/or procedural reasons. These organisations may include:
- your referring doctor;
- consultant medical specialists or organisations outside of that have been requested to provide further advice on your medical condition;
- hospital medical staff;
- medical practitioners and healthcare providers granted access to secure web-based password-protected portal (see below);
- contractors who (under strict privacy requirements) assist us in some of our business operations, such as:
- maintenance of our diagnostic equipment and information systems;
- administration, such as mailing;
- billing and debt-recovery, corporate risk management, finance, and general office services; and
- installation, maintenance and repair services;
- contractors who (under strict privacy requirements) review or perform further tests/procedures, including:
- pathology tests that may be required after an x-ray; or
- pathology tests that may not be performed by our laboratory and are referred to an outside organisation to perform;
- your representative(s) (eg your guardian, authorised representatives such as family members or legal advisors);
- insurers such as Medicare, Workers Compensation insurer, Transport Accident insurer or your private health fund for the purpose of benefits payable;
- our professional advisors (such as accountants, auditors and legal advisors);
- government and regulatory authorities and other organisations, as required or authorised by law;
- a new business operator in the event that the assets and operations of an MIA Radiology business are transferred to another party as a going concern; and/or
- our related companies.
VHMI may de-identify personal (including sensitive) information about you for use and disclosure of that de-identified information to organisations outside of MIA Radiology for the purposes of analysing our service quality and timeliness, marketing our services, market research and the compilation or analysis of statistics comprised of, or related to, the health information that you provide to us. De-identified personal information may also be used internally for educational purposes.
Accuracy of your information
VHMI endeavours to ensure that the personal (including sensitive) information we collect, use and disclose is accurate and up-to date. The accuracy of that information depends on the information you provide to us. We recommend that you:
- tell us if there are any errors in the information we hold; and
- inform us of changes to your information such as your name, address or Medicare number.
Your personal information is being kept safe and will not be disclosed to anyone without your permission. Internal procedures have been developed and staff have been trained to ensure the privacy of your personal information is secure.
Access to and retention of your information
The best way to obtain your results is in consultation with your doctor, so that your doctor can interpret the results and explain them to you in the context of your healthcare.
You may, however, request access to personal information we hold about you. In some instances, charges may apply for the reproduction of results or images (if available). We will inform you of any costs before they are incurred. In some circumstances your request may be denied for specific legal reasons as set out in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), including if the request is vexatious or if a criminal investigation is under way.
If your request is denied, a reason will be given to you. In order to maintain the security of your personal information, two (2) forms of identification (such as a driver licence, and evidence of home address, such as from a power bill) will generally be required before copies of information will be supplied.
Our approach to privacy
VHMI will protect your privacy by:
- only obtaining information about your health, as necessary for health purposes, with your consent;
- keeping your health information secure;
- giving you reasonable access to the information we have concerning you;
- not disclosing this information outside the organisation without your consent or otherwise contrary to this Privacy Statement;
- allowing you to withdraw your consent at any stage;
- providing you with a simple complaints mechanism for complaints relating to privacy issues;
- ensuring a process for working with the Office of the Australian Information (Privacy) Commissioner to resolve any complaints that cannot be resolved directly with you;
- providing written procedures and instructions for staff to ensure that privacy sensitive processes are adhered to;
- ensuring VHMI’s external contractors comply with the Privacy Act and other relevant laws; and
- continuing to review and improve our privacy practices.
Online access to your medical images and reports by non-VHMI medical practitioners
VHMI provides a secure web-based password-protected portal for referrers and hospital medical staff to access patients’ images and reports. Your personal (including sensitive) information such as images and reports may be made available through this portal.
Doctors may apply to MIA Radiology for a username and password in order to access this service. Before a doctor is granted access they must sign a confidentiality agreement stating that the information is required in order to provide a medical service and that it will not be otherwise used or knowingly shared or disclosed.
Your personal (including sensitive) information will only be accessible online to your referring doctor, and/or medical practitioner or healthcare provider, who MIA Radiology records show are involved in your care (for example, your family doctor or specialist).
With your express consent, or the express consent of another person acting for you (such as a parent acting for a child), or in situations where VHMI is informed that there is serious and imminent threat to your life or health, we may also provide access to other healthcare professionals. For example, you may elect to give express consent to VHMI providing access to your personal (including sensitive) information, such as images and reports, to medical specialists generally.
You can complain about how we have treated your personal information or privacy generally. Please send your complaint to the MIA Radiology Privacy Officer at the address below. The complaint will be investigated and a response will be sent to you as quickly as possible. We will endeavour to respond to you within 14 days. If you are dissatisfied with the response, you can refer the matter to the Australian Information (Privacy) Commissioner.
Your privacy is important to VHMI.
MIA Radiology (I-MED Network Ltd)
Level 24, 201 Kent Street, Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 8274 1000 Fax: (02) 8274 1077