Pulse Health Limited (Pulse), as a private sector health service provider, must comply with the requirements of the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth).
The core requirements of the Act are set out in the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) (formerly referred to as National Privacy Principles). The APPs provide guidance on the collection, use, storage, security and disclosure of personal information.
This policy explains how Pulse collects, stores, discloses and uses personal information.
“Healthcare Identifier” has the meaning given by the Healthcare Identifiers Act 2010 (Cth) and in general terms means a unique number given to either a healthcare provider or a healthcare recipient.
“Health Information” is information or an opinion about the health or a disability (at any time) of an individual; an individual’s expressed wishes about the future provision of health services to him or her; or a health service provided, or to be provided, to an individual; that is also personal information; or other personal information collected to provide, or in providing, a health service; or other personal information about an individual collected in connection with the donation, or intended donation, by the individual of his or her body parts, organs or body substances; or genetic information about an individual in a form that is, or could be, predictive of the health of the individual or a genetic relative of the individual.
“Health Service” means an activity performed in relation to an individual that is intended or claimed (expressly or otherwise) by the individual or the person performing it to assess, record, maintain or improve the individual’s health; or diagnose or treat an actual or suspected illness or disability; or the dispensing on prescription of a drug or medicinal preparation by a pharmacist.
“Personal Information” means information or an opinion (including information or an opinion forming part of a database), 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” means information or an opinion about an individual’s racial or ethnic origin; political opinions; membership of a political association; religious beliefs or affiliations; philosophical beliefs; membership of a professional or trade association; membership of a trade union; sexual preferences or practices; or criminal record; that is also personal information; or health information about an individual; or genetic information about an individual that is not otherwise health information.
Pulse collects information that is necessary to assist in providing health care services.
This includes personal information such as an individual's name, gender, address (postal and email), date of birth, occupation, nominated contact in the case of an emergency, and other related information including Medicare and other healthcare identifiers, health fund and insurance cover, medical history, and test results.
It may also include information about an individual’s health history, family history, ethnic background or current lifestyle to assist in diagnosing and treating a health condition.
Pulse will usually collect information directly from the individual concerned but may also be from a third party (such as a relative or another health service provider) if the individual has consented for us to collect information in this way or where it is not reasonable or practical for us to collect this information directly from the consumer.
Email addresses may be collected where information is provided through the Pulse Health Limited website, but it is only used to respond to the specific query or concern, and is never sold or given to a third party without the individual’s consent, unless authorised or required by law.
All personal information collected is kept on confidential files which may be in paper and/or electronic form). These files are kept in physically and electronically secure environments.
Disclosing personal information
Pulse may disclose personal information for the purposes of:
- any health related activity involving the individual where disclosure is reasonably expected, such as sharing information with other relevant health service providers or professionals;
- providing an individual with further information about treatment options;
- conveying information to a responsible person (e.g. parent, guardian, spouse) when the individual is incapable or cannot communicate, unless the individual has requested otherwise;
- explaining diagnoses, treatment options and outcomes;
- compliance with any legislation or regulation;
- quality assurance or clinical audit activities, including research and statistical analysis;
- accreditation activities;
- discussions with health insurance funds;
- billing and debt recovery; and
- dealing with anticipated or existing legal proceedings.
Accessing personal information
Consumers and other eligible persons are entitled to access the personal information held about them. They also have the right to ensure that the information held is current and accurate and to submit corrections where they identify errors.
In order to gain access to records, a written request must be made to the General Manager of the relevant facility.
Information is stored for the minimum period allowed under the law. Records are destroyed in a secure manner.
In the first instance, individuals are encouraged to speak with the General Manager at the relevant facility.
If the matter cannot be resolved locally, complainants can contact Pulse Health Limited Shared Services on (02) 9215 8900.
If complainants are still not satisfied with the outcome, they are always free to lodge a complaint with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC). Details on how to lodge a complaint are available from the OAIC website, www.oaic.gov.au.
Version Control and Change History
||Approved by (Position)
||Date of effect
||Superceded version – previous company templates
||Chief Executive Officer
||Policy reviewed in accordance with amendments to Privacy Act 1988 (Cth)
||Chief Executive Officer
||12 March 2014