Policy updated 18/03/19
Purpose of this Policy
Your privacy is important to us, at Magda Szyma Speech Pathology Services. We are committed to protecting any personal information that we collect about individuals that deal with us. The purpose of this policy is to explain what kinds of personal information we collect, how and why we collect it, how this information is stored and protected, how you can request to access your personal information as well as how to make a complaint.
At Magda Szyma Speech Pathology Services, we handle your personal and health information in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) including the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs), with the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (NSW), and in compliance with Speech Pathology Australia’s Code of Ethics (2010).
What personal information is collected
The amended definition (2014) of “personal information” according to the Privacy Act is:
Information or an opinion about an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable:
- Whether the information or opinion is true or not; and
- Whether the information or opinion is recorded in a material form or not.
The information we collect about you includes:
- your name and gender
- date of birth
- address / contact details
- languages spoken at home
- school / childcare centre
- information about your health and developmental history
- information about any disability / impairment
- information about your family history
- information about your past / current involvement with other health professionals
- your interests / past-times
- Medicare / health fund details
- financial information (e.g. We may store your credit card details securely on our HealthKit database)
Why this information is collected
We need to collect your personal information in order to provide you with the health care services that you have requested and to complete administrative tasks relevant to this service. We will only collect the information that is necessary to deliver quality, evidence-based speech pathology services. If you provide incomplete or inaccurate information or withhold personal and health information, we may not be able to provide you with the services you are seeking. Your personal information affects our clinical decision making from assessment and diagnosis, through to intervention and discharge. Your information is required for other purposes such as billing, communicating with your GP and other professionals, discussions with insurers, and in order for us to comply with our ethical obligations (Code of Ethics, 2010).
How this information is collected
We will always first collect personal information directly from you. We do this in ways that are lawful, fair and non-invasive. We may collect your personal information during an initial interview or during subsequent sessions, over the phone when you call to enquire about our services, via email or via other correspondence (paper or electronic) and via our social media sites (e.g. Facebook). As we work with children under the age of 18 (i.e., minors), we collect information from parents or carers who have authority to act on the child’s behalf. Where this is impractical or unreasonable for us to do so we will collect information from other professionals or family members. We may receive information about you from an external source (e.g. teacher, allied health professional) without your request. We will contact you to inform you that we have received this information.
How your personal information will be used
We only use your personal information for the purpose you have given the information to us. We will use your information to provide speech pathology services to you, to manage our relationship with you and to contact you in relation to matters concerning your care. We may also use your information for other purposes permitted under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) or if required by the law (e.g. for a court order).
Occasionally, we may use your information to send you promotional materials relevant to this speech pathology service. Please contact us if you do not wish to receive these materials.
We will never sell, trade or rent your private information.
How this information is stored and protected
We take reasonable steps to protect your information from misuse, interference, loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. As such, your information may be stored:
- as a hard copy in a lockable filing system
- electronically in HealthKit (a secure practice management software) or electronically in Dropbox (a secure cloud database) on a password-locked computer.
This information is accessible only by us, at Magda Szyma Speech Pathology Services.
In the event that a third party views your information (e.g. IT support) we will inform them of the relevant privacy laws.
In accordance with Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002, we are obliged to retain records of children until they attain 25 years of age. Records will be kept securely for the duration of the retention period. After this time, the file will be securely deidentified or destroyed.
Disclosure of your information
Disclosure of your information is an important part of delivering effective intervention. With your consent, we may disclose your information to other professionals involved in your care (e.g. allied health professionals, teachers, etc.), to other family members, or to the referrer at discharge, when you no longer require our services.
Under certain circumstances APP 6.2 your personal information may be lawfully used or disclosed (e.g. if required by law).
Additionally, your personal information may be disclosed or used for activities such as:
- accreditation, audits, risk and claims management
- invoicing, billing and account management
- to liaise with your health fund or Medicare and where required provide information to your health fund or Medicare to verify treatment provided to you
- the purpose of sending you standard reminders, for example for appointments and follow-up care, by text message or email to the number or address which you have provided to us
Although we take all due care in protecting your personal information, it is possible that this information could be disclosed to a third party (person or entity) when it is stored or handled over the internet. This third party (e.g. insurance agencies, or IT service providers) may be located in Australia or abroad. It is not practicable to specify in which countries these third parties may be located. We will take reasonable steps to ensure that any overseas third party recipient of your personal information complies with Australian privacy laws in handling it, where this is practicable. We are not responsible for any third party who illegally observes your private information.
This section explains how we handle your personal information which is collected from our website: http://www.magdaszymaspeech.com.au.
When you use our website, we do not attempt to identify you as an individual user and we do not collect personal information about you unless you specifically provide this to us (e.g., if you submit a general enquiry via a contacts page).
Our website uses “cookies” software. This allows the server to identify your server address, your domain name the date and time of your visit and the pages you accessed and downloaded. Cookies does not identify you personally. You may choose to disable cookies when visiting our website, however if you configure your browser so as not to receive any cookies, a certain level of functionality of the magdaszymaspeech.com.au website and other websites may be lost.
We create links to third party websites at magdaszymaspeech.com.au. We are not responsible for the content or privacy practices employed by websites that are linked from our website. We recommend that you review the privacy policies of those external websites.
How to access and correct your health information
If you believe that your information is inaccurate, you can also request an amendment to your personal and health information. We will reply to your request as soon as practicable (usually within 14 days). If we do not agree to change your medical record or personal information in accordance with your request, we will permit you to make a statement of the requested changes and I will enclose this with your record.
Complaints and enquiries