If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly staff.
This policy is about the Personal Health Information collected, used and administered to provide health and/or disability care for your child
To provide the best health care to your child, Paediatrics at Burnside requires your consent to the collection, recording, and appropriate and necessary communication of your child’s relevant personal health information. This information will include relevant family personal health information, including of you as parents. As your child matures, particularly into later adolescence, they will increasingly take charge of their personal health information and any matters of consent that would arise. Younger adolescents growing towards this maturity may also need to begin taking responsibility for aspects of their health decision-making. For mature and maturing adolescent patients, the practice will generally continue to encourage all appropriate parental and guardian involvement in decision-making, bookings and appointments, as well as general support in co-operation with the older adolescent patient who has consented.
What personal health information is collected and why?
Information that relates to or assists in providing good health care to the patient is collected. Personal identification and contact information about important relationships such as parental, or with guardians or carers is included. Information about medical history, current health problems and other aspects of the patient’s life and development is collected. Information required for billing and Medicare claiming is required. Patient records will be stored digitally. Medical records will be retained for as long as required by applicable Australian law and it is currently envisaged that records will therefore, in practice, be held until a patient reaches 25 or 26 years of age.
INFORMATION COLLECTED FOR BILLING, ADMINISTRATION and medicare item PURPOSES
Medicare requires key information to be on file for billing and claiming purposes. Under Medicare rules, certain item number selections and sequences are necessary before some referrals can be made.
Parents or guardians are legally responsible for the care of their child or adolescent and for associated fees for care and must provide the information needed by Medicare
For all children under 13 years of age, Medicare requires us to submit the name of an authorized adult person, normally the parent or guardian or other carer, together with their date of birth and Medicare number, when lodging any claim for rebates. Medicare claim lodgement also requires the child's name, date of birth and Medicare number be provided in regard to rebate claiming. Health funds require this information as well as the fund policy number for the child if they are to accept an invoice for admitted hospital care.
This information is collected and stored in patient files and used for both administrative and clinical purposes and managed in the same way as other clinically needed information as described in this policy. When, after making a request for information necessary for billing and after allowing reasonable time for the provision of this information, the practice will seek to obtain accurate details from Medicare, health funds or other information available to the practice in order to proceed with billing for services that have been provided. When, after a reasonable time and after the practice has sought to communicate about any outstanding billing as described in the practice's Payment Policy, outstanding admitted care hospital accounts may be invoiced directly to parents . Any accounts outstanding after reasonable time may be handed over to lawyers acting for the practice, or debt collection services, for recovery of the debt. Information handed over for debt recovery may include the names of parents and guardians,or other persons legally repsonsible for the account, their addresses (including residential and postal) and other information detailed on outstanding practice invoices including the name of the patient, service dates, the fees and item numbers associated with those services, the provider and the site of service.
Who collects and uses this information?
Administrative and reception staff will collect and manage identification, contact, billing and family relationship information and may also record, for the purposes of relaying to clinicians, some information pertaining to health care and current problems. Clinicians (including both medical doctors and allied health clinicians or nurses) record information about health and developmental issues, including information about the patient’s life, relationships and social contexts where relevant. They will also convey and share relevant aspects of this information to other clinicians to assist in treatment or to refer the patient to another clinician when needed. Such communications will be treated as concerning confidential personal health information and privacy will be maintained.
How the security of this information is maintained?
Information is stored electronically and recorded directly into practice software programs or transferred into these from paper records. Paper records are mechanically shredded onsite as soon as they are converted to a digital record or become otherwise unnecessary.
Practice staff and clinicians are trained to avoid leaving private and confidential information in paper or electronic form accessible to the view of others at all times. Files and programs are accessed only via password by authorised staff and clinicians. The information is backed up frequently. Physical premises are secured with security locks, alarms and the presence of hospital security within the hospital.
Transferring health information to patients, other clinicians or third parties:
Parents/guardians or mature adolescent patients may arrange to have access to or copies of some or all of their medical records by speaking to their clinician or another staff member and agreeing on an appropriate format. Provision of personal health information to third parties will require verbal or written parental/guardian or mature patient consent and this will be noted or copied into the record. Where a third party requests the information from the practice about a patient, an appropriate staff member or clinician would discuss the request with the mature patient or the parent/guardian(s) and written consent would be sought before the request was acted upon.
The practice prefers to transfer information to patient families, clinicians or others digitally, by email. Paper copies can be made readily available for specific letters and reports if email is not preferred. These can be for the purpose of keeping parent’s/guardians’ or mature patient’s own records or to provide information to third parties or other clinicians. Letters and reports in patient files generally summarise the other information in the file, such as doctors’ notes or various test results which can be difficult for lay readers to interpret.
Patients should initiate their request for information with their clinician or with administrative or reception staff in person or by phone, letter or fax.
My Health Record : This practice has MHR compatible software and we can access MHR records of children. These records will be accessible unless you have elected to opt out for your children. Paediatrics at Burnside is currently developing policy about this. Please discuss any concerns with your clinician.
Occasionally, the practice may participate in research using patient information that is de-identified. Research guidelines would indicate when the practice would need to obtain formal informed consent. In this case, and where consent is not necessary, privacy and confidentiality will be protected.
Quality improvement and practice analysis:
Practice audits and analysis within the practice and using patient information may be beneficial from time to time in order to improve the provision of health care to patients and their families. Analysis may relate to specific health issues or to ensure the ongoing sustainability, efficiency and quality of the practice more generally. Privacy and confidentiality of records would be protected by de-identification. Informed consent would be secured in any other case.