Personal Information Privacy Policy

Cairns Occupational Therapy aims to clearly explain how personal information about your health is recorded and managed in this practice. Your therapist will be happy to discuss this with you.

Your personal health information

Your therapist needs information about your past and present health in order to provide you with high quality care. The practice will make sure that you are able to discuss your health with your therapist in private. Information is called “personal health information” if it concerns your health, medical history or past or future medical care and if someone reading it would be able to identify you.

This practice follows National Privacy Principles, following this code means that your personal health information is kept private and secure.

Your medical records

Your therapist will do her/his best to make sure your medical records:

Your therapist will only collect information which is relevant to your medical care.
If you are uncertain as to why information is being requested, feel free to ask your therapist.

Providing your information to other health professionals

The therapists in this practice respect your right to decide how your personal health information is used or disclosed (for example to doctors). In all but exceptional circumstances, personal information that identifies you will be sent to other people only with your consent. Gaining your consent is the guiding principle.

It is important that other people involved in your care, such as specialists, your GP or WorkCover, are informed of relevant parts of your medical history so they can best care for you. After discussion with you, your therapist will write a letter to the referring doctor, which will either be posted / faxed or given to you to take to them. If you have any concerns about this discuss them with your therapist.

In most group practices, it is customary for all therapists in the practice to have access to all the medical records. If you have any concerns about other therapists or Occupational Therapy students being able to see your records discuss your concerns with your therapist.

Providing your information to others

Your therapist will not disclose your personal health information to a third party unless:

This legislation contains safe guards to protect the confidentiality of the information provided.

In any of the above cases only information which is necessary to achieve the objective will be provided.

Using health information for quality improvement and research

We use patient health information to assist in improving the quality of care we give to all our patients by reviewing the treatments used in the practice.

We may also use information that cannot be identified with you in research projects to improve health care in the community. You will normally be informed it your information is to be used for this purpose and will have the opportunity to refuse to have your identified information used in this way.

In some circumstances, where the research serves an important public interest; identifiable medical records can be used for medical research without your consent under guidelines issued by the National Health and Medical Research Council. An official ethics committee must approve this research.

Wherever practicable, the information used for research will not be in a form that would enable you to be identified. The publication of research results, which use your information, will never be in a form that enables you to be identified.

Your access to your health information

You have access to the information contained in your medical record. You may ask your therapist about any aspect of your health care including information in your record.

We believe that sharing information is important for good communication between you and your therapist and for good health care.

Information in your record can be provided to you by way of an accurate and up to date summary of your care, for instance if you are moving away and are transferring to a new health care provider.

If you request a summary or direct access to your full medical record, your therapist will need to take out any information provided by others on a confidential basis. Your therapist will also need to consider the risk of any physical or mental harm to you or any other person which may result from disclosure of your health information. Depending on what is involved, you may be asked to contribute to the cost of providing the information. Your therapist will be pleased to provide a full explanation of the health summary or medical record provided.

We strive to take great care with the information entrusted to us and hope that you feel comfortable with our privacy policy. If you have any concerns please email Kerry Stingel, the principle therapist and director of Cairns Occupational Therapy, or by telephone on (07) 4051 5504.