Policies & Procedures
Gloucester MediCo and Stroud MediCo are committed to providing comprehensive quality care to all our patients. The doctors have satisfied the training requirements of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners or the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine or are working towards this qualification. They undertake continuing medical education to maintain Vocational Registration. Both practices are fully accredited.
We try very hard to adhere to appointment times, however the nature of medical practice is that emergencies and circumstances sometimes mean we run behind. Please remember when making your appointment to advise reception staff if you need extra time. You are welcome to ring our receptionists prior to your appointment to see if your doctor is running to time.
We offer an SMS reminder service for appointments. Please notify staff if you wish to receive these reminders. Please give prior notice if you do not intend keeping your appointment. Patients who fail to do so may be charged a consultation fee (not rebatable under Medicare). Patients who repeatedly fail to attend will be asked to pay a refundable deposit to make an appointment.
Walk in appointments are discouraged to ensure timely scheduling of appointments however should you feel that you need to be seen today, please call our receptionists. Home visits can be arranged for eligible patients. Please call the practice to see if you are eligible.
As at 1st July 2023, bulk billing and concession rates will be offered to pensioners and health care card holders in the 2422 post code area only. If you are not a regular patient at our practice and live outside the 2422 post code area, you will be privately billed. Our regular patients outside this post code area will continue to receive bulk billing and concession rates. Please do not hesitate to speak to our friendly reception staff if you have any questions and thank you for your understanding.
Patients are requested to phone 3 days after having their tests completed and reception staff will direct the call as per the direction given by the GP. Patients will be asked to confirm their name, address and date of birth prior to receiving test results over the phone. Results will only be released directly to a patient or to the legal guardian of a patient. Results will not be released to family members.
We have a policy to restrict phone calls during consultations to urgent medical matters only. Normally communication with your GP should occur during a consultation. If you wish to contact your GP outside of a booked appointment, reception staff will leave a message for the doctor who will attend to the message at a convenient time. Charges may apply and may not be rebatable through Medicare. In an emergency, your call will be put through to the nurse who will liaise with the On Call GP.
This practice is committed to maintaining the confidentiality of your personal health information. Your medical record is a confidential document. It is the policy of this practice to maintain security of personal health information at all times and to ensure that this information is only available to authorised staff.
We encourage patients with limited English to utilise an interpreter service. Our receptions can pre-arrange a telephone interpreter for your appointment.
Our practice advises that sending clinical information via unencrypted email is risky. Only appropriate non-clinical matters are dealt with via email exchanges. No consulting or advice services are conducted via email. Any non-clinical emails will be responded to within 24 hours.
FEEDBACK OR COMPLAINTS
If you have a problem we would like to hear about it. Please feel free to talk to your doctor, the practice manager or receptionist. You may prefer to write to us or use our suggestions box. We take your concerns, suggestions and complaints seriously. However, if you wish to take the matter further and feel that you need to discuss the matter outside of the surgery there are several options available including the Medical Registration Board, AMA or Health Care Complaints Commission at:
Health Care Complaints Commission
Locked Bag 18
STRAWBERRY HILL NSW. 2102
WHY & WHEN YOUR CONSENT IS NECESSARY
When you register as a patient of our practice, you provide consent for our GPs and practice staff to access and use your personal information so they can provide you with the best possible healthcare. Only staff who need to see your personal information will have access to it. If we need to use your information for anything else, we will seek additional consent from you to do this.
WHY DO WE COLLECT, USE, HOLD & SHARE YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION?
Our practice will need to collect your personal information to provide healthcare services to you. Our main purpose for collecting, using, holding and sharing your personal information is to manage your health. Your information is held in your patient health record. A patient health record is an electronic file containing all of the personal information as listed below and including a comprehensive record of any consultations you have with any of the General Practitioners in the practice including any correspondence between our surgery and other health care providers regarding yourself. We also use it for directly related business activities, such as financial claims and payments, practice audits and accreditation, and business processes (eg staff training).
WHAT PERSONAL INFORMATION DO WE COLLECT?
The information we will collect about you includes your:
- name, date of birth, address, contact details etc
- medical information including medical history, medications, allergies, adverse events, immunisations, social history, family history and risk factors
- Medicare number (where available) for identification and claiming purposes
- healthcare identifiers
- health fund details
DEALING WITH US ANONYMOUSLY
You have the right to deal with us anonymously or under a pseudonym unless it is impracticable for us to do so or unless we are required or authorised by law to only deal with identified individuals.
HOW DO WE COLLECT YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION?
Our practice may collect your personal information in several different ways:
- When you make your first appointment our practice staff will collect your personal and demographic information via your registration.
- During the course of providing medical services, we may collect further personal information.
- We may also collect your personal information when you visit our website, send us an email or SMS, telephone us, make an online appointment or communicate with us using social media.
- In some circumstances personal information may also be collected from other sources. Often this is because it is not practical or reasonable to collect it from you directly. This may include information from:
- your guardian or responsible person
- other involved healthcare providers, such as specialists, allied health professionals, hospitals, community health services and pathology and diagnostic imaging services
- your health fund, Medicare, or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (as necessary).
WHEN, WHY & WITH WHOM DO WE SHARE YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION?
We sometimes share your personal information:
- with third parties who work with our practice for business purposes, such as accreditation agencies or information technology providers – these third parties are required to comply with Australian Privacy Principles as part of the Privacy Act 1988 (https://www.oaic.gov.au/privacy/australian-privacy-principles) and this policy
- with other healthcare providers
- when it is required or authorised by law (eg court subpoenas)
- when it is necessary to lessen or prevent a serious threat to a patient’s life, health or safety or public health or safety, or it is impractical to obtain the patient’s consent
- to assist in locating a missing person
- to establish, exercise or defend an equitable claim
- for the purpose of confidential dispute resolution process
- when there is a statutory requirement to share certain personal information (eg some diseases require mandatory notification)
- during the course of providing medical services, through eTP, MyHealth Record (eg via Shared Health Summary, Event Summary).
Our practice uses clinical software with prebuilt electronic templates that populate directly from your patient health record sourcing only relevant information required for the referral.
Only people who need to access your information will be able to do so. Other than in the course of providing medical services or as otherwise described in this policy, our practice will not share personal information with any third party without your consent.
We will not share your personal information with anyone outside Australia (unless under exceptional circumstances that are permitted by law) without your consent.
Our practice will not use your personal information for marketing any of our goods or services directly to you without your express consent. If you do consent, you may opt out of direct marketing at any time by notifying our practice in writing.
HOW DO WE STORE & PROTECT YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION?
Your personal information may be stored at our practice in electronic records.
Our practice stores all personal information securely in electronic format, password protected, each staff member has their own log in details and sign confidentiality agreements.
HOW CAN YOU ACCESS & CORRECT YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION AT OUR PRACTICE?
You have the right to request access to your personal information. You have the right to correct your personal information.
Our practice acknowledges patients may request access to their medical records. We require you to put this request in writing by email, fax, mail or in person and our practice will respond within 30 days. Depending on how large the file is there could be a small charge.
Our practice will take reasonable steps to correct your personal information where the information is not accurate or up to date. From time to time, we will ask you to verify that your personal information held by our practice is correct and current. You may also request that we correct or update your information, and you should make such requests in writing to email address email@example.com, fax 02 6558 2592, or mail to 77-81 Dension Street, Gloucester.
HOW CAN YOU LODGE A PRIVACY-RELATED COMPLAINT, & HOW WILL THE COMPLAINT BE HANDLED AT OUR PRACTICE?
We take complaints and concerns regarding privacy seriously. You should express any privacy concerns you may have in writing. We will then attempt to resolve it in accordance with our resolution procedure within 30 days. Please present your complaint or concern to email address firstname.lastname@example.org, fax 02 65582592, or mail to 77-81 Dension Street, Gloucester.
You may also contact the OAIC. Generally, the OAIC will require you to give them time to respond before they will investigate. For further information visit www.oaic.gov.au or call the OAIC on 1300 363 992.
POLICY REVIEW STATEMENT
This policy will be reviewed annually to ensure it is in accordance with any changes that may occur. Signage will be posted in the waiting room when this occurs.