West Moreton respects the privacy of patients and their families and is subject to privacy and confidentiality legislation which set the standards for how we handle your personal information.
When you attend a health facility, a record is made that contains:
- your name
- address and contact details
- nature of the problem
- family history
- diagnosis and treatment
- test results, x-rays and scans
- Medicare and other Commonwealth benefit card details.
The personal information collected relates to your diagnosis and treatment. Health information may be contained in paper records, electronically or in other mediums depending on the tests and treatment you have had. Every time you attend a health facility, new information is added to your record.
Information will generally be collected directly from you. However there may be circumstances where we may need to talk to someone else—for example, your doctor or a relative in an emergency situation. This information may also be included in your record.
Using another name
We know some people may wish to use another name (alias) when receiving health services. However this may prevent us from finding all the information we hold about you and provide appropriate care. Regardless of whether or not you use an alias, we will search our records and attempt to match and merge all records about you.
All West Moreton staff are bound by a strict legal duty of confidentiality. It is an offence for our staff to give information about you to anyone except under limited circumstances set out in legislation. We maintain strict security policies and practices with respect to who has access to personal information about you.
If you have any questions about privacy and confidentiality in West Moreton facilities, email the Privacy and Confidentiality Contact Officer (WMfirstname.lastname@example.org) located at Ipswich Hospital to organise a suitable time to discuss your questions.
After you are discharged from hospital, we will generally provide information to your doctor about your treatment, and any special instructions related to your care. If you do not want this information to be sent to your doctor, please let us know before you are discharged.
Your records may be accessed by our administrative support staff to perform tasks such as booking appointments and communicating with you and other areas of Queensland Health.
Sometimes your local doctor may contact us for information about your treatment. In this case we may give them these details. If you do not want this to happen, please let us know as soon as possible.
If you receive health care at a service or residential care facility that is not operated by Queensland Health, and that facility contacts us to obtain information about you, we will release health information to help your treatment.
In other situations we will usually obtain your consent prior to releasing any information.
There may be occasions when we need to use or disclose some of your information, such as:
- ensuring you receive appropriate treatment and follow-up care
- undertaking quality assurance activities and other activities that help us monitor and improve the way we operate
- professional supervision or mentoring of our staff
- patient satisfaction surveys (responding to surveys is entirely voluntary and all responses are anonymous)
- helping us to code and de-identify records
- addressing liability indemnity arrangements, which may require giving information to a medical expert, insurer, medical defence organisation or a lawyer
- providing information in relation to matter to a lawyer who is representing the State or a Hospital and Health Service in relation to the matter
- billing or recovering debt in relation to services received.
In some circumstances we are legally obliged to disclose information about you, such as:
- if your records have been subpoenaed for a court case
- legal requirements to collect information about particular health conditions such as life-threatening diseases or diseases with high public health risks.
We will ensure that any such disclosure is limited to only what is necessary.
On occasion, information may be used for research that will help us to improve healthcare practices without your consent. All research involving West Moreton patients must undergo ethics consideration and be authorised by the chief executive before it can be conducted.