Private Hospitals in Victoria strive for excellence in the provision of healthcare. As a patient in a private hospital, you are our primary concern.
YOUR MEDICAL RECORD
When you become a patient in a private hospital, your health information or your medical record is the basis for planning your care and treatment. Your medical record contains your name, address, contact details and information on the problem for which you seek treatment, and the treatment you were given. Every time you attend the hospital, new information is added to the record.
Private hospitals are required to keep your medical record for a minimum of seven years after your last attendance. The record is then destroyed using secure means such as shredding.
WHY IS THIS INFORMATION IMPORTANT
Your medical record is the means of communication for the many health professionals at the hospital who contribute to your care. We need to ensure that each healthcare professional involved in your care has all the facts. Your previous history of care helps us to quickly identify which treatments are likely to be appropriate and effective for you.
We rely on the information that you give staff to help provide the right care for you. Withholding relevant information may put your health at risk, and we wish your stay to be as safe as possible.
RESTRICTED ACCESS FOR YOUR PROTECTION
Information about you is securely stored in a medical record file, which is kept in our Health Information Services Department.
Health information is available to healthcare professionals who are involved in your care. In an emergency situation we will release personal information about you to facilitate your care. In all other circumstances your written consent will he sought prior to information being released.
Some information about you is also stored on our computer systems. Computer stored information (such as your Name, Address, Date of Birth, Telephone Number, Pathology results and Diagnosis) allows all healthcare professionals involved in your care to access in formation easily and quickly when it is needed.
Private hospitals maintain strict policies with respect to access to your personal in formation, and all staff are bound by confidentiality agreements and a code of conduct with respect to maintaining confidentiality of information.
AFTER TREATMENT, WHO HAS ACCESS?
After you go home you may be receiving care from other people. So that professionals can work together for your benefit, private hospitals may need to share information about you with others. Private hospitals only ever pass on personal information about you to people who are directly involved in your ongoing care and will ask for your permission before they send out any personal information about you.
Private hospitals usually send a letter to your local doctor if you agree to this. This would summarise your stay in hospital, your medication and any special instructions the hospital needs your doctor to know about. Sometimes your doctor will call for additional information. We would release information to your doctor if you have specified that he or she is your local doctor on your patient registration form.
OTHER HOSPITALS AND DOCTORS
If you are being treated at another hospital or by another doctor, they may call us to obtain information about you so that they can treat you safely and effectively.
In an emergency situation, the hospital will release medical information about you to facilitate your care.
In other circumstances, your written consent will be sought prior to information being released.
DATA FOR GOVERNMENT AND OTHERS
In some circumstances private hospitals are required by law to release personal information about you.
For example, we have to report notifiable diseases to the Department of Human Services (Victoria) or the Victorian Cancer Registry.
We also provide basic information about you to the Department of Human Services such as age, gender and the suburb in which you live, but not your name.
Information is also provided to your health fund to ensure that they have evidence of treatment to pay for your care.
GAINING ACCESS TO YOUR
During your stay or after your discharge you may request access to your own medical record. Direct informal access to some or all of your record can be arranged if your doctor thinks this is appropriate.
You may be referred to the Hospital Privacy Officer who will advise you on making a formal request. A fee is charged for this service.
If there is information in your record that is incorrect or with which you do not agree, you have the right to request that it be corrected.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
If you would like more information about our health information policies or the Privacy Act, please contact the Hospital Privacy Officer.
If you have a complaint that concerns privacy or confidentiality please let the hospital know. You can contact the Chief Executive Officer or the Privacy Officer.
Another option is to contact the Office of the Health Services Commissioner, an independent government funded authority on 03 8601 5222 or for people in rural areas 1800 136 066 (free call). Their web address is www.health.vic.gov.au/hsc
Glen Iris Private contact person, Trish Humphries.