Privacy is about the right of a person to know of and to control information recorded about them as an individual. All persons have a right to have access to such information and to have a say in what happens to information they reveal about themselves. They have a right to withhold that information but often need to reveal facts about themselves for many reasons. If they do reveal information about themselves they have a right to know how such information is to be used and that it will be respected. They are entitled to know why the information is required, who has access to it and how it is to be kept. They are entitled to know what information is held about them and whether that information is correct. If the information held is incorrect, they are entitled to have that error rectified.
This policy has been developed to assist all levels of the organisations management structure to ensure that the organisation and staff recognise the rights of clients and others to privacy and to ensure that such rights are respected.
The guide is developed in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles as contained in Schedule 1 of the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012, which amends the Privacy Act 1988.
PART B: STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS
Ridleyton Greek Home For the Aged employees and volunteers are herein referred to as “workers” or “worker.”
Why collect information
Quite simply, we collect worker information for specific purposes, such as legal requirements and communication. It is a normal function of our business to collect, store and use information obtained from workers about their personal details (i.e. name, address, home phone, account details etc).
Storage of information
A worker’s personal information is placed in a set of paper case notes, which are kept in a locked filing cabinet. A volunteer’s personal details are also entered onto our secure (password protected) database.
Employee records must to be kept for 7 years (under taxation law). Once this time has lapsed they will be destroyed. A volunteer’s personal records are destroyed 12-months after ceasing work as a volunteer for our organisation.
We take reasonable steps to hold all hard copy and electronic records of your personal information in a secure manner to ensure that it is protected from misuse, interference and loss, and unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.
We will destroy or de-identify your personal information once it is no longer needed for a valid purpose or required to be kept by law.
What if I have a complaint?
In the event that you have any complaint about the way we deal with privacy issues, please contact us first. If we cannot resolve the issue you do have a right to contact the Privacy Commission to address the issue. We hope that you will have no complaint with us but please advise us if we can do better.
Our contact details are: RIDLEYTON GREEK HOME FOR THE AGED
Address: 89 Hawker Street, Ridleyton SA 5008
Telephone: 8340 1155
Fax: 8346 3112
We take all complaints seriously, and will investigate and respond to your complaint within a reasonable period.
If are not satisfied with our response, you may contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner:
· by mail to Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, GPO Box 5218, Sydney NSW 2001
· by telephone on 1300 363 992
PART C: RESIDENTS AND THEIR FAMILIES
What information about you do we collect?
Prior to or at the time of your admission we will be asking questions about you to assist in the provision of our services to you. The information we need may include but is not necessarily limited to the following:
• Your name and address details;
• Your date of birth;
• Details of your medical practitioner(s);
• Information with respect to your current health;
• Your medical history;
• Some financial information and Health Insurance details;
• Details of Family members including spouse, next of kin and persons we may need to contact in an emergency.
We will only ask for information that we need to provide services to you. While you are receiving services from us we may also be recording information about you that is necessary for us to provide services to you.
What do we do with the information we collect?
Any information we may collect about you is recorded in a paper based file or electronically (either on the network or in iCare Health) that is kept secure at all times. We endeavour to ensure that no unauthorised persons are allowed access to this file. The information we collect is used to help us in providing a service to you.
RGHA may need to collect some information for purposes that are not related to the reason you came to us. Some of this information may need to be provided to government agencies under particular laws or we may need to use the information ourselves for other purposes. If we do need to use information about you for any other purpose than what you have come to us for or that you have given us permission for in your Consent Form C we will tell you and obtain your consent. If at any time you do not wish your photograph and information to be used in newsletters or displays you must notify RGHA in writing.
Providing Your Information to Others
On occasion we may need to share your information with other services (such as hospitals, x-ray departments, etc). We will not disclose your personal information to a third party unless:
1. You have consented to the disclosure.
2. You are at serious risk of harm without treatment, and are unable to give consent. (This applies to acute medical situations only.)
3. We are legally required to disclose the information.
4. Access to client files is required for Accreditation.
Questionnaires and Surveys
Ridleyton Greek Home for the Aged further supports your rights to privacy in relation to questionnaires and surveys. Questionnaires and surveys are an important way we collect information about your views on the services we provide – they are an essential component of our Continuous Improvement framework. Indeed, we actively encourage residents and their families to become involved with all aspects of their care and support, including personal care, leisure & lifestyle, food services human resource management (etc). However, we recognise that some people do not like to be involved in this process, so we “empower” residents with the choice. You and your family will be asked if you wish to be involved in questionnaires and surveys. Accepting or rejecting to be involved will not affect the care and support you receive from us in any way, and you may change your mind at any time.
We formally survey residents and families once a year, but small questionnaires might be required more often, especially if we are looking to improve a specific service. We welcome any feedback you can provide. Your personal details will remain confidential however we may use your Feedback to enhance our service.
Who has access to the information collected?
Only those people who need to refer to your file, either or on paper or electronic, will have access. This will include the health team members who attend to you. The health team includes some people who are not staff of our organisation but with whom it is necessary for us to discuss your care in order to properly provide a service to you.
How is information about me protected?
All personal information held about you will be continually supervised. Written records will be stored in locked filing cabinets or in other locked storage. Information held on computer will be password protected. We will undertake to ensure that information held in electronic form from all electronic data bases is removed before the equipment leaves our control. All written information will be destroyed by burning, pulping or shredding if it is no longer needed. Only authorised staff will have access to your records while we hold the information.
Access to Your Information and Correction of Information Held
Except for certain legal exemptions under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI), you have the right to request access to your client file through processes as set out by the FOI Act. You also have a right under FOI to apply to have the personal information in your client file copied or amended if it is incorrect (e.g. out of date or misleading).
You may request access to or correction of your personal information at any time by sending a written request to our Privacy Officer. We will take reasonable steps to give you access in the manner you have requested, or make the corrections you have requested, and will respond within a reasonable time.
You do not need to provide a reason for your request. We may charge a small fee for providing access if it requires a significant amount of time to locate or collect your information or to present it in an appropriate form. We will not charge you for requesting that we update or correct your personal information.
Under the Privacy Act we are entitled to deny access in various circumstances, such as where the requested access will have an unreasonable impact upon the privacy of others or where we are required by law to withhold the information. This may include situations where providing the information would constitute a breach of our obligations of confidence or privilege.
If we deny you access to your information, or are not able to make any amendments which you have requested, we will provide you with reasons for our refusal.
We will not disclose your personal information to a third party unless:
• You have consented to the disclosure.
• You are at serious risk of harm without treatment, and are unable to give consent. (This applies to acute medical situations only.)
• We are legally required to disclose the information. In the event of this situation arising we will inform the worker as soon as possible. (For more information about our mandatory reporting requirements, please consult with our Director of Nursing.)
• There is an overriding public interest in the release of the information or a duty of care towards others (e.g. threats of harm towards another).
Except for certain legal exemptions under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI), you have the right to request access to your file through processes as set out by the FOI Act. You also have a right under FOI to apply to have the personal information in your file copied or amended if it is incorrect (e.g. out of date or misleading). Because of the resources required to undertake this activity, a small fee may apply.