What happens to my information?
When you become a patient or client of GV Health, a record is created using details such as your name, address, contact details and other information including your condition, test results and the outcome of your treatment. Each time you attend GV Health, new information is added to your record. Electronic images such as clinical photography and telemedicine are sometimes used to help treat you. This information is recorded on our patient administration system.
Information held by GV Health about you is confidential. Your information is protected and stored securely. This applies to both paper based and digital information.
GV Health complies with the 11 Privacy Principles (HPPs) relating to health information under the Health Records Act 2001 (Vic)
Why is this information necessary?
We collect and keep information to make sure our health care professionals have all the information needed to help you. Information about your previous treatment can help us to identify which treatments are safe and effective for you. It also prevents us repeating tests that you have already had in the past.
Information may also be used for research and planning. This helps us to provide better healthcare to all our patients and clients. No personal, identifiable information will ever leave the hospital without your prior consent. Research activities follow strict guidelines and all research activities must be approved by the GV Health Research and Ethics Committee.
How is my information protected?
Information about you is stored on the paper medical record, as a scanned digitised record and on GV Health’s computer system. There are strict policies and procedures in place regarding access to your personal information. Regular audits are run to ensure only authorised staff have access to information held in our systems.
All staff employed by GV Health have signed a confidentiality agreement and are bound by a strict code of conduct which requires them to maintain the confidentiality of your information.
GV Health adheres to all legislation regarding protection of your information. This includes the Health Services Act 1988 (Vic), the Health Records Act 2001 (Vic), the Information Privacy Act 2000 and the Freedom of Information Act. This legislation ensures we protect personal information.
Who can access my information?
Your health information will be shared among the health professionals in your treating team. Information may be shared with any service that is a part of GV Health. This is necessary to help us to identify which treatments are safe and effective for you. It also prevents us repeating tests that you have already had in the past.
When you attend GV Health you are asked to name your local GP. As part of your ongoing care we routinely fax, post or electronically transfer a letter (or discharge summary) to your GP after you are discharged from hospital. This letter details your stay in hospital, your medication and any special instructions we need your doctor to know. This information may also be sent to another hospital if you are being transferred for ongoing care.
GV Health also routinely sends a typed letter to your local GP following an outpatient visit to the Specialist Consulting Suites.
If you are seen at another hospital or you see a new local doctor or specialist, they may call us to obtain information about you so they can treat you safely and effectively. In an emergency situation we would release information about you to help with your care. In all other circumstances your written consent will be required before we release information.
If you do not wish information to be sent, please advise your treating doctor or health care provider as soon as possible.
Sometimes it may be necessary to phone you at home or leave a message for you to contact the hospital. If you do not want to receive messages, please make sure you inform staff when you give them your contact details.
Who else might receive my information?
GV Health is obligated by law to release personal information about you in specific circumstances.
- When subpoenaed to present your clinical record in court
- Reporting notifiable diseases to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Victoria
- Reporting demographic and coded information about you to DHHS to ensure funding and planning activities (this information is de-identified so that you personally cannot be identified)
- Provisions made in Section 120A of the Mental Health Act
The Department of Health and Humans Services has policies and procedures relating to access and use of information.
Can I access my information?
The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic) and the Health Records Act 2001 (Vic) allow you to request access to your medical record and personal information held by GV Health. If you wish to make an application for this information, you will need to complete a freedom of information request form. An application fee and costs may apply.
If there is information in your record which is incorrect or you do not agree with, you have the right to request that it be corrected.
Requests for access to your medical record can be made in writing to:
Where can I go for more information or to complain?
If you have any questions about what happens to your information, please phone the Freedom of Information Officer on 03) 5831 0042.
If you are a current inpatient, please discuss your concerns with your treating team so the matter can be resolved now.