Information Privacy for patients
Latrobe Regional Hospital is committed to protecting the privacy of patients, aged care residents and other clients. We are required by law to protect personal and confidential information such as information relating to your health and other personal details.
The following information reflects the requirements of the Health Privacy Principles as detailed in the Health Records Act 2001 (Vic) and the Health Privacy Principles, the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic) and Information Privacy Principles.
It outlines the collection, use and disclosure, quality, security and data retention, access and correction of personal and health information.
Collection of Information
We will only collect health and personal information that is necessary for us to assess and treat your health condition. We will always try to collect health and personal information in a fair, lawful and non-intrusive way.
Wherever possible, we will collect information directly from you rather than from third parties.
Use of your information
Generally, we collect and use health and personal information for provision of care and treatment to you for your health condition and for purposes directly related to this. For example, if you are admitted for inpatient medical treatment, your mental health file (if any) will be shared with the treating team and if you are admitted for inpatient mental health, your medical file (if any) will be shared with your treating team. We are required to inform you of the circumstances in which we might disclose information other than for this primary purpose.
Aside from where the law specifically allows us to use or disclose information, we will not use or disclose such information for unrelated purposes without your consent.
Our staff are not permitted to use or disclose information of a personal or health nature, except that is required, authorised or permitted under law.
We may disclose your health and personal information to:
- other health care providers, including your General Practitioner, for the purpose of providing further treatment to you
- a pastoral carer who may visit you, where you have provided details of your religion
- a representative of a veterans organisation where you are a veteran
- an agency for the purposes of determining your feedback and satisfactiion.
Disclosure for research purposes
We may disclose unidentifiable information about you for research purposes.
Disclosure for quality improvement purposes
We may disclose your health and personal information for internal quality improvement purposes and to external agencies for the purpose of accreditation of LRH.
Disclosure on Consumer Management Interface
If you are a registered mental health client, your health and personal information will be entered on the Consumer Management Interface (CMI), which is a state-wide data base accessible to authorised staff of designated Mental Health Services. There are strict guidelines for staff accessing CMI.
Disclosure to the Department of Health (Vic) and Department of Social Services (Commonwealth)
We are required to disclose information to the Department of Health and for aged residents to the Department of Social Services. Both departments are subject to privacy laws the same as or similar to the laws which apply to Latrobe Regional Hospital.
Disclosure under other laws
We also are required or permitted to disclose information under the Firearms Act, Road Safety Act, Marine Act, Public Health and Wellbeing Act, Cancer Act, Births Deaths and Marriages Registration Act, Commission for Children and Young Persons Act, Mental Health Act, Cemeteries and Crematoria Act, Coroners Act, Children, Youth and Families Act and the Health Services Act. We may be required to provide information to the police under a search warrant or to a court on receipt of a subpoena.
You are entitled to refuse certain disclosures
The information set out above is to inform you as how and to whom we may disclose information about you. Other than where we are required to disclose information you may indicate that you do not consent to such a disclosure.
You are required to complete the 'Consent/Refusal to the use and disclosure of information' for each admission. If you are an aged care resident, you are required to complete the 'Consent/Refusal to the use and disclosure of information' attached to the Resident’s Agreement.
We have a fundraising arm which might contact you for fundraising purposes or activities. You may receive information from the LRH Foundation unless you expressly refuse.
Data quality, security and retention
We take all reasonable steps to ensure all current information is accurate, complete and up to date and to protect your information from unauthorised access, improper use, disclosure, unlawful destruction or accidental loss.
Access, correction and provision of copies
Upon request and payment of a fee we will provide you access to information we hold about you, as set out in the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic). We can provide you with a copy or you can ask us to send a copy to another person or healthcare provider. You also have a right to request that we correct information about you that we hold. Application to obtain or correct information is via the Freedom of Information Officer.
We will cooperate where it is lawful and practicable and where it doesn’t jeopardise your care and treatment, to keep your admission private or to be known by an alias. This will not prevent us from disclosing the information we are required by law to disclose.
Transfer or Closure
If we are amalgamated or parts of our service transferred or closed, your health and personal information will be handled in accordance with the law.
How to contact us for privacy concerns or Freedom of Information requests
Latrobe Regional Hospital has a feedback/complaints process to address any patient concerns relating to the care and handling of your information.
Any complaints relating to breach of privacy are thoroughly investigated.
Please contact the Privacy Officer if you have a complaint regarding a possible breach of your privacy or the FOI Officer if you would like to lodge an application under the Freedom of Information Act or if you wish to correct your records.
Latrobe Regional Hospital
PO Box 424
Phone 5173 8501