Here at Inner Space Psychological Services (Inner Space, we, us) we take your privacy seriously. We take measures to operate in accordance to the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) set out in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth).
As part for our service to you we need to collect relevant personal information. This information can include:
- Your name & date of birth
- contact details
- medicare and private health fund information
- details of an emergency contact
- medical history, and other personal information collected as part of providing the psychological service.
Where possible we will obtain this information directly from you. This may include information you provide us in person, over the phone, by email, or by completing forms (paper or digital). At times we may collect information from third parties such as your doctor or other referring organisations or health practitioners involved in your care. Please note that limiting the information you provide to us may limit the service we can provide.
Where paper files exist they are held in a secure filing cabinet accessible only to authorised personnel.
Electronic records are stored within our practice management system accessed by secured passwords by authorised personnel only. We endeavour to only use systems that are compliant with the Australian standards for online security and encryption.
Records are held for the time required according to the relevant law, including the Privacy Act (1988). Following this period, records are destroyed and deleted. In some cases, records may be placed in archive.
Purpose of holding personal information
Your personal information is gathered and used for the purpose of providing psychological services, which includes assessing, diagnosing and treating your presenting issue. Your personal information is retained in order to document what happens during sessions, and enables the psychologist to provide a relevant and informed psychological service.
Your information can also be used for invoicing and processing claims from third parties (e.g., Medicare).
In the event that your psychologist leaves the practice your personal information and records will be retained by Inner Space unless you request otherwise. In some cases your records are retained by a referring organisation.
Disclosure of personal information
Clients’ personal information will remain confidential except when:
- it is subpoenaed by a court, or disclosure is otherwise required or authorised by law; or
- failure to disclose the information would, in the reasonable belief of the Inner Space practitioner, place a client or another person at serious risk to life, health or safety; or
- the client’s prior approval has been obtained to:
- a) provide a written report to another agency or professional, e.g., a GP; or
- b) discuss the material with another person, e.g. a parent, employer, health provider, or third party funder; or
- c) disclose the information in another way;
- you would reasonably expect your information to be disclosed to another professional or agency (e.g. your GP) and disclosure of your personal information to that third party is for a purpose which is directly related to the primary purpose for which your personal information was collected.
Your personal information is not disclosed to overseas recipients, unless you consent or if such disclosure is otherwise required by law. Your information will not be used, sold, rented or disclosed for any other purpose.
In the event that unauthorised access, disclosure or loss of your personal information occurs Inner Space will activate its data breach plan and use all reasonable endeavours to minimise any risk of consequential serious harm.
Requests for access and correction to client information
At any stage you may request to see and correct the personal information about you kept on file. Your psychologist may discuss the contents with you and/or give them a copy (fees apply), subject to the exceptions in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth). If satisfied that personal information is inaccurate, out of date or incomplete, reasonable steps will be taken in the circumstances to ensure that this information is corrected. All requests by you for access to or correction of personal information held about you should be lodged with Inner Space in writing. These requests will be responded to in writing within 28 days, and an appointment will be made if necessary for clarification purposes.
A note about telehealth services
Telehealth means service delivery by phone or video conferencing. The privacy of any form of communication via the internet is potentially vulnerable and limited by the security of the technology used. Privacy of your information is also limited to where you decide to conduct your session and which platform you are using. Where possible, we use platforms that are compliant with the Australian standards for online security and encryption.
If you have a concern about the management of your information, you may inform Inner Space. Upon request you can obtain a copy of the Australian Privacy Principles, which describe your rights and how your information should be handled. Ultimately, if you wish to lodge a formal complaint about the use of, disclosure of, or access to, your information, you may do so with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner by phone on 1300 363 992, online at http://www.oaic.gov.au/privacy/making-a-privacy-complaint or by post to: Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, GPO Box 5218, Sydney, NSW 2001.