We are committed to protecting the privacy of patient information and to handling your personal information in a responsible manner in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 (Commonwealth), the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012, the Australian Privacy Principles and relevant State and Territory privacy legislation (referred to as privacy legislation).
We collect information that is necessary and relevant to provide you with medical care and treatment, and management of the medical practice. This information includes your name, address, date of birth, gender, health information, family history, and contact details. This information may be stored on the computer medical records system.
Wherever practicable we will only collect information from you personally. However, we may also need to collect information from other sources such as treating specialists, radiologists, pathologists, hospitals and other health care providers. We collect information in various ways, such as over the phone or in writing, in person in the practice or over the internet if you transact with us online. This information may be collected by medical and non-medical staff. In emergency situations we may also need to collect information from your relatives or friends.
We are required by law to retain medical records for certain periods of time depending on your age at the time we provide services.
USE AND DISCLOSURE
We will treat your personal information as strictly private and confidential. We will only use or disclose it for purposes directly related to your care and treatment, or in ways that you would reasonably expect that we may use it for your ongoing care and treatment. For example, the disclosure of blood test results to your specialist or requests for x-rays. There are circumstances where we may be permitted or required by law to disclose your personal information to third parties. For example, to Medicare, Police, insurers, solicitors, government regulatory bodies, tribunals, courts of law, hospitals, or debt collection agents. We may also from time to time provide de-identified statistical data to third parties for research purposes with approved privacy policies.
We may disclose information about you to outside contractors to carry out activities on our behalf, such as an IT service provider, solicitor or debt collection agent. We impose security and confidentiality requirements on how they handle your personal information. Outside contractors are required not to use information about you for any purpose except for those activities we have asked them to perform.
DATA QUALITY AND SECURITY
We will take reasonable steps to ensure that your personal information is accurate, complete, up to date and relevant. For this purpose, the staff may ask you to confirm that your contact details are correct when you attend a consultation. We request that you let us know if any of the information we hold about you is incorrect or out of date.
Personal information that we hold is protected by:
- securing the premises;
- placing passwords and varying access levels on databases to limit access and protect electronic information from unauthorised interference, access, modification and disclosure; and
- Security training is conducted with all staff – personal signed documents are signed by all staff stipulating the confidentiality requirements.
If you believe that the information, we have about you is not accurate, complete or up-to-date, we ask that you contact us in writing (see details below).
You are entitled to request access to your medical records. We request that you put your request in writing and we will respond to it within a reasonable time.
There may be a fee for the administrative costs of retrieving and providing you with copies of your medical records.
We may deny access to your medical records in certain circumstances permitted by law, for example, if disclosure may cause a serious threat to your health or safety. We will always tell you why access is denied and the options you have to respond to the decision.
If you have a complaint about the privacy of your personal information, we request that you contact us in writing. Upon receipt of a complaint, we will consider the details and attempt to resolve it in accordance with the complaints handling procedures.
If you are dissatisfied with our handling of a complaint or the outcome you may make an application to the Australian Information Commissioner or The Tasmanian Office of the Ombudsman and Health Complaints Commissioner.
OVERSEAS TRANSFER OF DATA
We will not transfer your personal information to an overseas recipient unless we have your consent or we are required to do so by law.
Please direct any queries, complaints, requests for access to medical records to:
Attn: The Practice Manager
The Bubble Launceston
4/23 Brisbane Street
Launceston TAS 7250
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
- Payment in full is required at the time of consultation.
- If an account remains unpaid, no further medical services will be provided.
- Payment of a non-attendance fee is an obligation to be a patient at this practice.
- If payment isn't received within 28 days of the consult, further actions will be taken.
If you require a longer appointment, please let reception staff know. Often patients will have multiple issues to discuss. If the practitioner cannot cover every aspect in a single consultation, the patient may be asked to come back for a subsequent visit. This is done to ensure the best quality care possible.
The practitioner's do their best to run to time – however, we endeavour to and do run to time in most instances, emergencies and unforeseen circumstances may occasionally result in delays beyond our control. We trust that affected patients will be understanding in the rare event that this may occur, and we always aim to contact patients if this occurs to ensure you are not kept waiting.
In order to provide a fair and timely service to all patients, we require that patients who have made a booking arrive promptly for their appointment. If you are attending the clinic for the first time we ask that you arrive at least 10 minutes prior to your allocated time, to allow timely completion of your new patient paperwork if this hasn’t been completed online prior.
Arriving late deprives you of precious minutes, as each session will be finished on time as a courtesy to our next patient.
We fully understand that sometimes being late is outside of your control, and we will always do our best to accommodate late arrivals. We ask that you contact us if you are concerned you may be late.
Unfortunately, arriving too late to your consult may results in rescheduling.
MISSED APPOINTMENTS AND CANCELLATIONS
When you book your appointment, you are holding a space that is no longer available to other patients. We politely ask that you please respect that the practitioner often has limited appointment times, and that you contact us the day before should you need to reschedule or cancel your appointment.
To help you keep your appointment, reception staff send reminders 24 hours prior which ask that you reply to by SMS or return phone call. Please remember that if for some reason you do not receive your reminder, your appointment remains your responsibility to attend, reschedule or cancel.
If you need to cancel your appointment within 24 hours, we are of course understanding of this and will cancel or reschedule your appointment.
If you need to cancel your appointment, please:
- Call us - 6724 3063
- Respond 'cancel' to the SMS reminder
- Email us - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Use our contact us page
Emails and contact us page submissions are monitored on a regular basis by reception staff.
Missed appointments represent a cost to both the practice, and to other patients who could have been seen in the time set aside for you. Please advise us as soon as possible if you cannot attend an appointment. This allows us to offer your appointment to someone else who may need urgent treatment.
Since we turn away other patients to hold your appointment, a total of 2 missed appointments will result in a 'non-attendance' fee of $100.00. If payment isn't received within 28 days of the account, further actions will be taken.
In the event of recurrent missed and cancelled appointments, or for very long appointments, we also reserve the right to charge a non-refundable deposit before making another appointment. Please understand that we consider this a last resort, with the real motivating factor being our concern for the quality of service we are able to provide to you and to other valued patients.
Although face to face appointments are preferred, the practitioner can offer a telehealth service (video consult) to patients. This is an option if you are unable to attend in the clinic (ie COVID-19). Please advise reception staff if you wish for your appointment to be changed to a video consult.
Due to Medicare requirements, patients have to of been seen by the health professional for a face to face consult within the last 12 months to be eligible for a Medicare rebate. If you have not been seen by them in clinic, unfortunately the full consult fee will apply.
The same as in clinic, payment is still required at the time of consultation. Reception staff will contact you shortly after your consult to discuss payment options.
- Emergency situations
- Public health statutory requirements on notifiable diseases
- Medical indemnity insurance obligations
- Provision of information to Medicare or private health funds for billing and rebate purposes
- Quality assurance purposes
The Bubble Launceston participates in a recall and reminder system to ensure we provide high quality care. This means that when you are due for routine preventative health measures such as cervical screening, intrauterine device or contraceptive etc. we will contact and advise you to make an appointment.
If you have had any pathology, imaging, or other testing done through The Bubble Launceston, we will contact you regarding the results if the doctor advises it needs a follow up. We strongly advise and would be in your best interest that you ring to follow up your test results within the time frame advised by your GP.
The Bubble Launceston sends SMS appointment reminders and recalls to the disclosed mobile phone number by the patient. All messages sent identify the practice as the caller and/or sender.
We feel that the above measures are a fundamental part of the high-quality healthcare and we strive to give to all our patients. To aid this it is essential we have your most recent contact details and that you advise the practice of any changes.
Separate and specific consent is required if your information is to be used for research or statistical purposes, or if any third party eg. insurance company, workers compensation, or employer requests your medical information. By signing this consent form, you acknowledge that you have read and you agree to your information being collected and used as described above.
I consent to participate in the scheduled reminder system as described above.
I consent to being contacted for review of test results as may occur from time to time.
I consent to have SMS appointment reminders and recalls sent to my disclosed mobile phone number that identify the practice as the caller and/or sender.