Dr Mark Bowman’s medical practice is committed to providing quality health care for Dr Bowman’s patients. He and his staff recognise the importance of ensuring that his patients are fully informed and involved in their health care.
Dr Bowman’s practice is, as a health care provider in the private sector, bound by the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (NSW) and the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) this includes both the Australian Privacy Principles and the NSW Health Privacy Principles. These principles set the standards by which we handle personal information collected from our patients.
As part of your care it is necessary to maintain files pertaining to your health and treatment. These files contain the following types of information:
- personal details (name, address, date of birth, medicare number)
- your medical history
- notes made during the course of medical consultations
- referrals to other health service providers, results and reports received from other health services providers
The information held about you is provided by you or arises as a consequence of information provided by you.
Your medical file is handled with the utmost respect for your privacy. Electronic information is stored on Dr Bowman’s server. This information is confidential and may not be accessed by Genea staff. Your file will be accessed by Dr Bowman and when necessary (for example if Dr Bowman is away) by a locum doctor working within the practice. It may be necessary for Dr Bowman’s staff to handle your file from time to time, for example in filing or in generation of letters, accounts and other administrative issues. Dr Bowman’s staff are bound by strict confidentiality requirements as a condition of employment regarding your medical records.
At times, to ensure the function of our practice, it may also be necessary to allow external organisations to access our practice and possibly, to view the medical records. Any external organisation that provides service or advice to Dr Bowman’s practice will be aware of the need to preserve the requirement of state and federal privacy legislation and will be bound by a confidentiality agreement.
Dr Bowman’s practice does not intend to disclose your personal information to overseas recipients (unless requested by you).
Ordinarily Dr Bowman will not release the contents of your medical file without your consent. This includes to other medical practitioners who are not acting as a locum for Dr Bowman. However, Dr Bowman advises that there may be occasions where he will be required to release the details of your file irrespective of whether your consent to the disclosure of the information is given. This will occur where the law requires disclosure, such as pursuant to a subpoena.
Dr Bowman advises that as a patient of his practice, you have rights of access to any information we hold concerning you. Please note that in infertility practice, joint information involving a couple is held. If you require the results of an investigation, the person to whom the information relates to must contact the practice and request this unless specific consent is given for the partner (or another person) to receive this information.
Given that the management of infertility involves the consultation, investigation and treatment of both partners, Dr Bowman will not be able to advise both partners of privacy issues, obtain consent to perform investigations or advise the results of tests without seeing both partners in consultation.
If you wish to access your medical record we refer you to our handout entitled “Accessing your medical record”. If one partner requests information or access to a file, details relating to the other partner will be removed or excluded unless joint consent is received.
As part of Dr Bowman’s commitment to preserving the confidentiality of the information contained in your medical record, he advises that strict storage policies are observed in this practice. Your electronic records are accessible only by staff of this practice and are protected by a security password. Your paper records are accessible only by practice staff.
Should you at any time have a query or complaint in relation to the privacy policies in place at this practice please contact Dr Bowman who will be happy to address any concerns you may have. It is the policy of this practice that any complaint is required to be made in writing and addressed to Dr Bowman and marked Private and Confidential. Dr Bowman will endeavour to address complaints within 60 days of receipt of your complaint.