Created: 09 Mar 2021
Updated: 04 Apr 2023
1. PART 1 – ABOUT THIS POLICY
Mermaid Speech is committed to protecting the privacy of personal information we collect and hold about individuals.
Mermaid Speech complies with the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), other privacy laws that govern how private sector health service providers like Mermaid Speech handle your personal information (including your health information), and Speech Pathology Australia’s Code of Ethics (2010).
Mermaid Speech is a private speech pathology practice under the ownership of Charlotte Barfoot.
2. PART 2 – HOW MERMAID SPEECH HANDLES YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
2.1 Mermaid Speech’s Legal Obligations
In order to provide you with the health care services that you have requested, Mermaid Speech will need to collect and use your personal information. If you provide incomplete or inaccurate information to us or withhold personal and health information from us, we may not be able to provide you with the services you are seeking.
2.2 What information does Mermaid Speech collect?
We will only collect the information we need for the particular function or activity we are carrying out.
We collect information from you that is necessary to provide you with speech pathology services and to manage our relationship with you. The information we collect includes: your name, date of birth, address, health fund details and information about your health history and family history. We require this information to assist the speech pathologist to diagnose and treat you.
2.3 How does Mermaid Speech collect health information?
We will usually collect your health information directly from you. Sometimes, we may need to collect information about you from a third party (such as a relative or another health service provider).
2.4 How does Mermaid Speech use your information?
Mermaid Speech uses your personal information for the purpose you have given the information to us. We will use your information to provide speech pathology services to you, to manage our relationship with you and to contact you in relation to matters concerning your care. We may also use your information for other purposes permitted under the Privacy Act 1988.
Who might we disclose your information to?
We may disclose your information to the following people:
(a) disclosure to other health professionals involved in your treatment
Your personal information will generally only be used by the speech pathologist involved in your care and made available only when necessary to employees, contractors, and/or associated staff of Mermaid Speech, however on occasion your care may be provided by a number of health professionals (for example, speech pathologist, occupational therapist and/or psychologist) working or consulting together. We may disclose your information to these health professionals as part of the process of providing your care and to other health professionals involved in your care.
(b) the referrer
Mermaid Speech will usually send a discharge summary to the referrer (i.e., your medical practitioner) following discharge from Mermaid Speech or at other times, as required for your care.
If you do not wish us to provide a copy of your discharge summary to the referrer you must let us know. Also, if the referrer’s details have changed, please let us know.
(c) Relatives, guardian, close friends or legal representative
We may provide information about your condition to your parent, child, other relatives, close personal friends, guardians, or to a responsible person for you, unless you tell us that you do not wish us to disclose your health information to any such person. Exceptions to this include (but are not limited to) disclosures that are required by law and/or ethical duty to be made known to a third party involved in your care.
Other uses and disclosures
In order to provide the best possible environment in which to treat you, we may also use or disclose your personal and health information where necessary for:
• activities such as quality assurance processes, accreditation, audits, risk and claims management, patient satisfaction surveys and staff education and training;
• invoicing, billing and account management;
• to liaise with your health fund, Medicare or the Department of Veteran's Affairs and where required provide information to your health fund, Medicare or the Department of Veteran's Affairs to verify treatment provided to you;
• the purpose of sending you standard reminders, for example for appointments and follow-up care, by text message or email to the number or address which you have provided to us.
(d) Other uses with your consent
With your consent we may also use your information for other purposes such as including you on a marketing mail list, or research. Please note, however, that unless you provide us with your express consent for this purpose, we will not use your information in this way.
2.5 Access to and correction of your health information
You have a right to access the personal and health information that we hold about you. You can also request an amendment to your personal and health information should you believe that it is inaccurate.
If we do not agree to change your medical record/personal information in accordance with your request, we will permit you to make a statement of the requested changes and we will enclose this with your record.
Should you wish to obtain access to or request changes to your health record you can ask for our Privacy Officer (see details below) who can give you more detailed information about Mermaid Speech's access and correction procedure.
Please note that Mermaid Speech may recover reasonable costs associated with supplying this information to you.
2.6 Data Quality
Mermaid Speech will take reasonable steps to ensure that your personal information which we may collect, use or disclose is accurate, complete and up-to-date.
2.7 Data Security
Mermaid Speech will take reasonable steps to protect your personal information from misuse, interference, loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. We use technologies and processes such as access control procedures, network firewalls, encryption and physical security to protect your privacy.
Mermaid Speech will destroy or permanently de-identify any of your information which is in its possession or control and which is no longer needed for the purpose for which it was collected provided Mermaid Speech is not required under an Australian law or court/tribunal or otherwise to retain the information.
2.8 What to do if you have a complaint about privacy issues
(b) Mermaid Speech does not agree to provide you with access to your personal information; or
(c) you have or a complaint about our information handling practices,
You can lodge a complaint with or contact our Privacy Officer on the details below. We will promptly review your complaint and provide a response to you.
2.9 How to contact us if you have a complaint about privacy issues
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By telephone: 0491684551
3. PART 3 – HOW MERMAID SPEECH HANDLES YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION WHEN YOU VISIT OUR WEBSITE
When you use our website, we do not attempt to identify you as an individual user and we will not collect personal information about you unless you specifically provide this to us.
Sometimes, we may collect your personal information if you choose to provide this to us via an online form or by email, for example, if you:
• submit a general enquiry via our contacts page;
• register to receive eNewsletters; or
• send a written complaint or enquiry to our Privacy Officer.
When you use our website, our Internet Service Provider (ISP) may record and log for statistical purposes the following information about your visit:
• your computer address;
• your top level name (for example, .com.,gov., .org, .au etc.);
• the date and time of your visit; number of visits (and duration of visit);
• the pages and documents you access during your visit; and
• the browser you are using.
Our web-site management agent may use statistical data collected by our ISP to evaluate the effectiveness of our web-site.
A "cookie" is a device that allows our server to identify and interact more effectively with your computer. Cookies do not identify individual users, but they do identify your ISP and your browser type.
This website uses temporary cookies. This means that upon closing your browser, the temporary cookie assigned to you will be destroyed and no personal information is maintained which will identify you at a later date.
Personal information such as your email address is not collected unless you provide it to us. We do not disclose domain names or aggregate information to third parties other than agents who assist us with this website and who are under obligations of confidentiality. You may be able to configure your browser to accept or reject all cookies and to notify you when a cookie is used. We suggest that you refer to your browser instructions or help screens to learn more about these functions. However, please note that if you configure your browser so as not to receive any cookies, a certain level of functionality of the Mermaid Speech website and other websites may be lost.
3.3 Links to third party websites
We may create links to third party websites. We are not responsible for the content or privacy practices employed by websites that are linked from our website.
3.4 Use and disclosure
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