MQ Health - Macquarie University

Privacy policy

Macquarie University Hospital and Macquarie University Clinical Associates (MQ Health) Privacy Policy

Macquarie University Hospital and Macquarie University Clinical Associates are part of MQ Health.

Macquarie University Hospital is a teaching hospital of Macquarie University. Macquarie University Clinical Associates Limited (MQ Health Clinics) provides professional services to Macquarie University Hospital and operates the MQ Health clinics.

In this Privacy Policy the term “MQ Health” is used to refer to Macquarie University Hospital and MQ Health Clinics or either of them.

MQ Health must comply with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (NSW) and other laws which protect the privacy of personal information (including health information) in New South Wales.  This document sets out our policy for handling your personal information. In this policy 'we' and 'us' refers to MQ Health and 'you' refers to any individual about whom we collect personal information.

What information do we collect about you?

Patients

When you become a patient of MQ Health, an electronic record is made containing information about you such as your name, address, date of birth, contact details, emergency contacts, GP contact details, your medical history and test results, family medical history, investigations, medical images, treatment and advice you were given, and other information relevant to your care. Depending on the financial arrangements for your care, we may also collect information about your eligibility for Medicare (including your Medicare number), your private health insurance cover and eligibility for benefits or compensation from another source (such as the Department of Veterans Affairs or, for foreign visitors, insurers based overseas).

MQ Health also participates in teaching and other academic activities.  In certain circumstances, we may ask if you would be willing to allow photographs or audio-visual recordings to be taken of you in a clinical context for teaching or training purposes. Your written consent to this will be separately obtained. If you have consented to clinical photography or audio-visual recording, personal information we collect about you will include those photographs and audio-visual recordings.

Every time you attend MQ Health, new information is added to your record. Please let MQ Health staff know if your contact details or your local doctor's contact details have changed since your last admission, so we can ensure your personal information is up to date.

Other individuals

MQ Health may collect personal information about individuals who are not patients of MQ Health. This includes individuals making enquiries about services offered at MQ Health or individuals who have made a donation to MQ Health. Information may also be collected about individuals who are not patients of MQ Health when making a record about a patient (for example, collecting emergency contact details or collecting a family medical history).

GPs, referring doctors and other healthcare professionals

We may collect personal information about individual health care practitioners who interact with MQ Health (such as referring doctors or other healthcare practitioners involved in the care of our patients). This is typically information such as the health care practitioner’s name, contact details, professional details and information regarding interactions or transactions with MQ Health. This information is collected for the purpose of administration, management and operation of MQ Health.

Dealing with us anonymously

You have the option of not identifying yourself, or using another name (pseudonym), when dealing with MQ Health (for example, when making an enquiry). However, it may not always be practicable for us to deal with you on an ongoing basis (for example, as a patient of MQ Health) if you do not provide personal information; we may be unable to provide you with certain health services, treat you at an MQ Health clinic or admit you as a patient of the Macquarie University Hospital.

How do we collect personal information about you?

MQ Health will, where reasonable and practicable to do so, collect personal information directly from you (for example, on a pre-admission, patient registration or other administrative form, over the telephone or via Macquarie University Hospital or MQ Health websites). We may also collect information about you from another person such as your referring doctor, your referring hospital, other health care practitioners involved in your care, your private health insurer, or your relatives, next-of-kin or carers.

Third party mobile apps

MQ Health may collect your personal information from operators of third-party mobile software applications (‘apps’) when you expressly give permission via the app for that disclosure.

You are responsible for the amount and type of information that is disclosed to MQ Health. Once information is disclosed to MQ Health it will be managed in accordance with this Privacy Policy.

The apps are not under the control of MQ Health and MQ Health does not accept responsibility for the privacy practices of the app provider. Before using the apps we strongly advise that you review and satisfy yourself to the terms and conditions and privacy policies of the app provider.

Why do we collect your personal information?

We collect personal information about patients in order to provide health care and related services.

We also collect your personal information to administer and manage the health care services we provide.

Further information about the way we use and share your personal information is set out in the next section.

If you do not provide accurate and complete information, or you withhold information, it may affect the safety, quality and effectiveness of the services we provide, or we may not be able to provide you with health care services. If you have any concerns about personal information we have asked you to provide, please raise those concerns directly with us.

How do we hold and protect your personal information?

At MQ Health, personal information is primarily collected and held in electronic form. Information may also be collected and held in paper-based documents (such as pre-admission, patient registration or administrative forms). We maintain strict policies regarding who has authority to access your personal information. All MQ Health staff are bound by a code of conduct. Healthcare practitioners are also required to comply with professional codes of conduct regarding the confidentiality of patient information. We educate and supervise staff to ensure information is handled in accordance with this privacy policy and privacy laws, and with respect and care.

Sharing information between Macquarie University Hospital and health care practitioners

Macquarie University Hospital and the MQ Health clinics use state of the art technology to securely collect, hold and, where relevant, share your records, reports and images.

In order to provide you with continuing care when you need it, if your health information is collected by Macquarie University Hospital and held in its electronic patient record database, it will be accessible by your treating medical and other health care practitioners, including from remote locations (such as your specialist’s consulting rooms). Macquarie University Hospital has implemented security measures to protect this access to its electronic patient records including password protection and system monitoring.

How do we use and share your personal information?

Your doctor and other health service providers involved in your care

Your personal information may be available to other health care practitioners and health service providers who are involved in your care. Examples are below.

  • We may send a letter to your referring doctor, specialist or local doctor, including when you go home after an hospital admission. Sometimes your local doctor will contact MQ Health for additional information about your treatment. In this situation, we will only release information to the person you have told us is your local doctor as specified on your pre-admission or registration form.
  • If you are discharged from Macquarie University Hospital to another hospital or health service (eg. a community or home nursing service), we will send a summary of information about your condition and treatment to enable the receiving hospital or health service to provide you with care.
  • We may provide your personal information to other independent health service providers where your treating practitioner considers that further information or treatment is required (for example, to a diagnostic imaging or a pathology provider or to specialist medical practitioner).
  • Another hospital or doctor may contact us to obtain information about you. Unless there is an emergency, we will only release personal health information about you with your consent after confirming the identity of the person requesting your health information.
  • We may share information about your hospital admission and care with your private health insurer where your private health insurer specifically requests this to determine what benefits are payable. We will only disclose your personal information as requested by your health insurer.

Contractors, medical technology suppliers and other providers

Where we outsource any of our services or engage contractors to perform services for us or on our behalf, we require them to comply with the same privacy laws that apply to us. For example:

  • we may subcontract some administrative functions to a third party, such as online appointment bookings;
  • we may disclose your personal information to an independent organisation that conducts patient satisfaction surveys on our behalf;
  • information technology professionals may have incidental access to personal information when they provide development, maintenance and support services for the hospital's information technology systems; or
  • suppliers of medical technology may have incidental access to your personal information when they provide maintenance and support services.  In certain circumstances, this includes representatives of the medical technology providers being present when you are receiving health care – including in operating theatres – to provide technical assistance (for example, to calibrate the technology or device).

If you receive a medical device or prosthesis, we may share your personal information with the manufacturer or supplier of that device or prosthesis for product support and safety purposes. In some circumstances, those organisations are required to collect your personal information by law, for example, for safety, monitoring and recall purposes. Third parties may then contact you directly to let you know that they have collected your information and to give you information about their own information handling and privacy practices.

Relatives, carers and 'next of kin'

Your health information may be shared with individuals who are legally responsible for your health care decisions (eg. parents, guardians and attorneys) and individuals you have nominated as emergency contacts or 'next of kin', as long as you have not told us you do not wish us to share your personal information in this way.

Research

MQ Health is a fully integrated university-led health sciences centre which combines excellence in clinical care with teaching and research at Macquarie University. Health care practitioners at MQ Health are often involved in health-related research. Macquarie University Hospital and Macquarie University Clinical Associates each have strong links with the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences and other research institutions. Please refer to the Macquarie University Privacy Policy found at https://www.mq.edu.au/about/about-the-university/governance/privacy for information about how Macquarie University handles personal information.

All research undertaken at Macquarie University, including at MQ Health must be approved by a Human Research Ethics Committee.

Health information that has been de-identified will be shared with the University and other institutions for research.

You may also consent to the use and disclosure of your identifiable personal information. When you become a patient of MQ Health you will be asked to provide consent for:

  1. your identifiable health information being used in research subject to approval and conditions of an ethics committee; and/or
  2. being contacted by us to ask whether you may be interested in participating in specific research projects.

Teaching and education and students

Health care practitioners who have academic appointments or honorary appointments at Macquarie University may use personal information for education, student supervision and teaching purposes. Your consent to the collection and use of personal information, including through audio visual materials and photographs, will be sought for these purposes if it cannot be used in a de-identified form.

Students studying at Macquarie University's Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences or participating in clinical placements (including students from Macquarie University and foreign teaching institutions) may be present with your treating doctor, or other health practitioners involved in your care, during clinical consultations at MQ Health. Those students will have access to your personal information for these training purposes.

Administration, management and operation of Macquarie University Hospital and the MQ Health clinics

We may use or disclose your personal information for the administration, management and operation of MQ Health, including:

  • sending electronic appointment reminders
  • charging, billing, processing health insurance claims and other third-party payment arrangements, and debt recovery
  • administration of Medicare benefits
  • managing, monitoring, planning and evaluating our services
  • safety and quality assurance and improvement activities
  • accreditation activities
  • training staff and health care workers
  • testing and maintaining information technology systems
  • risk management and managing legal liabilities and claims (for example, liaising with MQ Health’s insurers and legal representatives and with Macquarie University, its insurers and legal representatives)
  • responding to complaints or inquiries regarding health services provided at MQ Health
  • obtaining advice from our consultants and professional advisers

Is your personal information used for direct marketing and fundraising?

Macquarie University and MQ Health each undertake fundraising activities to support the University and MQ Health. For example, we may send you a newsletter or other communications about the work we do (or Macquarie University may do so). We will only use or disclose your personal information for marketing or fundraising purposes with your consent. If you do give consent, you may withdraw that consent at any time by contacting us on 9812 3087.

Will your personal information be sent overseas?

MQ Health does not typically or routinely disclose personal information to overseas recipients. However, a number of exceptions are set out below:

  1. Personal information of patients who receive medical devices or prostheses may be shared with the manufacturers or suppliers of those devices for product support and safety purposes. Those manufacturers and suppliers are likely to be located in the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, United Kingdom or countries within the European Union.
  2. Personal information of patients who participate in clinical trials at MQ Health may be shared with insurers in connection with insurance claims or to regulators or human research ethics committees who are responsible for monitoring clinical trials or approving new drugs or medical devices.
  3. The personal information of overseas residents who attend MQ Health may be provided to their insurers who may be based outside Australia.

MQ Health will take reasonable steps to ensure that the overseas recipient does not breach Australian privacy laws or otherwise ensure that the disclosure complies with the Australian privacy laws.

Website privacy

Information we collect

When you use the Macquarie University Hospital and the MQ Health websites, our internet service provider will record and log non-personally identifiable information such as your IP address, browser type, operating system, pages viewed while browsing the Macquarie University Hospital and the MQ Health websites, date and times of the visit. This information is used internally for the purpose of gauging visitor traffic and trends and updating the Macquarie University Hospital and the MQ Health websites. Our websites use cookies.  Cookies are small text files which are placed on your hard drive to store information about your browsing.  The Macquarie University Hospital and MQ Health websites do not use cookies to store personal information.

MQ Health does not attempt to identify you as an individual user when you are using our websites and we will not collect personal information about you unless you specifically provide this to us.  However, if you make an enquiry or request that MQ Health provides a service to you by completing and submitting an online form on the Macquarie University Hospital or MQ Health websites or otherwise contact us via the Macquarie University Hospital or MQ Health websites, you will be required to provide some personal information (for example, your name and contact information) so that we may respond to your enquiry or request for service.  If you do provide us with personal information, we will collect, use and disclose that information in accordance with this privacy policy.

Links to other websites

The Macquarie University Hospital website and the MQ Health website contain links to other websites (linked websites). We are not responsible for the content or privacy practices employed by any linked website.

How can you access or ask us to correct your personal information?

If you would like further information or do not understand any aspect of your care, usually the best person to speak to may be your treating doctor or someone in your health care team.  However, you have a right to request access to personal information MQ Health holds about you.  To request access to your personal information, please contact us at the contact details below for an application form. This form also outlines the current fees and the types of identification we require in order to process your request.  Under privacy laws, in limited circumstances, we may refuse you access to your personal information (for example, when giving access would put you or another person at risk of harm).

Application forms may be sent to:
Health Information Services
Macquarie University Hospital 
Locked Bag 2231
North Ryde BC NSW 1670 Australia

MQ Health endeavours to ensure that your information is accurate, up-to-date and complete.  You can help us achieve this by letting us know if you notice errors in information we hold about you and letting us know if your personal details change (for example, your name or contact details).  If you consider any personal information we hold about you is not accurate, you may also ask us to correct that information.  It is generally not possible to make changes to clinical information recorded in your medical record.  You may instead ask us to keep a statement with your records noting the required change.

What should you do if you have a complaint about the handling of your personal information?

You may contact MQ Health at any time if you have any questions or concerns about this privacy policy or how your personal information has been handled.  The contact details are set out below. If you have contacted MQ Health and your question or concern has not been able to be resolved to your satisfaction, you may make a formal complaint to MQ Health using the contact details set out below.  We will consider and respond to your complaint within a reasonable period or any period required under privacy laws.  If you are not satisfied with our response to a complaint, or you consider that we may have breached privacy laws, you are entitled to make a complaint to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner or the NSW Information and Privacy Commission. The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner can be contacted by telephone on 1300 363 992.  Full contact details for the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner can be found online at www.oaic.gov.au.  The NSW Information and Privacy Commission on can be contacted on 1800 472 679 or online at www.ipc.nsw.gov.au.

How are changes to this privacy policy made?

This privacy policy is reviewed and amended from time-to-time. Revisions and updates to this privacy policy will be published on both Macquarie University Hospital's website (www.muh.org.au) and the MQ Health website (www.mqhealth.org.au). Please see the Macquarie University Hospital and the MQ Health websites for the latest version of this privacy policy.

Contacting Macquarie University Hospital

Macquarie University Hospital is the trading name of MQ Health Pty Ltd ABN 46 141 203 125, a controlled entity of Macquarie University.

The contact details for Macquarie University Hospital are: 3 Technology Place, Macquarie University, NSW 2109, Australia. Please mark any correspondence to the attention of the Privacy Officer.

Telephone +61 2 9812 3087

Email: privacyofficer@muh.org.au

Contacting Macquarie University Clinical Associates

Macquarie University Clinical Associates Limited ABN 56 606 405 270 operates the MQ Health clinics.

The contact details for Macquarie University Clinical Associates are: 2 Technology Place, Macquarie University, NSW 2109, Australia. Please mark any correspondence to the attention of the Privacy Officer.

Telephone +61 2 9812 3087

Email: privacyofficer@muh.org.au

This privacy policy was last updated in September 2018 SPECIALISTS