Privacy Policy

Dentistry to make you smile

Contact us for and queries regarding our Privacy Policy.

Privacy Policy – Harter Family Dental Care

Current as of September 2019

This privacy policy provides information to you, our patient, on how your personal information (which includes your health information) is collected and used within our practice, and the circumstances in which we may share it with third parties.

Why and when your consent is necessary

When you register as a patient of our practice, you provide consent for our dental practitioners and practice staff to access and use your personal information so they can provide you with the best possible dental care. Only staff who need to see your personal information will have access to it.  If we need to use your information for anything else, we will generally seek additional consent from you to do this, unless obtaining your consent is not practical or reasonable, and an exception under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) applies.

Why do we collect, use, hold and share your personal information?

Our practice will need to collect your personal information to provide dental services to you. Our main purpose for collecting, using, holding and sharing your personal information is to manage your dental health. We also use it for directly related business activities, such as financial claims and payments, practice audits and accreditation, and business processes (e.g. staff training).

What personal information do we collect?

The information we will collect about you includes your:

  • name/s, date of birth, address/es, contact details (e.g. telephone, email), family contact information
  • details of your oral health condition and the treatment/s and service/s you have received
  • details of your general health (e.g. medications, allergies, medical conditions) and medical history that may impact the dental treatment you receive
  • private health insurance information
  • Medicare number (where available) for identification and claiming purposes
  • information regarding other funding sources, where relevant (e.g. Child Dental Benefits Schedule, Department of Veterans’ Affairs)
  • information on workers’ compensation, motor vehicle and other accident claims, where relevant
  • healthcare identifiers, where relevant.

Our practice is able to participate in the My Health Record (MHR) system.  If you have a MHR and wish to have this considered as part of your dental treatment, please let us know.  To access your MHR, we will need your full name, date of birth, gender and Medicare number.  If, at any time, there is information associated with your treatment that you do not want included in your MHR, please advise your dental practitioner.

Dealing with us anonymously

You have the right to deal with us anonymously or under a pseudonym unless it is impracticable for us to do so or unless we are required or authorised by law to only deal with identified individuals.

How do we collect your personal information?

Our practice may collect your personal information in several different ways.

  1. When you make your first appointment our practice staff will collect your personal information via your registration.
  2. During the course of providing dental services, we may collect further personal information.
  3. We may also collect your personal information when you visit our website, send us an email or SMS or telephone us.
  4. In some circumstances personal information may also be collected from other sources. Often this is because it is not practical or reasonable to collect it from you directly. This may include information from:
  • your guardian or responsible person
  • other involved healthcare providers, such as specialists and diagnostic imaging services
  • your health fund, Medicare, or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (as necessary).

When, why and with whom do we share your personal information?

We sometimes share your personal information:

  • with third parties who work with our practice for business purposes, such as information technology providers – these third parties are required to comply with APPs
  • with other healthcare providers
  • when it is required or authorised by law (e.g. court subpoenas)
  • when it is necessary to lessen or prevent a serious threat to a patient’s life, health or safety or public health or safety, or it is impractical to obtain the patient’s consent
  • to assist in locating a missing person
  • to establish, exercise or defend an equitable claim
  • for the purpose of confidential dispute resolution process
  • when there is a statutory requirement to share certain personal information (e.g. some diseases require mandatory notification)

Only people who need to access your information will be able to do so. Other than in the course of providing dental services or as otherwise described in this policy, our practice will not share personal information with any third party without your consent.

We will not share your personal information with anyone outside Australia (unless under exceptional circumstances that are permitted by law) without your consent.

Our practice will not use your personal information for marketing any of our goods or services directly to you without your express consent. If you do consent, you may opt out of direct marketing at any time by notifying our practice in writing.

How do we store and protect your personal information?

Your personal information may be stored at our practice in paper records and/ or electronic records.

Our practice stores all personal information securely.

We provide ongoing training to our staff to ensure the personal information which we hold about you is kept confidential.

We keep hard copy and electronic records of all patients’ personal information. We take steps to protect these records against loss, misuse, unauthorised access, use, modification or disclosure. We ensure that hard copies of records are kept in locked files and there are security processes in place regarding computer access. We take steps to ensure that electronic data is backed up.

We, or our contracted data storage providers, may use servers, systems and cloud computing providers outside Australia. We use our best endeavours to ensure that our storage providers are required to comply with Australian Privacy laws.

After a period of 7 years (or in the case of a person under 18, until the person turns 25) we may securely destroy or de-identify your records in accordance with Australian laws.

How can you access and correct your personal information at our practice?

You have the right to request access to, and correction of, your personal information.

Our practice acknowledges patients may request access to their dental records. You can contact us in writing, by email or by telephone and request access to your personal information.  Our contact details are set out at the end of this Policy and our practice will respond within a reasonable time of up to 30 days.

Our practice will take reasonable steps to correct your personal information where the information is not accurate or up to date. From time to time, we will ask you to verify that your personal information held by our practice is correct and current. You may also request that we correct or update your information, and to assist us with attending to your request we would prefer you to make such requests by writing, email or by telephone to the contact details at the end of this policy.

How can you lodge a privacy-related complaint, and how will the complaint be handled at our practice?

We take complaints and concerns regarding privacy seriously. You should express any privacy concerns you may have in writing. We will then attempt to resolve your issue/s in accordance with our resolution procedure. Contact details are set out at the end of this policy and you can expect a turnaround time of up to 30 days.

You may also contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC).  The OAIC may decide not to investigate your complaint if you have not raised it with the practice first.  If you have lodged a complaint with us, and we have not responded within 30 days or you are dissatisfied with our response, you may then take your complaint to the OAIC. For further information visit www.oaic.gov.au or call the OAIC on 1300 363 992.   

Our contact information and resolving your concerns

You can contact us during our office hours if you have any questions, concerns or a complaint about this Privacy Policy or the way in which we collect, store and disclose your personal information. We will always try to respond to you and address your questions, concerns or complaints within a reasonable time.

You can contact us and request that we send you a copy of this Policy by mail or email.

Please note that this policy is reviewed 12 monthly and updated with any changes to the privacy act or to our practice. You will be notified of any changes that may affect you.

Our contact details are:

Harter Family Dental Care

08 9842 3006

111 Albany Highway, Albany 6330

office@harterdental.com.au