Privacy Policy

Howearth Psychology Practice Privacy Policy

 

  1. Introduction

Howearth Psychology is committed to best practice in relation to the management of information we collect. This practice has developed a policy to protect patient privacy in compliance with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (‘the Privacy Act’).  Our policy is to inform you of:

  • the kinds of information that we collect and hold, which, as a psychological practice, is likely to be ‘health information’ for the purposes of the Privacy Act;
  • how we collect and hold personal information;
  • the purposes for which we collect, hold, use and disclose personal information;
  • how you may access your personal information and seek the correction of that information;
  • how you may complain about a breach of the Australian Privacy Principles and how we will deal with such a complaint;
  • whether we are likely to disclose personal information to overseas recipients;
  1. What kinds of personal information do we collect?

The type of information we may collect and hold includes:

  • Your name, address, date of birth, email and contact details
  • Medicare number, DVA number and other government identifiers, although we will not use these for the purposes of identifying you in our practice
  • Other health information about you, including:
    • notes of your symptoms or diagnosis and the treatment given to you
    • your reports and assessment results
    • your appointment and billing details
    • your medical history
    • your healthcare identifier
    • any other information about your race, sexuality or religion, when collected by a health service provider.
  1. How do we collect and hold personal information?

We will generally collect personal information:

  • from you directly when you provide your details to us. This might be via a face to face discussion, telephone conversation, registration form or online form
  • from a person responsible for you
  • from third parties where the Privacy Act or other law allows it – this may include, but is not limited to:  other members of your treating team, diagnostic centres, specialists, hospitals, Medicare, your health insurer
  1. Why do we collect, hold, use and disclose personal information?

In general, we collect, hold, use and disclose your personal information for the following purposes:

  • to provide psychological services to you
  • to communicate with you in relation to the psychological service being provided to you
  • to comply with our legal obligations, including, but not limited to, mandatory reporting under applicable child protection legislation.
  • to help us manage our accounts and administrative services, including billing, arrangements with health funds, pursuing unpaid accounts, management of our ITC systems
  • for consultations with other allied health professional involved in your healthcare;
  • to obtain, analyse and discuss information that informs our provision of psychological services
  •  for identification and insurance claiming
  • To liaise with your health fund, government and regulatory bodies such as Medicare, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) (if you make a privacy complaint to the OAIC), as necessary.
  1. How can you access and correct your personal information?

You have a right to seek access to, and correction of the personal information which we hold about you.

For details on how to access and correct your health record, please contact our practice as noted below under ‘Contact Details’:

We will normally respond to your request within 30 days.

  1. How do we hold your personal information?

Our staff are trained and required to respect and protect your privacy. We take reasonable steps to protect information held from misuse and loss and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. This includes:

  • Holding your information in the “Halaxy” practice management platform
    • Halaxy is an encrypted database, and your information will be accessible only by staff of Howearth Psychology. Psychological ethics require that only people with a legitimate need to access your information for the provision of psychological services will do so
    • The Halaxy.com privacy policy can be found here: https://www.halaxy.com/article/privacy
  • All staff of Howearth Psychology sign confidentiality agreements to protect your privacy
  • This practice has document retention and destruction policies that conform to state and national requirements.
  1. Privacy related questions and complaints

If you have any questions about privacy-related issues or wish to complain about a breach of the Australian Privacy Principles or the handling of your personal information by us, you may lodge your complaint in writing to (see below for details).  We will normally respond to your request within 30 days.

If you are dissatisfied with our response, you may refer the matter to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC):

Phone: 1300 363 992

Email: enquiries@oaic.gov.au

Fax: +61 2 9284 9666

Post: GPO Box 5218 
Sydney NSW 2001

  1. Anonymity and pseudonyms

 The Privacy Act provides that individuals must have the option of not identifying themselves, or of using a pseudonym, when dealing with our practice, except in certain circumstances, such as where it is impracticable for us to deal with you if you have not identified yourself. Howearth Psychology does not recommend this, as it may impede access to your related information that may inform your treatment.

  1. Overseas disclosure.

We may disclose your personal information to the following overseas recipients:

  • any practice or individual who assists us in providing services (such as where you have come from overseas and had your health record transferred from overseas or have treatment continuing from an overseas provider; only with your consent)
  • overseas transcription services (if required and only with your consent)
  • anyone else to whom you authorise us to disclose it
  1. Updates to this Policy

This Policy will be reviewed from time to time to take account of new laws and technology, changes to our operations and other necessary developments. Updates will be publicised on the practice’s website.

  1. Privacy and websites

Howearth Psychology does not actively collect online or browsing data through our website. Howearth Psychology will collect personal data, provided by you through our website, email and social media pages, only for the purposes of liaising with you or others (with your consent) to arrange or provide psychological services. Howearth Psychology utilises web hosting provided by Siteground.com, whose privacy policy can be found here: https://www.siteground.com/privacy.htm

Clients may make bookings online through our website, which will link through to the Halaxy practice management platform.

  1. Contact details for privacy related issues

Aaron Howearth

E: Info@HowearthPsychlogy.com.au

P: 0467 729 092