Privacy of Patient Information
We collect personal information so that we can provide your child with treatment and advice. Test results and further information collected while your child is being treated is kept with your medical record. We only collect information that is relevant and necessary for your child's treatment and to manage the health service.
While each Area Health Service facility maintains is own paper-based medical record, some of the information stored electronically is linked on an Area basis.
We collect information directly from you, wherever possible. We may need to collect information from other health professionals who have treated your child. In an emergency we may also need to collect information from a family member, friend, carer or other person who can help us to provide your child with the best care.
Your child's information may be held in paper or electronic files , including visual image and audio formats. We will take all reasonable steps to ensure the information we collect about your child is stored securely. We are required by law to retain medical records for certain periods of time depending on the type of record and facility. We have appropriate systems and policies in place to protect your child's information from loss, unauthorised access and misuse.
If you do not wish for us to collect certain information about your child, you need to tell us and we will discuss with you any consequences this may have for your child's health care.
Use and disclosure
We will use or disclose your information for purposes directly related to your child's treatment, and in ways that you would reasonably expect for your child's ongoing care. This may include the transfer of relevant information to your nominated GP, to the Ambulance Service, to another treating health service or hospital, to a specialist for a referral, for pathology tests, x-rays, and so on.
We are required to disclose some patient information to State and Commonwealth government agencies to comply with laws regarding the reporting of notifiable diseases and statistics, for example, the registering of births & deaths. Your personal information may be required as evidence in court when subpoenaed.
We may use or disclose patient information for billing, statutory reporting and other purposes required for the operation of the NSW health service, including safety and quality improvement initiatives and billing. For example, where relevant, we may need to disclose patient information to Medicare, private health funds, or NSW Health under the Public Health Act.
We may use your information to contact you regarding patient satisfaction surveys that help us to evaluate and improve our services.
We may use or disclose your information for the following purposes in accordance with Statutory Guidelines issued under privacy law:
- for public interest research projects complying with strict protocols and approved by a Human Research & Ethics Committee
- for staff and student training purposes,
- for other planning, financial or management purposes for health service activities
The Statutory Guidelines ensure that where your information is needed for these purposes and it is impracticable to seek your consent, a minimum amount of personal information is used, and the personal information is handled in accordance with strict standards.
We will seek your consent prior to the use or disclosure of patient information for purposes other than those listed above, such as for fundraising activities.
Access to your child's information
You are entitled to request access to all personal information including your medical record held by The Children's Hospital at Westmead or your child's record if you are the legal guardian. Normally you will be asked to apply for access in writing and provide identification. You will be charged a search and processing fee if you request copies of your personal information or medical record. You are also entitled to view your medical record and must contact the medical record department to do so. A Health Information Manager or a clinician must be present for this.
Requests for non-personal information must be made under the Government Information Open Access (GIPA) Act 2010. Further information on GIPA
Access to your personal information may be declined in special circumstances, such as where giving access would put you or another person at risk of harm.
If you believe the information we hold about you is incorrect and an error has been made, please contact the Medical Records Department on (02) 9845 2356.
Requests for access to or correction of your medical record should be addressed to the Medical Record Department.
Key Privacy Resources
Other Privacy resources that may be use to you:
Information regarding patient privacy is also available in other languages.
For information relating to The Children's Hospital at Westmead's compliance with privacy law, please refer to the following documents:
The Privacy Acts and related legislation and links are listed below:
If you have a complaint relating to your privacy on the grounds that you believe a health services provider has contravened an Information Protection Principle or Health Privacy Principle, you may wish to request an internal review to be carried out by The Children's Hospital at Westmead.
Please contact the Privacy Contact Officer for The Children's Hospital at Westmead on the number below.
If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of the internal review, you may lodge an appeal with the Administrative decisions Tribunal, who will further investigate your complaint.
For further information:
- Contact the Privacy Contact officer (details below)
- Contact the Office of the NSW Privacy Commissioner on telephone (02) 8868 8585 or go to the Privacy NSW website
If you have questions or a complaint about the privacy of your personal information, please contact:
Privacy Contact Officer
Medical Records Department
Locked Bag 4001
Westmead NSW 2145
Phone (02) 9845 2356
This document was updated on Monday, 15 April 2013.