Protection of your privacy and personal information
What personal information does Sydney Counselling Centre collect?
How Sydney Counselling Centre collects personal information
We collect your information in the following ways:
during conversations with you, over the phone and/or face to face
through your use of our website
from your referring doctor or any other persons/entities that have referred you
when you complete our forms and paperwork
We will collect personal and health information directly from you wherever reasonably practicable. However, sometimes we may obtain health information about you from your referring doctor, or any other persons/entities that have referred you. Sometimes we may obtain health information about you from your partner or family member when it is not practicable to obtain it from you. If this ever happens we will always confirm that information with you as soon as possible.
Collection of non-identifiable information
Why Sydney Counselling Centre collects, uses and discloses personal information
billing for your use of our services;
administering your use of our services or benefits;
doing anything we are required to do by law or on the direction of a relevant authority, including to assist in connection with legal proceedings, crime or fraud protection, detection and prosecution;
informing you about problems with our services or benefits;
informing you about ways our services or benefits, or your use of our services or benefits, can be improved;
reviewing and improving our services or benefits;
providing you with marketing and promotional material, including by direct marketing providing you with information about other services, including services provided by our commercial associates (unless you tell us that you opt-out of the use of your personal information for these purposes, as detailed below);
complying with our obligations as a provider for DEEWR
protecting the safety of you or any member of the public, for example, to avoid an imminent threat to a person’s life.
We may also disclose your personal information to third parties who work with us in our business including, without limitation, any of our commercial associates, suppliers and business partners, agents, consultants, professional advisers to help provide, promote or improve the services or benefits we provide, or where authorised or required to do so by law. Sydney Counselling Centre may also disclose personal information in circumstances where it is authorised or required to do so by law, and in circumstances where we consider it is appropriate to do so in order to ensure laws are complied with, for example, to reduce the occurrence of fraud.
What is ‘health information’?
Sydney Counselling Centre is a provider of health services. ‘Health information’ is a highly sensitive type of personal information and is subject to further protection as it contains more private and comprehensive details about an individual. Health information is personal information or an opinion about: a person’s physical or mental health or disability a person’s express wishes about the future provision of health services for themselves a health service provided, or to be provided to a person ‘Health information’ includes your personal information. Once you are a client of Sydney Counselling Centre (or if we have collected health information about you), we also treat your personal information as ‘health information’.
What ‘health information’ do we collect and hold?
Health information that we collect may include:
your medical history
your family’s medical history
you and your partner’s ethnicity
your relationship status and history
any additional information obtained throughout the course of your treatment
If you become a client of Sydney Counselling Centre your health information will be held in your client records. This is comprised of both hard copy and electronic records and will be established at the point of initial contact.
For what purposes do we collect, hold, and use your personal and health information?
Your personal and health information is collected and used to ensure you can be informed about the services that we provide, that you receive the best possible care if you become a client of Sydney Counselling Centre, and for us to manage the health services we provide to you effectively. It will also be used to:
send communications (including results) to you and your referring/treating doctors
provide information and advice
conduct business processing functions
update our records and keep your contact details up to date
respond to any complaint made by you
comply with any law, rule, regulation, lawful and binding determination, decision or direction of a regulator, or in co-operation with any governmental authority.
It will also be used internally for the administrative, marketing, planning, product or service development, quality control and research purposes of Sydney Counselling Centre.
What happens if we can’t collect your personal or health information?
If any of the personal or health information you provide is not accurate or complete, or you choose not to provide us with your personal information, it may detrimentally affect the services that we provide or we may be unable to provide you with our services at all.
Keeping records accurate and secure
Sydney Counselling Centre will take all reasonable steps to ensure your information is protected from misuse and loss and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. We will hold your health information across both electronic and hard copy form and information is destroyed or de-identified when no longer needed and when the legislative period relevant to medical records has expired. We have an internal policy with respect to how confidential information will be treated in-house to protect your privacy from accidental disclosure. They include the following directives that:
only employees who have a need to view your file will do so
documents containing personal information are not left on desks or workstations where they may be visible to unauthorised persons
client lists and medical records are covered when travelling in lifts and corridors
client information is not discussed in public areas where it may be overheard
computer screens are all turned away from the public and have screen savers to reduce the chance of casual observation
Sydney Counselling Centre has in place the following IT protection:
our merchant facility is Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant and security is provided by the participating financial institution
we take appropriate steps to ensure the operation and effectiveness of our Information Technology (IT) security measures in order that they remain responsive to changing threats and other issues that may impact the security of your personal or health information.
As our website and email is linked to the internet, and the internet and email transmitted over it is inherently insecure, we cannot provide assurance regarding the security of transmission of information you communicate to us on-line or via email. We also cannot guarantee that the information you supply will not be intercepted while being transmitted. Accordingly, any information which you transmit to us online or via email is transmitted at your own risk.
To whom may we disclose your information?
We may disclose your personal and health information to our employees, contractors and service providers for the purposes of us providing the health service to you and managing our business. We may also disclose your personal and health information to healthcare professionals directly involved in your treatment. However, if you are hospitalised as a result of your treatment and your records are needed urgently, they will be forwarded to the relevant medical professional without waiting for written consent.
Health information may also be provided to third parties if we are legally obliged to do so by a court subpoena, statutory authority, search warrant, coronial summons or to defend a legal action. If information is requested by a third party connected to you it must be accompanied by an original written authorisation from you to release that information.
There may be instances where mailing houses, couriers, payment processors, data entry services providers, electronic network administrators and debt collectors are be provided with some of your personal details. They will never have access to your treatment information.
Your personal and health information will never be disclosed other than as described in this policy.
How can you access and correct your personal information?
You may request access to any information we hold about you at any time. Where we hold information about you that you are entitled to access, we will provide you with suitable means of accessing it. We will not charge you for making the request. In circumstances where you request a copy there may be a minimum fee of $25.00 to cover our administrative costs.
There may be instances where we cannot grant you access to some of the information we hold. For example, we may need to refuse access if granting access would interfere with the privacy of others. If that is the case, we will provide you with a written explanation of those reasons.
If you believe that the information we hold about you is incorrect, incomplete or inaccurate, then you may request us to amend it. We will consider if the information requires amendment and amend it if we conclude that it requires amendment. If we do not agree that there are grounds for amendment then we will add a note to the information stating that you disagree with it.
We may contact you directly or send you communications and information about our services that we consider may be of interest to you. These communications may be sent in various forms, including mail, phone and email, in accordance with applicable marketing laws. If you indicate a preference for a method of communication, we will use that method of communication. In addition, at any time you may opt-out of receiving communications from us by contacting us (see the details below) or by using opt-out facilities provided in the communication and we will the ensure that your name is removed from our mailing list. We will not provide your personal information to other organisations for the purposes of such communications.
Do we disclose your personal information to anyone outside Australia?
No personal or health information is disclosed to parties outside Australia except in circumstances where you request and consent to its release.
How to contact us or make a Privacy Complaint
PO Box 5260
CHATSWOOD NSW 1515