Patient Health Information
Your Health Information
When you become a client of any service provided by Dhelkaya Health, a health record is created.
This will contain primary identification data, contact details, information for billing purposes and information about your condition and treatment. New information is added to your record each time you attend the service.
The information may be stored in our computer system and as a paper record.
Your health record ensures that each health professional involved in your care has all the facts. Your previous care history can help us quickly identify which treatments will likely be safe and effective for you. We rely on the information you give staff to help us provide you with the optimum care and attention.
Withholding relevant information may delay your treatment or put your health at risk.
How is your health information used?
Your health information will be shared among the health professionals in your treating team. All staff at Dhelkaya Health are bound by professional ethics and legal obligations concerning maintaining the confidentiality of your information.
In the future, if you are an admitted inpatient at another health service or in a medical emergency, we will release information about you to facilitate your care if the treating health service asks us. In all other circumstances, our team will seek your written consent before the information is released.
Wherever possible, this information will not identify you. If identification is necessary, our team will seek your permission.
Your health information may be used to:
- Help educate staff
- Help staff review the care they provide to ensure it is of the highest standard
- Plan future services and check that we are running an efficient service
- Study disease patterns or treatments offered
- Inform health research and planning.
How long is your information kept?
Your information is stored securely and can only be accessed by authorised staff. It can only be destroyed per standards set by the Public Records Office of Victoria.
How To Access Your Information
The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) allows people to have access to their health records in most circumstances.
Patients wishing to obtain information are able to do so, subject to certain exemptions, under the FOI Act. It is possible to obtain photocopies or view the original documents via this process.
How do I apply?
All applications must be in writing and contain sufficient detail about the information you are requesting to enable us to identify and locate the relevant documents.
You can apply using our FOI Application Form or you may contact us to obtain a copy of the form.
- If you are applying for information of another living individual aged 18 years or older, the individual concerned must sign a written authorisation.
- If you are applying for information of another living individual aged under 18 years, both parents/legal guardians must provide written authorisation.
- If the individual is deceased, the most senior available next of kin must provide written authorisation.
All applications must be accompanied with certain documented evidence.
Our FOI Application Form provides further detail about required authorisations and what documented evidence must be provided.
How much will it cost?
Under the FOI Act, certain charges apply when requesting access to your information.
- Application fee – $31.80
- Photocopy fee – 20 cents per copy
In accordance with the FOI Act, the application fee must be paid before we can consider your request valid. The application fee is a fixed cost set by the Victorian Government and is non-refundable. The only exception being for people suffering hardship who may request a waiver of the application fee. Further detail on the possibility of the application fee being waivered is provided on our FOI Application Form.
Once your request has been approved, you will be notified of the remaining charges. These charges must be paid prior to the documents being released to you.
In accordance with the FOI Act, we have 30 days to process a FOI request. The time commences when we receive the application fee.
Our Legal Obligations
We are required by law to release information in certain circumstances. These include reporting of specific diseases to databases maintained by the Federal or State Government.
We must also provide medical records to the courts when subpoenaed.
We are also required to report statistical information to the Department of Health and other agencies; no identifying details are included.
My Health Record
My Health Record is an Australian Government initiative to provide a national digital health record.
The My Health Records Act 2012 allows the upload of patient information to the My Health Record system. Your consent is implied for the uploading of clinical information to your My Health Record unless you expressly withdraw this consent. The Act also permits access to the information in your My Health Record by authorised clinicians who are providing your care at Dhelkaya Health.
You can withdraw your consent for the uploading of information by expressing this to your clinician during your admission