Client records are stored in an electronic document management system (electronic files) and a secure filing cabinet (paper files) which are accessible only to authorised employees. The type of information we keep on file includes personal details, contact details, Medicare and concession card numbers, referral letters, session notes, assessment results, reports, communications and correspondence, and other personal information collected as part of providing the psychological service. Please note that reception staff have access to your client record and paper files, but not to your psychologists’ electronic session notes.
How clients’ personal information is collected
Your personal information is collected in a number of ways including when you complete the Transitional Support intake questionnaire; when you provide information directly to your practitioner (e.g. verbally, via forms, or by written correspondence such as email); when you interact directly with Transitional Support employees such as the receptionist or Practice Manager; and, when other health practitioners or stakeholders (including but not limited to lawyers, school or agency staff) provide personal information to Transitional Support via referrals, correspondence and medical or other reports.
Consequence of not providing personal information
Purpose of holding personal information
Your personal information is gathered and used for the purpose of providing the psychological service you have attended for. The personal information is retained in order to document what happens during sessions and/or to provide psychological reports, and enables the psychologist to provide a relevant and informed psychological service.
Disclosure of personal information
Your personal information will not be disclosed except when:
1. It is subpoenaed by a court; or
2. Failure to disclose the information would in the reasonable belief of Transitional Support practitioners or employees, place you or another person at serious risk to life, health or safety; or
3. Your prior approval has been obtained to:
- provide a written report to another professional or agency, e.g., a GP or a lawyer; or
- discuss the material with another person, e.g. a parent, employer or health provider; or
- disclose the information in another way; or
4. You would reasonably expect your personal information to be disclosed to another professional or agency (e.g. your GP) and disclosure of your personal information to that third party is for a purpose which is directly related to the primary purpose for which your personal information was collected; or
5. Disclosure is otherwise required by law.
Your personal information is not disclosed to overseas recipients, unless you consent or such disclosure is otherwise required by law. Your personal information will not be used, sold, rented or disclosed for any other purpose.
Requests for access and correction to client information
You may request to see and correct the personal information about you kept on file. Your practitioner may discuss the contents with you and/or give you a copy, subject to the exceptions in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth). If satisfied that personal information is inaccurate, out of date or incomplete, reasonable steps will be taken in the circumstances to ensure that this information is corrected. All requests by clients for access to or correction of personal information held about them should be lodged with their Transitional Support practitioner. These requests will be responded to in writing within 28 days and, if necessary, an appointment will be made for clarification purposes.
If you have a concern about the management of your personal information, you may inform your practitioner either verbally or in writing. Upon request you can obtain a copy of the Australian Privacy Principles, which describe your rights and how your personal information should be handled. Ultimately, if you wish to lodge a formal complaint about the use of, disclosure of, or access to, your personal information, you may do so with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner by phone on 1300 363 992, online at http://www.oaic.gov.au/privacy/making-a-privacy-complaint or by post to: Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, GPO Box 5218, Sydney, NSW 2001.