Date reviewed: 17 October 2019
VEI has made this and other material available to patients to inform them of our policies on management of personal information. On request, each clinic will let patients know, generally, what sort of personal information we hold, for what purposes, and how we collect, hold and disclose that information.
‘Personal information’ is any information or an opinion about you where your identity is apparent or can reasonably be ascertained.
‘Health information’ is all identifying “personal information” collected to provide a health service. In the APP’s ‘Health information’ comes under the definition of ‘sensitive information’.
‘Consent’ means ‘expressed consent or implied consent’. The four key elements of consent are:
Note: willingly provided information is usually sufficient to imply consent to collection of information.
‘Expressed consent’ is given explicitly, either orally or in writing.
‘Implied consent’ arises where consent may reasonably be inferred in the circumstances from the conduct of the individual and VEI.
Vision Eye Institute is a provider of health services and therefore, it is necessary for our staff and doctors to collect information from you for us to provide services to you. Your health information can help us identify which course of action is likely to be safe and effective for you and may assist us to make decisions about your treatment and care.
We will only ask you for information where we believe it is necessary for us to know that information in the course of providing our services. Further, we will only collect your health information where some specified requirements are met, including in particular:
If you do not provide us with accurate or complete information when we request it, we may not be able to provide you with a proper level of service.
You have the right to be dealt with anonymously or through use of a pseudonym, provided that this is lawful and practicable. However, in the medical context this is not likely to be practical or possible for Medicare and insurance rebate purposes.
(See also access to information).
Vision Eye Institute collects information which is:
The types of information collected by staff and doctors at Vision Eye Institute generally includes:
As a provider of specialty services, Vision Eye Institute will usually send correspondence to your referring practitioner and/or nominated practitioner following any care or treatment received in one of our facilities. This is in accordance with the generally accepted health industry practice and intended to inform your referrer of information that may be relevant to any ongoing care or treatment provided by them. If at any time your nominated or referring practitioners’ details have changed, please notify our staff so that your records can be updated. While every effort will be made to ensure the security of data transfer you should know that this information may be sent unencrypted.
If you do not wish us to provide your information to your referrer please advise one of our staff so we can make the necessary arrangements.
In addition, we use and disclose your health information for the following purposes:
Vision Eye Institute will take steps to protect patient privacy if information is to be sent interstate or outside Australia and will only transfer your personal information overseas when:
We will only disclose your health information to a third party with your consent, unless:
Vision Eye Institute takes all necessary and reasonable steps to ensure that your personal information is accurate, complete, up to date and secure.
We may store your health information in both hard copy and on computer. The storage, use and where necessary, transfer of personal health information will be undertaken in a secure manner that protects patient privacy. Hard copy information is kept under lock and key. Information stored on computer is password protected. We will keep your health record for a minimum of 7 years after your visit. After that time, if the record is no longer necessary, it will be disposed of securely as required by law.
Some applications used by Vision Eye Institute store data using Cloud services. All health information and patient data is stored on servers hosted within Australia.
If at any time you believe that any of your personal information that we store is not accurate or is out of date, please let us know by contacting the Practice Manager at the clinic you attend. All clinic contact details can be found on our website:
You may request access to your personal information held by Vision Eye Institute. Requests for access should be made in writing. Vision Eye Institute needs to be satisfied that a request for personal information is made by you or by another person who is authorised to make a request on your behalf. An identity document will need to be sighted to verify your identity or, if you are authorising another to access on your behalf, then a letter of authority and confirmation of your identity will be required prior to release of your personal information.
Where necessary, you can also request an amendment to any personal information in your record should you believe that it contains inaccurate information. Such requests should be made in writing. If Vision Eye Institute does not agree to change your personal information in accordance with your request you will be notified and we will permit you to make a statement of the requested changes and we will keep the request with your record.
There are some circumstances in which access is restricted, and in these cases reasons for denying access will be explained.
The clinic acknowledges the right of children to privacy of their health information. Based on the professional judgement of the Doctor and consistent with the law, it might at times be necessary to restrict access to personal health information by parents or guardians.
A fee may be payable where the clinic incurs costs in providing access. If applicable, you will be advised of the fee upon receipt of your request and access will be provided following receipt of payment.
Vision Eye Institute will use our best efforts to take less than 30 days to respond to your request.
Further details relating to medical records is contained within the VEI Health Records Management Policy, a copy of which can be provided to you upon request.
Other information collected and held by Vision Eye Institute includes job applications, personnel files and referrer information. All data collected is considered personal information and will only be used for the purpose for which it was collected or with prior consent from the individual and will be managed in accordance with the APP’s.
You should feel free to discuss any concerns, questions or complaints about issues related to the privacy of personal information with your Doctor or the Complaints Manager of the clinic you attend.
390 St Kilda Road
Melbourne VIC 3004
Ph: (03) 8844 4000
Email: [email protected]
All complaints are managed in accordance with the VEI Feedback Policy, a copy of which can be provided to you upon request.
Under the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act) you can make a complaint to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) about the handling of your personal information.
For details please visit:
We may modify this document at any time at our sole discretion.
IMPORTANT: If you are concerned about your eyes and require an urgent consultation, DO NOT use this form. Please call one of our clinics during office hours or contact your nearest emergency department.