Privacy Information for Patients

Our Obligations

We are committed to treating your personal information in accordance with privacy law.

The leaflet below explains how and why we collect personal information about you, how you can access your information and how your information may be used within the health service or disclosed to other parties.

Collection of your personal information

We collect information directly from you wherever possible.  If this is not possible, or 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 you with appropriate health care.

Security of information collected

Your information may be held in a variety of ways.  Most commonly, your information may be held as a paper medical record, and/ or an electronic medical record forming part of a secure computerised database.  Some information may also be held in the form of an image including xray or photograph, or as an audio or video recording.  We follow strict rules and policies regarding the secure storage of personal information in all formats in order to protect your information from unauthorised access, loss or other misuse.

Use or Disclosure of information

Your personal health information held either in paper or electronic format may be used by the NSW public health service, or disclosed outside the health service, to enable appropriate care and treatment to be provided to you.  For example, your information may be used or disclosed as follows:

  • to other treating health services, hospitals or medical specialists involved in your care and treatment
  • to your nominated GP, including information provided with your discharge referral documents
  • to contact you at home regarding follow-up appointments
  • to your carer to assist them with your care
  • to the Ambulance Service of NSW
  • to process pathology tests, x-rays, and so on
  • to contact you for feedback on the services you have received from us to help us evaluate and improve our services
  • for billing and debt recovery
  • to pastoral care workers, including hospital chaplains, providing spiritual and pastoral care
  • to students and other staff for training purposes
  • to other health services and authorised third parties to help prevent a serious and imminent threat to someone’s life, health or welfare, such as in an emergency
  • to claims managers and associated persons for the purpose of managing a complaint, legal action, or claim brought against the health service or a treating
    health professional
  • for purposes relating to the operation of the NSW health service and treatment of our patients, including funding, planning, safety and quality improvement activities

NSW HealtheNet

HealtheNet is a secure state-wide electronic record used by the NSW public health service.  HealtheNet contains a summary of your health information, for example, your discharge summaries, pathology and diagnostic test results and medication information.  If you attend a public health service anywhere in NSW, in most cases this summary information will be available to your treating clinical staff via HealtheNet.

My Health Record

My Health Record is Australia’s national digital health record system.  All Australians have a My Health Record, unless they choose not to have one.

My Health Record provides you with an online summary of your health information.  This summary information comes directly from the participating health services you have attended in Australia.  For example, if you have attended a NSW public health service, a summary of your health information will be sent to your My Health Record, if you have one.

If you have a My Health Record, but do not wish for your information from a particular doctor’s appointment or hospital visit to be included in your My Health Record, you must inform the health provider at the beginning of your visit.

It is important to note that if you restrict access to My Health Record, these restrictions are confined to My Health Record.  Your treating clinicians will continue to have access to your health information in local medical record systems as part of your care.

For further information about My Health Record, telephone 1800 723 471, or go to: www.myhealthrecord.gov.au

Access to your information

You are entitled to request access to all personal information including your medical record held by health services in NSW Normally you will be asked to apply for access in writing and provide identification.  You may be charged a fee if you request copies of your personal information or medical record.

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 mental or physical harm.

If you believe the information we hold about you is incorrect or an error has been made, please let us know and we will correct it or add a notation to
your medical record.

Requests for access to your medical record should be addressed either to the Medical Records Department or to the manager of the health service facility you attended.

If you have questions or a complaint about the privacy of your personal information, please contact:

The Privacy Contact Officer
Phone 02 6589 2230

Download our Privacy leaflet