Infertility treatment also requires the expertise of fertility specialists, nurses, scientists, counsellors and administration staff. They may need access to your personal health information to make sure we provide the most appropriate treatment.
This Policy explains what information we collect, how we use or disclose it, how we maintain confidentiality, and how you can access the information if you choose to.
You can discuss any issue relating to the privacy of your information with your doctor or any staff member, at any time.
Hunter IVF fertility specialists and staff collect information that helps us provide the level of advice, care and management you request, or where there is a statutory requirement for collection. This information may include:
- contact details
- relationship status
- medical history
- family medical history
- symptoms, diagnosis and recommended treatment
- Medicare/private health fund details
- billing or account details.
We normally collect this information directly from you, but we may need to get it from other sources – for example, from other medical practitioners, health funds or health providers and, with your consent, from family members.
Use and disclosure of information
To ensure we provide you with the most appropriate treatment, Hunter IVF fertility specialists and staff may use or disclose your personal information. Here are some examples:
- sharing your information within the treatment team
- communicating with the referring medical practitioners
- referrals to other medical practitioners, hospitals or health providers
- referring specimens for analysis
- accounts and billing, including Medicare and private health insurance claims
- managing our practice – including quality assurance, practice accreditation and keeping our records up to date
- complaints and incident handling, and notifications to our insurers
- disclosure, where legally required, to third parties – for example, in response to a court subpoena or for mandatory reporting of specific diseases
- compliance with our regulatory requirements to:
- provide a small sample of case-notes for confidential review as part of annual Code of Practice audits by the national Reproductive Technology Accreditation Committee (RTAC)
- submit a summary to the Australia and New Zealand Assisted Reproduction Database (ANZARD) of every treatment we perform; in these cases, we remove any information that personally identifies you.
We may also use non-identifying information from your medical file for data analysis and research.
Data quality and security
Hunter IVF takes all reasonable steps to ensure the personal information we collect, use, hold or disclose is accurate, complete, up-to-date and relevant to the functions and services we provide.
You can help us achieve this by providing correct and up-to-date information, as described in our Patient Rights and Responsibilities document.
Hunter IVF stores your personal information securely and protects it from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.
Access and correction
In all but a few rare cases, you can access the personal information we hold about you, or ask us to provide it to a third party.
You can ask for this is in writing, with a completed Release Form, which is available on request. There may be an administration fee for this service, and it can take us a minimum of 10 working days to collect the information.
If you feel any of the personal information we hold about you is inaccurate, you should notify us in writing. It is our policy to note your corrections and add them to your records. We don’t erase the original record.
Retention of records
To ensure we comply with regulatory requirements, it is our policy to keep your medical records for at least seven years.