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Privacy and managing health information in general practice

Privacy considerations

This list of considerations should be used as a guide only, and does not exhaustively describe the complete list of activities that should be undertaken when assessing privacy measures within your practice. Each privacy consideration has explanatory notes to guide you on what information should be included to address each question. The privacy considerations list is to help your practice:

  • determine its level of compliance to the laws governing health information
  • assess, achieve and maintain good privacy practice
  • identify areas requiring practice innovation and improvements, and get  appropriate assistance where necessary.
List of considerations

Table 1.

This list of considerations should be used as a guide only, and does not exhaustively describe the complete list of activities that should be undertaken when assessing privacy measures within your practice. 
  1. National Health and Medical Research Council, Australian Research Council, Australian Vice-Chancellors’ Committee. National statement on ethical conduct in human research (2007) (updated May 2015). Canberra: NHMRC, 2015. [Accessed 4 April 2017].
  2. Commonwealth of Australia. Privacy Act 1988. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia, 1988. [Accessed 4 April 2017].
  3. Office of the Australian Information Commissioner. Australian Privacy Principles guidelines: Privacy Act 1988. Canberra: OAIC, 2015. [Accessed 4 April 2017].
  4. Office of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel Victoria. Health Records Act 2001. Melbourne: OCPC, 2001. E52D30DC34D78CA2580B8001878C3/$FILE/01-2aa033%20authorised.pdf [Accessed 4 April 2017].
  5. NSW Parliamentary Counsel’s Office. Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002. Sydney: PCO, 2002. [Accessed 4 April 2017].
  6. ACT Parliamentary Counsel’s Office. Health Records (Privacy and Access) Act 1997. Canberra: PCO, 1997. [Accessed 4 April 2017].
  7. Medical Board of Australia. Good medical practice: A code of conduct for doctors in Australia. Melbourne: Medical Board of Australia, 2014. [Accessed 4 April 2017].
  8. Office of the Australian Information Commissioner. Business resource: Collecting, using and disclosing health information for research (draft). Canberra: OAIC, 2015. business-resource-collecting-using-and-disclosing-health-information-for-research [Accessed 21 April 2017].
  9. Office of the Australian Information Commissioner. Business resource: Using and disclosing patients’ health information (draft). Canberra: OAIC, 2015. [Accessed 5 April 2017].
  10. Australian Medical Association. Frequently Asked Questions – Fees. Canberra: AMA, [date unknown]. [Accessed 5 April 2017].
  11. Office of the Australian Information Commissioner. What happens if I sell my small business including a customer database? Canberra: OAIC, [date unknown]. what-happens-if-i-sell-my-small-business-including-a-customer-database [Accessed 5 April 2017].
  12. National Health and Medical Research Council. Use and disclosure of genetic information to a patient’s genetic relatives under Section 95AA of the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) – Guidelines for health practitioners in the private sector. Canberra: NHMRC, 2014. [Accessed 5 April 2017].
  13. Office of the Australian Information Commissioner. Guide to securing personal information. Canberra: OAIC, 2015. [Accessed 5 April 2017].
  14. Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. Social media policy. Canberra: AHPRA, 2014. [Accessed 5 April 2017].
  15. Department of Health and Ageing, Therapeutic Goods Administration. The Australian clinical trial handbook. Canberra: TGA, 2006. [Accessed 5 April 2017].