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Collection, Management and Use of Personal Information
Dr. Maxwell is bound by the legal requirements of the Victorian Health Records Act (2001), Australian Health Privacy Principles, and the Australian Psychological Society Code of Ethics. Client files are stored securely in digital form using practice management software that is compliant with the guidelines above.
Your personal information is gathered in the course of assessment, diagnosis and treatment. The information is retained in order to document what happens during sessions, and enables your psychologist to provide a relevant and informed psychological service. Psychological records are held for a period of 7 years from the last date of client contact before being destroyed, or in the case of a young person, until they are 25 years old.
Information collected during your treatment (personal health information) is only accessible to Dr. Janet Maxwell and her authorised administrative staff (who must also abide by the same rules of confidentiality). Your information remains confidential, except in the following circumstances:
- Your file is subpoenaed by a court;
- Failure to disclose information would put yourself or another person at risk of harm;
- Your approval has been obtained to share information with others.
In addition to this
- if you have been referred by your treating GP, a psychological assessment report and review of therapy report/s will be forwarded to them in the interests of your overall health care management, and in accordance with Medicare guidelines;
- Dr. Maxwell regularly engages in clinical supervision (discussion of clinical work) with other professionals who are bound by the same strict rules of confidentiality. Clinical supervision is an ongoing practice in professional development that supports high quality care.
Your right to access information
Clients have the right to ask to see their information and have a copy of it. All requests to do so must be lodged in writing with the treating psychologist and will be responded to within 10 days. If clarification of the material is needed an appointment will be provided for this. There are restrictions as to what test results may be provided to clients. The copyright provisions attached to some tests impose these restrictions. Your psychologist is bound to comply with these copyright restrictions. If you have a concern about the management of your personal information, please inform Dr. Maxwell.
Making a Complaint
Upon request you can obtain a copy of the National Privacy Principles, which describe your rights and how your information should be handled. Ultimately, if you wish to lodge a formal complaint about the use of, or access to, your personal information, you may do so with the Office of the Federal Privacy Commissioner on 1300 363 992, or GPO Box 5218, Sydney, NSW 1042.