PRIVACY POLICY

This following document sets forth the Privacy Policy for the Pathways Health Management website, www.pathways.com.au.

 

Pathways Health Management is committed to providing you with the best possible customer service experience. Pathways Health Management is bound by the Privacy Act 1988 (Crh), which sets out a number of principles concerning the privacy of individuals.

Pathways Residences is bound by the Australian Privacy principles (APP). Any relevant person wishing to receive more information about the operational aspects of this policy can seek that information from the Group Operations and Quality manager  who is the Privacy Officer for Pathways Residences.

Pathways Residences takes its obligations under the Privacy Act seriously and will take reasonable steps in order to comply with our obligations under the Australian Privacy Principles (APP), as set out in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and the Privacy Amendment (enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012 (Cth) and protect the privacy of the personal information that we hold. This policy sets out how we intend to do so.

The Policy applies to all persons / stakeholders involved in Pathways Residences.

This includes:

  • Residents
  • Prospective employees and current employees
  • Clients, business associates and potential clients and their employees
  • External service providers (medical officers, allied health practitioners/personnel, suppliers and contractors) and their employees

To support the privacy and confidentiality rights of residents, staff and visitors to Pathways Residences, we will meet the requirements of the Surveillance Devices Act 2007 to ensure all resident staff and visitors are informed of and understand the surveillance mechanisms in place and the requirements of the Surveillance Devices Act 2007

To support the privacy and confidentiality rights of residents, staff and visitors to Pathways Residences by meeting the requirements of the Surveillance Devices Act 2007 and to ensure all resident staff and visitors are informed of and understand the surveillance mechanisms in place and the requirements of the Surveillance Devices Act 2007 are met at the facility.

Pathways Residences collects and holds the personal information of residents, employees, volunteers, and contractors. ‘Personal information’ means information we hold about the individual from which their identity is either clear or can be reasonably determined. The personal information we may hold includes the following:

Residents

  • Name
  • Date of Birth, marital status, contact details
  • Country of Birth and whether you are of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin
  • Current address and Next of Kin details
  • Person responsible, e.g. Power of Attorney, Enduring Power of Attorney, Guardian, Trustee, etc.
  • Entitlement details including Medicare, Pension and health care fund
  • Medical history and Family medical history, cultural history, Social history
  • Nursing, medical and allied health information, Clinical information including assessments and monitoring charts, Care Plans, Progress Notes, Pathology results, X-ray results, Medication Charts, Accident and incident forms
  • Financial and Billing information including Income and Asset Notifications, Commonwealth funding information
  • Aged Care Assessment Team Records, Resident Agreements
  • Photographs (for medical purposes such as medication administration)

Employees

  • Name
  • Date of Birth / Country of Birth
  • Address and contact details
  • Details of Next of Kin
  • Occupation
  • Employment history
  • Employment Application Form
  • Citizenship, Passport and/or Visa permit
  • Medical history or fitness for work information
  • Immunisation records
  • Employment References
  • Tax File Number
  • Bank Account Details
  • HR/Personnel Records including Superannuation Fund
  • National Police Certificate (Criminal History Record Check)
  • Workers compensation or injury information
  • Qualifications, Training and Competency records

Volunteers

  • Name
  • Date of Birth / Country of Birth
  • Address and contact details
  • Details of Next of Kin
  • National Police Certificate (Criminal History Record Check)
  • Drivers licence if relevant

Contractors

  • Name, Address and contact details
  • Qualifications, licenses, etc.
  • Contractor Agreement
  • Insurances including Workers Compensation, Professional and Public Liability
  • National Police Certificate (Criminal History Record Check)

Collection of Information

Pathways Residences will only collect information directly from the individual / prospective resident or with consent from their family, for all prospective employees we will collect information from previous employers for reference checks

Personal information may be gathered from forms, telephone calls, faxes, emails, face to face meetings, interviews and assessments
Generally, only personal information is collected if it is necessary to provide health services and to comply with our obligations under Australian law (e.g. tax office obligations, immigration legislation, industrial instruments, etc.) or a court/tribunal order.

Where information is collected from other sources, Pathways Residences will inform the individual that we will hold their personal information. In some circumstances Pathways Residences may be provided with personal information about an individual from a third party, for example a report provided by a medical professional, hospital or a employee reference from another person.

Unsolicited information such as personal information that is not relevant to the functions of the organisation will be ‘de-identified’ or destroyed as soon as practicable.

The potential consequences of not allowing us to collect and hold the required personal information may be that we are unable to:

  • Provide appropriate health care and health services and meet our legislated obligations
  • Meet the individual requirements of the residents.
  • Provide continuing employment to an employee.
  • Continue with the services of a contractor or volunteer.

Why data is collected

Pathways Residences will only collect information if it is necessary. When we do so we will take reasonable steps to inform the individual on what it will be used for. In most cases we will only collect information directly from the individual. If information is collected from someone else, we will take reasonable steps to inform the individual. All information collected is strictly for the use of Pathways Residences.

Personal information is collected by Pathways Residences in accordance with this Collection Statement and our obligations under State and Federal legislation.

Other information collected concerning employees is collected to ensure compliance with tax office obligations and obligations under industrial instruments and the like.

The large majority of personal information collected on behalf of residents is collected to comply with State and Federal legislation for both care and funding responsibilities; and

  • To conduct our business
  • To provide and market our services
  • To communicate with you
  • To purchase from you and to help us manage and enhance our services.
  • Assessing suitability for a position or contract or service agreement
  • Assessing your suitability for a residential aged care facility vacancy
  • Processing payments

Use and Disclosure

Pathways Residences may use and disclose your personal information for the primary purpose for which it is collected, for reasonably expected secondary purposes which are related to the primary purposes and in other circumstances authorised by the Privacy Act.

When Pathways Residences collects personal information, we will take reasonable steps to try to identify the circumstances that will inform you (the resident, employee or external service provider) of the circumstances and give you a reasonable explanation about the purpose of collection.
Pathways Residences take reasonable steps to ensure that such recipients (as indicated above) respect the confidentiality of this information by abiding by the APPs.

All information collected is strictly for the use of Pathways Residences.
Personal information may be disclosed if we:

  • Are required or authorised by Australian law or a court/tribunal order
  • Reasonably believe that the disclosure is necessary to lessen or prevent a serious or imminent threat to an individual’s life, health or safety, or a serious threat to public health or safety
  • Have reason to believe that an unlawful activity has been, is being, or may be engaged in

Personal information may be disclosed to other persons as part of the provision of health services, including:

  • Other health care professionals that are or may be involved in the care of residents or employees including general practitioners, hospitals, and other allied health providers
  • Other external agencies that we have contracts with to provide services to residents and employees on our behalf. In circumstances where this is necessary, these external agencies are required to provide confirmation of their compliance with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth)
  • Funding bodies and other government agencies as required by Commonwealth and State legislation
  • The person designated by the customer as the “person responsible” for giving and accessing their information

If it is necessary to transfer personal information to someone overseas, we will comply with this policy and the APPs, and take reasonable steps to ensure that the recipient does not breach the APPs in relation to that information.

Personal information relating to residents and employees will not be used for other purposes such as fundraising or direct marketing activities without seeking written consent of the resident or the “person responsible” for the resident.

Residents, representatives and visitors must also maintain the privacy of other residents living in the home. Protocols in the facility will also reinforce this requirement, for e.g. not providing information to a resident or a (visitor) without the resident’s consent.

Security and Storage of personal Information

The APPs, require us to take reasonable steps to protect the security of the personal information that we hold from misuse, loose, unauthorised access, modifications or disclosure. This includes appropriate measures to protect electronic materials and materials stored and generated in hard copy.

Pathways Residences personnel are required to respect the confidentiality of personal information and the privacy of individuals. We will hold all personal information in a secure and confidential manner and take all reasonable steps to ensure personal information is secure (e.g. all computers have password access, and personal information is kept in secure areas).

All of our electronic systems that hold personal information have up to date security protection systems. These are reviewed on a regular basis and tested to ensure they are efficient and able to meet any potential “interference” that might occur.

Staff who have access to personal information are provided with education and information about their obligations concerning confidentiality of personal information and the privacy of individuals.

Pathways will ensure secure disposal of electronic and paper-based records.

Where we no longer require your personal information for a permitted purpose under the APPs, we will take reasonable steps to destroy it.

Accessing personal information

Subject to the exceptions set out in the Privacy Act, Pathways Residences will take all reasonable steps to provide access to the personal information that we hold within a reasonable period of time in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles.

Subject to the exceptions set out in the Privacy Act, an individual may request to gain access to their personal information held by Pathways Residences by applying in writing to the Executive Manager of the facility you are associated with. Prior to disclosing any information, the Executive Manager is to refer to the Group Operations and Quality Manager. Information will not be disclosed to any outside bodies or individuals unless we are legally bound to do so.

We may not provide access to the personal information we hold about an individual when:

  • Release of the personal information would be unlawful
  • The information may be subject to legal proceedings
  • Release of the personal information would pose a serious threat to the life, health or safety of an individual or to public health or public safety
  • Release is likely to have an unreasonable impact upon the privacy of other individuals
  • The information could compromise our business operations
  • The request is assessed as vexatious or frivolous Pathways will provide reasons for denying or refusing access to personal information in writing. This correspondence will include information concerning the mechanisms for lodging a complaint.

Surveillance

Any devices in use will be supplied by the facility. Staff are advised and supported to not use personal devices for surveillance. Staff are encouraged to report any matters of concern relating to the delivery of care and services to the Executive Manager or Care Manager
Any surveillance material stored electronically will be archived and destroyed as per policy.

Listening devices will not be used at our service other than to record a conversation or meeting to which all parties consent, expressly or impliedly, to the listening device being used. Permission to use the device must be documented at the commencement of the meeting and stored with minutes of the meeting.

Optical surveillance devices

Cameras will only be used with the consent of a resident or staff member. The camera will be a device supplied by the facility. Personal cameras are not to be used under any circumstances. Examples of approved camera use may include: recording of clinical progress, e.g. wound healing or recording of social events for publishing in a newsletter. CCTV is installed at the facility and signage is installed to advise all visitors to the service of the use of this device. CCTV is installed in common areas only excluding bathrooms and change rooms.

Safety Tracking devices –such as alert bands or anklets will only be used with the consent of the resident or their legal representative. Management will discuss the use of this device with the resident or representative and will record this conversation in progress notes and in the care plan.

Quality and Correction of Personal Information

Pathways will take all reasonable steps to ensure that the personal information we collect, use, hold, or disclose is accurate, complete and up to date. Individuals may request that personal information we hold is corrected if it is inaccurate, out of date, incomplete, irrelevant or misleading. Pathways Residences will take all reasonable steps to correct the personal information we hold.

Pathways Residences will provide reasons for not complying with requests to correct personal information in writing.

Notifiable data Breach and loss of personal information

In the event of loss of personal information, we will:

  • Inform the affected individual(s) where appropriate and possible so that individuals have the opportunity to take steps to protect their personal information after a data breach
  • Seek to identify and secure the breach to prevent further breaches
  • Assess the nature and severity of the breach
  • Commence an internal investigation in relation to the breach
  • Report the breach to police where criminal activity is suspected
  • Notify the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner if the data breach is likely to cause serious harm under the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme inform the affected individual(s) where appropriate and possible so that individuals have the opportunity to take steps to protect their personal information after a data breach.

Privacy Breaches and Reviews

Where a person believes that a breach of this policy or the Privacy Act has occurred, it should be referred to the Group Operations and Quality Manager in writing. If you have any complaints about our privacy practices or wish to make a complaint about how your personal information is managed, please contact the Group Operations and Quality Manager to request an internal review. This application should be made within six months from the time the applicant became aware of the alleged breach or inappropriate disclosure. All complaints will be dealt with confidentially and promptly. Residents, families, friends or staff who have complaints about how Pathways Residences have dealt with personal information may apply for an internal review.

Applications for an internal review may concern conduct a person believes is:

  • A breach in information protection procedure.
  • A breach in the code.
  • An inappropriate disclosure by us of personal information.

Application for the internal review should be made in writing to the Group Operations and Quality Manager. This application should be made within six months from the time the applicant became aware of the alleged breach or inappropriate disclosure.

Refusal to provide information

You are not obliged to give us your personal information. However, if you choose not to provide Pathways Residences with personal details we may not be able to provide accommodation for a resident, a position of employment or service agreement in our facilities. It may also restrict our ability to assist you in accessing some other services.

You can obtain further general information about your privacy rights and privacy law from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner by:

  • Calling their Privacy Hotline on 1300 363 992
  • Visiting their web site at www.oaic.gov.au
  • Emailing: enquiries@oaic.gov.au
  • Writing to: The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 200