This policy has been developed to assure that information gathered by your therapist over the course of assessment and treatment at the Essentia Health Clinic is used in an appropriate, secure manner, and to provide for access to, and correction of such information.
Essentia Health’s Commitment to Privacy & Client Rights
How to contact us about privacy
Over the course of treatment at Essentia Health, information is gathered allowing our mental health practitioners to make informed professional decisions as to the most appropriate assessment and treatment methods to be used in your care. This information can include demographic data (e.g. name, date of birth, address, etc), as well as other information that is deemed relevant.
Other relevant information will usually include the following:
The nature of the problem for which you are presenting;
Areas of behaviour related to the presenting problems;
A history of the presenting problem;
A family history of relevant information; and
Other information deemed necessary to make an informed clinical judgment about the nature of the presenting complaint and other relevant factors
Confidentiality of information Generally, all information gathered over the course of assessment and treatment at Essentia Health remains confidential. There are several notable exceptions to this confidentiality:
- All mental health practitioners at Essentia Health discuss caseload with an experienced mental health practitioner in a supervisory relationship. Information on the nature of the case (though not necessarily full identifying information) is shared with the supervisor;
- In the event that the mental health practitioner forms the professional opinion that either the client, or another individual is a risk for significant harm, a moral and legal obligation may exist to act on this information with the aim of preventing such harm;
- In the event that a file is subpoenaed to court;
In the event that a written Record Release Authority is provided with the client’s signature.
Use of information
Information gathered by Essentia Health is used exclusively for two purposes:
• Purpose 1: For the formation of a professional mental health practitioner’s opinion which is used to guide assessment and treatment for the presenting complaint; and
• Purpose 2: For the evaluation of the service provided by Essentia Health, through the collation of detailed statistics about referral sources, nature of presenting problems, attendance durations, etc. In all cases where information is used for statistical purposes, no identifying information is made available.
Security of information
We have processes in place to ensure the security of all electronically stored personal information, including encryption of all data, when it is transferred to our service providers and limitations on access to personal information within our organisation.
No hard copy of client information is kept by Essentia Health. Any hardcopy information provided to our administrative staff or mental health practitioners is scanned into our electronic medical records and then shredded before being disposed of confidentially. In some cases, storage of your electronic information is stored by way of a third-party secure electronic medical record service meaning that your information may not be stored in Australia. By undertaking mental health services through Essentia Health, you are taken to have consented to the overseas storage of your personal information by the before mentioned means.
Requests for information may be made to the Executive Director, Essentia Health, Level 1, 115 Scarborough St Southport, QLD 4215. Requests should be specific as to the exact information required and should be acknowledged within 14 days in writing. Once a request for information is received, the Clinic Director will conduct a thorough review of the electronic medical record and collate the information in an appropriate manner to ensure adequate and full understanding on the part of the requesting person.
Procedure for complaint/rectifying information
Official complaints or requests to change inaccurate or erroneous information should be made to the Executive Director, Essentia Health, Level 1, 115 Scarborough St Southport, QLD 4215. In such cases the Executive Director will conduct a review of the information held by the Clinic and make every effort to ensure that such information is accurate.
This document should be freely available, and accessible on request by all staff and clients of the Essentia Health Clinic. Its availability should be announced in a prominent location and discussed with each client during their initial session.
All Correspondence Regarding this Document can be Directed to each individual practitioner and:
Level 1, 115 Scarborough St Southport QLD 4215