This web site and your privacy
Genea Limited greatly respects your privacy. On this web site, there may be forms that ask you to fill in personal details in order for us to contact you. Please be assured that the data collected by these forms will be held in strictest confidence by Genea and used only for internal purposes, such as contacting you with requested follow-up information.
No third party will have access to your details.
The web site may also use "cookies" to anonymously track your use of this site, for the purpose of improving the services we offer online.
If you feel that your privacy has been compromised in any way, or have any questions about how information gathered by this site will be used, please contact Genea via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Privacy Act 1988, amended December 2001
New privacy legislation for the private sector
In Australia , there is now a comprehensive privacy law covering private sector health companies. In an amendment to the Privacy Act 1988 (the 'Privacy Act'), private sector organisations now have an obligation to protect the privacy of individuals' personal information.
Most people consider their health information to be highly personal and Genea has always practiced the utmost discretion with regards to our patients' personal details. We balance this with the legitimate need for health service providers to share information in order to provide quality health care.
This document explains the steps taken by the Genea to keep your information secure, and the rights you have with regards to the information.
Your Genea medical record is established at the commencement of an infertility cycle or on admission into day surgery. When a couple commence a course of treatment, a separate medical record is established for each partner. This allows for changing relationships over time. Information common to both partners (e.g. copies of correspondence) may be photocopied and a copy placed in each file.
Your medical record contains medical, nursing and scientific documentation. It includes any procedure or test carried out at Genea, including day surgery. Details of any embryos produced are kept in the female partner's records.
Medical records are used on a day-to-day basis by our health care professionals to clearly identify and provide an accurate and appropriate level of care to our patients. Scientific data from medical records is also used in our ongoing programs of research and development.
Keeping records accurate, up-to-date and available
Genea uses a unit numbering system. A unique number is issued to each patient at the time of his or her first visit and retained until a medical record number is assigned.
It is important to note that, although your medical record may contain your Medicare number or DVA Card number, we do not use these numbers as a means of identification - a practice which may lead to cross referencing of records and hence an invasion of your privacy. Your Medicare number is used purely to fulfil our reporting obligations to the agency that issued it.
All medical records are kept on site for between 3 and 5 years, depending on available space. After that, they are moved to secure commercial storage off site. However, a printout is maintained in the medical record department and we always know the exact location of the record so files can be provided quickly on request.
All in-patient records are coded at discharge using ICD-10-AM (the International Classification of Diseases and Operations Version 10, Australian Modification) and statistical data supplied to NSW Department of Health. This data is supplied each month and is used to help them track health issues and plan for the future. Note that this is statistical data only and does not provide patient names.
Can you see your record?
Of course - however, we ask two things.
Firstly, that for legal reasons your request be made in writing and addressed to our Quality Assurance Manager.
Secondly, that we have someone sit with you to explain the contents of your file. Medical records can be complicated and very hard for the non-professional to interpret accurately. Having our staff member there ensures you are getting the right perspective. You will need identification (e.g. a valid driver's licence) when you come in.
There are certain rare circumstances (usually when legal action is involved) when you may be refused access to your file. If this is the case, we will provide you with a sound reason for our position.
If there are details within your record that you feel are inaccurate, we will take a note of your changes and add them to your record as an addendum.
If you would like, we can provide you with a photocopy of your record to take away. Patients requesting this service are advised that we have to charge for the time taken to prepare a copy - a charge which can sometimes be as much as $50 for a complete record.
Who has access to your records?
Your medical record is a permanent legal document and we take its security very seriously. Records can only be removed from our premises on a court subpoena, statutory authority, search warrant, coronial summons or similar.
If information is requested by any other third party (e.g. partners, relatives, solicitors, government departments, insurance companies, etc) we insist that it is accompanied by an original written authorisation from the patient that is less than three (3) months old. Photocopies and faxes are not accepted.
All requests are directed to our Chief Operating Officer who will decide on each one and assign a person to prepare a response.
The request is filed in the patient's medical records so they can see who has been asking about them.
The only people who can see your medical record without getting your permission first are the ones who really need it - the health professionals directly involved in your treatment. If you are moved to another facility and your records are needed urgently for your treatment, they will be forwarded to the new organisation without waiting for written consent.
Genea have a range of policies regarding how confidential information should be treated in-house, all in place to protect your privacy from accidental disclosure.
These policies state that: documents containing personal information are not left on desks or workstations where they may be visible to unauthorised persons; patient lists and medical records are covered when travelling in lifts and corridors; patient information is not discussed in areas where it may be overheard; and that computer screens are all turned away from the public and have screen savers to reduce the chance of casual observation.
Making a complaint
If you believe your privacy has been infringed, we ask that you contact our Quality Assurance Manager immediately. Contact details are at the bottom of this page.
The Quality Assurance Manager will assess your complaint and prepare a response. If you are unsatisfied with our response, you have the option to take your complaint to the Federal Privacy Commissioner.
More information about your privacy rights is available on the Internet at www.privacy.gov.au.