Renee Goosen (“your treating psychologist”) and Changes Psychology (the admin service “provider”) take your privacy seriously. This document describes the management of the information you disclose to your treating psychologist in relation to yourself or the person under 18 that you are bringing to therapy. Therapy addresses issues of a highly personal nature and it is important that you understand your rights with regard to your records and personal information collected.
PURPOSE OF COLLECTING AND HOLDING INFORMATION
Your personal information is gathered as part of your assessment and treatment, is kept securely and, in the interests of your privacy, used only by your psychologist and the authorised provider of the practice (as necessary). Your personal information is retained in order to document what happens during sessions, and enables the psychologist to provide a relevant and informed psychological service to you. The provider collects and manages personal and medical information provided by you and your psychologist, which naturally includes sensitive health information in order to facilitate appointments with psychologists; manage payment, medicare and insurance claims; and manage records regarding your appointments. Handling of personal information involves storage and processing of some data overseas via offshore data centres (i.e used by our software providers)
Written consent for liaison with a third party is essential. As required by law, your file will be securely stored for 7 years (or if you are under 18 years old, your file must be kept until you turn 25). After this time it will be destroyed in a confidential manner.
All personal information gathered by your treating psychologist during the provision of service including what is said in session will remain confidential except when:
- It is subpoenaed by a court of law; or failure to disclose the information would in the reasonable belief of the psychologist place you or another person at serious risk to life, health or safety; or your prior written consent has been obtained to provide or receive information from another professional or agency, such as your child’s school, GP, paediatrician, legal representative, or relevant government department.
- If you are are claiming Medicare rebates or having sessions paid for by another organisation, then your psychologist may be required to provide summary reports to external agencies regarding your treatment progress. Under the Medicare scheme these summary progress reports are mandatory if you want to claim a Medicare rebate and will normally be sent to your referring GP, paediatrician or psychiatrist.
- Neither your treating Psychologist, or admin provider, will provide information, reports or documentation for medico-legal or family court related purposes unless we required to by law, under a subpoena or by a court order. Your personal information will not be used, sold, rented or disclosed for any other purpose.
- Access to your or a child’s information – You may access the material recorded in your file upon request, subject to the exceptions in the National Privacy Principle. You must provide a written request to access your information and your request will be processed within 21 days and an hourly fee is payable to collate and provide this information to you. If the information request is in relation to a person under 18, and you are not the person who initiated and paid for their therapy sessions, we would also require confirmation from the parent or guardian that initiated their treatment before releasing the information to ensure we meet the requirements of the National Privacy Policies.
- As part of professional practice as a psychologist, your treating psychologist may receive supervision from a senior clinician, which involves discussing treatment plans and information about current clients to improve their clinical practice and ensure clients receive quality treatment. In this context, some aspects of your treatment may be discussed. However this will be done in confidence and your personal identity will not be disclosed.