Christina Birch (“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.
- We work like a virtual clinic office, collecting and managing personal and medical information provided by you and your psychologist, which naturally includes sensitive health information.
- We collect, use and (where appropriate) share this information, which includes 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.
Your treating psychologist will store: confidential casenotes and information that is not accessible by the provider’s admin team. Your information will be kept in a file that will be seen only by the treating psychologist and will be retained as a record of what happens during
sessions. 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.
- Confidentiality – All personal information gathered by your treating psychologist during the provision of service including what is said in our sessions will remain confidential, except in the following circumstances when we are legally required to do so:
- If the information you have provided, or we have collected is subpoenaed by a court order
- If failure to disclose the information to another party or the authorities, could place you, a child or another person at serious and imminent risk of harm
- Your prior approval has been given to: provide a written report to another professional or agency. eg. (GP or lawyer) or to discuss the material with another person as part of the assessment and therapy progress, it may be helpful for your psychologist to liaise with other people or agencies that are relevant to their therapy goals.
- 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.
- I understand that I am able to view information in my child’s file on the presence of the psychologist , and that the information in this file remains the property of Sunlight Psychology until it is destroyed.
- Neither your “treating psychologist”, or admin “provider”, will provide information, reports or documentation for medico-legal or family court related purposes unless we are required to by law, under a subpoena or by a court order.
- 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 Australian Privacy Principles or clause 5 above. 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 sometimes receives 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.