As part of providing psychology services your psychologist will need to collect and record personal information relevant to your treatment. This information is kept confidential in line with relevant privacy legislation.
Purpose of Collecting and Retaining Information
Information is gathered as part of the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of each patient’s condition and kept confidential by all practice staff. Information is retained as part of your health record as required by health practitioner standards.
With the exception of certain specific instances described below, you have the absolute right to confidentiality of your information. You are assured that all personal information gathered during the provision of psychological services will remain confidential and secure.
However, it is important to know there are exceptions in which all psychologists are mandated by law to share personal health information. This can occur when:
- The information you have given to your psychologist is subpoenaed by a court of law
- Failure to disclose the information would place you or another person at serious risk of harm
- Your prior approval has been obtained to:
- a) provide a written report to another professional or agency, e.g. a GP or a lawyer; or
- b) discuss the information with another person, e.g. a parent or employer
Exchange of Client Information
There may be times where, as part of the assessment and therapy process, your psychologist needs to liaise with other people or agencies that are relevant to your treatment goals (e.g., your GP, specialist, parent, insurer, etc.). Please note that if you intend to claim rebates from Medicare or another organisation (such as WorkCover or TAC) then your psychologist must provide summary reports to external agencies regarding your treatment progress. Under the Medicare scheme these reports will normally be sent to your GP or psychiatrist.
Accessing your Client Information
You have the right to access your information as prescribed under the Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Act 2000. The psychology services provided are bound by the legal requirements of the National Privacy Principles from the Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Act 2000.