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Protecting your privacy

Swann Dentistry aims to provide the highest standard of care for its patients. As such, our dentists and staff are committed to protecting your privacy and the confidentiality of the information we collect you, including personal information, your medical history, our advice, and treatments given to you.

If you want to know more about our Privacy Policy, you may ask your dentist or one of our reception staff.

Privacy Act 1988 and Privacy Act 2002 (NSW)

Our practice complies with the Commonwealth, State and Territory privacy laws, otherwise known as Privacy Act 1988 (Commonwealth privacy law) and Privacy Act 2002 (NSW) [State/Territory law]. Under these laws, we are bound by law to follow a set of privacy Principles. A copy of these Principles can be provided by our reception staff upon request.

Collection of information

Collecting personal information helps us provide quality care for patients. As such, we obtain, record, and keep information about you,, your medical history, our advice, and treatments given to you. This information includes:

  • Personal details (name, address, birth date, contact details, family details, health fund membership or insurer, where applicable)

  • Your Medicard number, Medicard issued and your Medicare issued individual health identifier

  • Your personal electronic health records

  • Your dental history and other relevant health information

  • Notes from previous dental consultations

  • X-rays, images and other electronic records of your dental health and treatments provided

  • Referrals to other dental service providers

  • Results and reports from other dental and health service providers

Generally, we will collect this information directly from you (and where required for your dental care, your family members or carer) or from your oral health professionals and health services who have been treating you. If we need to get information from other persons, we will ask your permission to do so. We may need to contact your health fund or other insurer to confirm your insurance coverage.

We may collect this information through a variety of ways including completing of forms, telephone, email, SMS or fax. You may also provide this information to us through our website, an ipad or tablet or a mobile phone or other device ‘app’.

Our practice participates in the national electronic health record system to ensure that you and your other treating health professionals have access to up to date information wherever you are treated. This requires that we also store your Medicare issued unique identifier. If you have a personal electronic health record please let us know.

Due to legislative requirements or a court order (e.g. subpoena), we may be required to disclose information about to you to regulators, law enforcement bodies or other parties without your prior knowledge or consent. Subject to any legal constraints, we will use reasonable steps to let you know of these requests.

We may also use the contact information you provide to periodically send you promotional SMS or emails to inform you of services and other dental or health improvement products or services that we feel are relevant to your dental health or we think may be of interest to you. If you do not want to receive this information, please let us know.

We take the necessary measures to protect the security of your personal and medical records. This includes protection against unauthorised access, virus or other electronic breaches, fire, theft or loss. Your electronic records are protected by a security password. Your paper records are kept in secure filing cabinets, accessible only by practice staff. As part of their contract with us, our staff are bound by strict requirements regarding protection of the privacy and confidentiality of your dental records.

All your records at our practice are stored in electronic systems under our own control.

As a client of this practice you have the rights of access to the information we hold about you. Should you request to access this information, we refer you to our handout entitled ‘Accessing Your Dental Record’. Applicable fees may be involved to obtain copies of this information to you.

As part of our commitment to improving the quality of our dental services, we may participate in research programs, professional development and other educational activities. We may use the information we hold about you to assist with this research and education. However, this information will not identify you unless we have received your agreement to do so or the research study has been approved by a research ethics committee that complies with the National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines and applicable privacy law.

We will keep your dental records after you cease to be a patient of the practice. This is to enable us to provide information to your future dentist if required and for medicolegal reasons. Legislation also requires us to keep your records for a number of years after you cease to be a patient of the practice.

If you, at any time, should have a question or concern regarding our privacy policy and/or management of your information, please let our staff know so that they can address the issue immediately. You may expect a resolution to your complaint within 30 business days. If you are not satisfied by our response, you have a right to make a complaint to the Commonwealth or State/Territory Privacy Commissioner.

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