Clients, their families and carers attending Advanced Physiotherapy receive respectful care and are not discriminated against on the basis of their age, gender, ethnicity, beliefs, sexual preference or health status. Practice staff understand that information they communicate or record about clients is not to be derogatory, prejudiced, or prejudicial.
Clients at Advanced Physiotherapy have the right to know the qualification of their treating health professional and the right to see the physiotherapist of their choice, refuse intervention or seek a further opinion. Advanced Physiotherapy records such information in the client health record including an explanation of the action taken. Clients are encouraged to provide feedback or make a complaint.
Discontinuing client’s episode of care
At times, a physiotherapist may not be able to effectively treat their patient due to such factors as a breakdown in the therapeutic relationship (e.g. the patient is behaving in a threatening or violent manner), cultural reasons, conflict of interest or range of professional scope.
In these cases, the physiotherapist is not required to continue with the care of the patient but refer them to another physiotherapist or practice that would better suit the patient’s needs. This ensures appropriate care is provided to the patient and also to prevent potential litigation.
Advanced Physiotherapy consults with State or Territory and/or Federal legislation with regard to cessation of patient care and transfer of patient health records. Health Professionals at Advanced Physiotherapy understand that they have the right to protect their professional reputations and take reasonable steps to avoid any possible misunderstanding of professional boundaries.
Privacy of clients
Practice staff at Advanced Physiotherapy are familiar with key aspects of privacy legislation and the APA Code of Conduct to ensure they manage health information appropriately. Clients at Advanced Physiotherapy are made aware that the have the right to expect privacy in the provision of their healthcare.
Identify individual privacy needs
Advanced Physiotherapy understands that each client has a unique need for privacy during a consultation. This need may vary according to personal preference, natural modesty, the type of care being provided and the client’s familiarity with the intervention. Practice staff at Advanced Physiotherapy avoid stereotyping and generalising when determining the individual privacy needs of a client.
Health professionals at Advanced Physiotherapy provide a clear explanation of ‘adequate undress’ and the reason it is important when a client needs to disrobe for a particular intervention. The health professional offers suitable cover (such as a gown, shorts or drape) if it is necessary to protect the client’s dignity.
In some circumstances, the client is invited to disrobe behind a privacy screen. Alternatively, the health professional will turn their back or choose to leave the room while a client disrobes. Where a client is particularly vulnerable and/or there is potential for the client-practitioner relationship to be particularly sensitive, the health professional will seek the client’s consent to have a third party present in a chaperone role if the client needs to disrobe for an intervention.
Advanced Physiotherapy has available facilities that provide satisfactory auditory privacy so that discussions with clients can be conducted in private. These facilities include 10 private treatment rooms and 4 bathroom/change-rooms.
Discussion and telephone communication at the reception area is conducted discreetly, in the interests of respecting clients and protecting the privacy of health information.
Similarly, discussions between health professionals, about a client are conducted discreetly and they do not take place in the presence of other clients or administrative staff.
Clients are given sufficient information to enable them to make informed decisions about their health care
Benefits, risks and cost
Clients are given a reasonable level of information in advance about the relative benefits of a proposed program of healthcare. Where relevant, clients are also given a reasonable level of information about alternative options and the implications of having no intervention. Some clients may be advised to seek information from other health professionals about the relative benefits of different forms of intervention and the coordination of various interventions such as surgery and physiotherapy or psychology and physiotherapy.
Costs of intervention
In addition to obtaining informed consent for client healthcare, Advanced Physiotherapy also obtains informed financial consent.
Clients are given advanced information about consultation costs and billing systems including acceptable methods of payment, discounts that may apply and the costs incurred for late cancellations or failure to attend appointments.
Standard information such as this is provided via:
Telephone communication when the booking is made
Notices visible in several locations in the reception area
In addition, clients are given an estimated number of consultations for the proposed episode of care.
Clients covered by a third party compensable body are given information that clarifies:
Whether the service is bulk-billed by the practitioner;
Whether the client needs to pay up-front and then claim a rebate from the third party payer;
Whether a gap payment applies; and
Who is responsible for the costs of healthcare provided by Advanced Physiotherapy if the claim is denied?
Culturally appropriate care
At Advanced Physiotherapy all staff avoid making general assumptions about a client’s individual needs when dealing with clients from different cultural backgrounds
Staff at Advanced Physiotherapy are educated about culturally appropriate care and are aware of cultural groups likely to have higher incidence of post-traumatic stress so that staff are well-placed to identify individual clients who may require a special approach to their healthcare.
Advanced Physiotherapy ensures languages of predominant cultural groupings within the local base are considered in written information.
Advanced Physiotherapy will use an interpreter at the request of a client or if a health professional has concerns about the client’s capacity to comprehend information communicated in English. Where possible, Advanced Physiotherapy will provide an independent and formally accredited interpreter and will communicate any fee involved in advance.
A family member or child will be used as an interpreter is circumstances where no other feasible option is available. In such situations, the health professional takes all reasonable care to cross-check that information is being communicated accurately.
If a client refuses language services against the advice of the health professional, this is documented in the client health record.