Client Access to Health Information Policy and Procedures
Advanced Physiotherapy provides access to a client’s own health information by permitting the client to view the health information, discuss it with their physiotherapist or obtain a copy of the information. When a client seeks access to their health information, the treating physiotherapist discusses it with them to prevent the information being misunderstood or taken out of context. Physiotherapists have the option to summarise health information in response to a request for access but the practice is not obliged to do so on a regular basis. A summary can be provided instead of or as well as the original record.
Health professionals at Advanced Physiotherapy aim to have open communication with clients regarding their health information. The legislation gives clients a general right of access to their own client health records.
A client may request a correction to their own health information if they believe it is not accurate, complete or up-to-date.
Charging for access
Clients are charged for the administrative costs involved in providing access to their own health information. The fees involved are reasonable and do not discourage individuals from seeking access to their own health information. Clients are informed of the costs involved prior to provision of service.
In determining reasonable fees for access to health information, the practice may wish to refer to fees that apply to similar requests under Freedom of Information laws or legislation such as the Victorian Health Records Act 2001 or the ACT Health Records
Advanced Physiotherapy may withhold access to a client’s own health records in a limited number of situations. Access may also be withheld where the client health record contains information about another person and the privacy of that person may be unreasonably affected. In this kind of situation, it may be possible to provide the information once the identifying details of the other person have been removed or by contacting the other person to seek consent to the release of their information, provided such contact does not cause privacy risks for the client. Follow Guidelines in the Private Health Sector Privacy Act.
Business continuity plan
Advanced Physiotherapy has a disaster recovery plan in place in the event of an emergency such as power failure to ensure the information on the computers is saved and protected. Active client’s files are paper files and are not at risk at power failure. Information such as scanned reports are kept electronically and are backed up each evening and the backup is stored securely away from the computer. The appointment schedule is provided in a hard copy to reception each evening as a backup.