COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH CARE INITIATED BY THE PRACTICE
Policy The cost of treatment or investigations is an important component of informed decision making. Our practice aims to ensure all patients are advised of possible costs involved, including out of pocket costs, for procedures, investigations and treatments provided by our practice prior to them being conducted.
Our practice endeavors to advise all patients for the potential for out of pocket expenses for referral services. Where costs are not known the patients are encouraged to and/or assisted to make inquiries. If the patient indicates that the costs pose a barrier to the suggested treatment or investigation, alternatives are discussed with the patients GP.
Policy Our practice endeavours to provide patients with access to timely advice or information about their clinical care via the telephone. The urgency of a patients needs are determined promptly. We aim to communicate effectively over the telephone and use simple, straight forward language and check that patients have understood what has been said.
This practice does not offer the ability for a patient to communicate either via email or text message
Our practice aims to ensure all patient messages or other communications that require subsequent follow-up by a doctor or other staff member are responded to in a timely manner.All messages from patients, to patients, or about patients become part of the patient’s health record, in addition to any actions taken in response to the message.
Communicating by telephone All telephone calls are answered by a staff member of the practice who must adhere to the following guidelines:
Staff follow the practice booking system for all patient appointments
Before any calls are placed on hold staff must first ask if the matter is an emergency
Staff follow the practice triage system for patients requesting urgent appointments
Staff are mindful of confidentiality and patient’s right to privacy. No names are openly stated over the telephone within earshot of other patients and/or visitors
Staff members are aware of each doctor’s policy on accepting or returning calls. In non-urgent situations, patient calls need not interrupt consultations with other patients, but a message containing the information is given to the person in a timely manner
Our practice telephones the patients as a friendly reminder of their upcoming appointments for results and recalls. There is no medical or identifying information used in these telephone conversations. If a voice message is left it is the patient’s responsibility to contact the practice and follow up on the message.
Communication conducted with a patient via the telephone will be added to the patient’s medical record through the integrated message system on Medical Director by the team member resolving the enquiry.
Our aim is to facilitate optimal communication opportunities with our patients. Patients who do not speak or read English or who are more proficient in another language, or who have special communication needs are offered the choice of using the assistance of a language service to communicate with the GP's or clinical team members.
INTERPRETER AND OTHER COMMUNICATION SERVICES
Policy Our practice is committed to ensuring patients with limited English, or loss of hearing, are provided with interpreting or other communication services to assist them to communicate and understand information, recommendations, which are provided by the doctor and/or clinical team members.
Our practice also encourages patients with minimal English proficiency, to request language assistance, to ensure any communication barriers are overcome and we deliver the highest quality service to our patients.
CONFIDENTIALITY AND PRIVACY OF HEALTH AND OTHER INFORMATION
Policy Our practice is committed to protecting the privacy of health and other information of our patients. Our practice ensures our patients are informed about how our practice manages their personal and health information. Our practice provides access and control over the use of any information.
Our practice stores all patient health information and other sensitive documents securely. All electronic records are password protected, protected and monitored by electronic firewalls. Access to patient health information and other sensitive documents is by authorized personnel only, who are bound by strict privacy and confidentiality agreements.
Our practice complies with the Privacy Act (1988), the Health Records Act 2001 (Vic), the Health Records Regulations 2012 (Vic) and the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic) and acknowledges the importance of protecting the confidentiality and privacy of all patients and recognizing the rights of our patients in relation to their personal information.