- Emergency Medical Response collects personal, health and sensitive information to help us determine the right care and treatment for you
- Our staff and volunteers are bound by strict rules about how your personal and health information can be used
- You can ask to see the information we have collected about you
- Complaints are a vital form of feedback and help to improve the quality and safety of care provided to patients.
Emergency Medical Response recognises that your information about you needs special care and protection. This page outlines our commitment to the protection of the information we collect, use and tell others about you.
What information is collected and why?
Your information and the information kept on your files (patient care record) is the basis for planning what treatment and care is likely to be safe and effective for you. During your contact with us, medics, first responders, first aiders and other health care professionals will need to collect information about you, your condition and the outcomes of your treatment and care.
While you have the right to refuse to provide certain information, this may have an impact on our ability to provide appropriate care.
If your care is being delivered by support services other than Emergency Medical Response we only disclose personal information that is necessary to deliver effective treatment and care. If you have any concerns regarding whom information can and should be shared with, please let us know.
Protecting your privacy
Emergency Medical Response protects privacy by keeping your information secure from unauthorised access, use or loss. All staff and volunteers are required to comply with strict policies and procedures concerning collection, use, release and disposal of information about you. All staff and volunteers are bound by a strict code of conduct and legal obligations to maintain the privacy of your information.
Information is stored securely in a file and only authorised personnel are able to have access to the information. Information is also stored electronically on our computer system. Staff members and volunteers require a password to access this system.
How is information used?
Your information is used by the medics, first responders, first aiders and other health care professionals involved in your care and treatment. There are also other activities that require the use of your information. For example:
- Notifying the Event Organiser about your admission or contact with us. If you do not want your information sent to the Event Organiser, please let a staff member know as soon as possible.
- Providing information to Ambulance Victoria, if you are transported to hospital to ensure that you are treated safely and effectively.
- Providing information to Police, CAMs, Transport Accident Commission, NEPT Regulation Branch etc as appropriate
- Disclosure to liability insurers and lawyers in reporting an adverse event.
- Disclosure to the Health Services Commissioner for complaints conciliation and management
- Research: Information is only made available for research projects approved by a Human Research Ethics Committee to ensure that patient privacy is protected. This is in accordance with the ethical guidelines published by the National Health and Medical Research Council, the Australian Research Council and Universities Australia
- Training and education: Emergency Medical Response participates in the training and education of many health students and volunteers. Therefore, medical and other students who are under the supervision of an experienced member of staff at all times may be part of the team caring for you. If for any reason, you would prefer not to have a student involved in your care please inform us
- Quality improvement (including complaints management) and clinical audit activities that evaluates and seeks to improve the delivery of a particular treatment or service.’
Contact after treatment
Patients may be contacted after their treatment for the following purposes:
- Event Organiser followup
- Research or auditing
- Patient feedback survey
- To improve services at Emergency Medical Response
What happens to your information?
Information relating to your treatment may be forwarded to the Event Organiser, WorkSafe, and the Victorian Department of Health.
In some circumstances, Emergency Medical Response is required by law to release information. Details about people who have specific conditions (for example, some infectious diseases and types of cancer) must be reported to databases or registers maintained by the Department of Health or other health care authorities. We may also be legally required to provide information to a court or tribunal.
How to make a complaint
If you have a complaint about the management of your privacy or treatment, you can make the complaint to any member of your treating team or person in charge of the unit. Alternatively register your complaint by contacting:
Emergency Medical Response
44 Reeces Road
Bealiba VIC 3475
by writing or phoning 0438 718 369.
Links and references
There are also external organisations which assist with health care complaints, including complaints about privacy:
- Health Services Commission www.health.vic.gov.au/hsc Ph: 1300 582 113
- Office of the Victorian Privacy Commissioner www.privacy.vic.gov.au Ph: 1300 666 444