The Purpose of Collecting and Holding Information
Psychologists are bound by the AHPRA Psychology Board of Australia (‘PBA’) and the Australian Psychological Society (‘APS’) Code of Ethics to maintain accurate and detailed documentation of client sessions and contact.
A Client’s personal information is collected and used for the purpose of providing psychological services which include assessing, diagnosing, and treating a Client’s presenting issue or preparing psychological reports. As part of the PBA and APS requirements, personal information is retained in order to document what happens during sessions and to enable the psychologist to provide a relevant and informed psychological service.
Type of Information Collected
In order to provide high-quality psychological services Vitality Unleashed Psychology will collect the following information from Clients or referrers. As a base, the following information will likely be collected:
- Your name, address, and date of birth.
- Current and past medical information.
- Your contact details.
- Your family medical history to the extent that it may inform current services.
- Your educational and occupational history.
- Your personal psychological history.
- Your current psychological symptomatology and experiences.
- Your history and current substance use.
- Legal or offending history.
We may also collect the following information:
- Responses and results from psychological tests and questionnaires.
- Information pertaining to your response to treatment.
All of the above material is used to inform accurate assessment, diagnosis, and treatment plans. Not having this information may increase the risk that the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment plans subsequently arrived at or generated are sub-optimal.
Anonymity and Pseudonymity
You may request to be anonymous or to use a pseudonym unless it is impracticable for Vitality Unleashed Psychology to deal with you or if your Psychologist is required or authorised by law to deal with identified individuals. In most cases, it will not be possible for you to be anonymous or to use a pseudonym.
How Information is Collected
A Client’s personal information is collected in a number of ways before, during, or after psychological consultation with Vitality Unleashed Psychology including when the Client provides information directly to us using hardcopy forms, correspondence via email, through our Website, or via our Marketing Emails; when the Client interacts directly with their psychologist and Vitality Unleashed Psychology employees such as the receptionist; when other health practitioners or third-party persons provide personal information to Vitality Unleashed Psychology via referrals, correspondence, and medical reports.
How Information is Stored
Client records are kept in secure electronic storage and Client Management Software which is accessible by authorised employees and contractors of Vitality Unleashed Psychology. The Client Management Software used by Vitality Unleashed Psychology is also at times accessed by the Software provider support staff to assist with technical issues of the software. Client files may at times also be stored as hard copies within secure filing cabinets that are accessible only by authorised Vitality Unleashed Psychology employees and contractors.
How Long is Information is Stored
Your personal information will be stored for at least 7 years in the case of an adult or until the age of 25 in the case of a minor.
Disclosure of Information
A Client’s personal information may be disclosed when:
- You consent to the disclosure (whether express or implied);
- Disclosure is directly related to the purpose for which the information was collected and you would reasonably expect it to be disclosed;
- Disclosure is required or authorised by law or a court/tribunal order;
- We reasonably believe that disclosure is necessary to lessen or prevent a serious threat to the life, health or safety of you or someone else; or
- Information is requested by third-party referrers such as Workcover and Insurance, and to comply with reporting requirements for Clients referred under Medicare.
- Reasonably necessary for us to establish, exercise or defend a legal or equitable claim.
As part of your assessment/therapy, it may be helpful for your Psychologist to liaise with other people or agencies that are relevant to your treatment (e.g., your specialist, WorkCover, family member etc.). If you would like relevant information to be shared with another person or agency who is involved in your treatment, your consent will be requested before this occurs.
If you intend to claim rebates from Medicare or another third party (such as WorkCover, or Insurer) then your Psychologist is mandated to provide summary reports and other relevant information to external agencies regarding your treatment progress. Under the Medicare scheme (eg., MHCP / EDMP) these reports will be sent to your GP or psychiatrist who referred you to see a Psychologist. Under WorkCover or another Insurer, your reports will be sent to your Case Manager who requested information relating to you.
If your consultations are being rebated or funded by Medicare or another third party, by signing this consent form you are giving Vitality Unleashed Psychology written consent to release relevant information to your referring practitioner or third party regarding your assessments, treatment, and progress, as your treating practitioner is required.
A Client’s personal information will not be used, sold, rented, or disclosed for any other purpose.
Contact by Vitality Unleashed Psychology
Vitality Unleashed Psychology would like to stay in contact with you by email in the future to send you information and marketing communications about our products, and services, as well as tip sheets, strategies or activities that we consider may be of interest to you.
You may unsubscribe from receiving any marketing communication from us at any time. If you do not wish to receive marketing communications from us please contact us via the contact details provided on our Website, or opt out through the ‘Unsubscribe’ link provided at the bottom of our marketing emails.
Requests for Access and Collection of Client Information
At any stage Clients may request to see and correct the personal information about them kept on file. The psychologist may discuss the contents with them and/or give them a copy, subject to the exceptions in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth).
If satisfied that personal information is inaccurate, out of date or incomplete, reasonable steps will be taken in the circumstances to ensure that this information is corrected. All requests by Clients for access to or correction of personal information held about them should be made in writing to Vitality Unleashed Psychology via email (email@example.com).
Vitality Unleashed Psychology will endeavour to respond to any request in writing within 28 days, and an appointment will be made if necessary for clarification purposes.
Clients have a right to make a complaint about the handling of their personal information. We encourage you to discuss your concerns with us. Complaints can be made to Vitality Unleashed Psychology via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). We will endeavour to respond appropriately to reasonable complaints (i.e. not of a frivolous or vexation nature) within 30 days of the receipt.
Other agencies to which Clients may bring complaints are as follows:
- The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (oaic.gov.au)
- Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (ahpra.gov.au)
- The Australian Psychological Society (psychology.org.au).