Your privacy

The Royal Women’s Hospital is committed to protecting the privacy of your personal health and other information.

  • We are required by law to protect personal information and comply with the Health Records Act 2001 (HRA) and other information relating to confidentiality and privacy.
  • Only authorised personnel have access to your information and strict guidelines are followed in relation to its collection, use and storage.
  • The Women’s only collects personal health information necessary to help us provide you with the best possible treatment and care.
  • Your information will only be shared with family members and other health professionals (your GP or specialist) with your permission.  In an emergency situation however, we will release information to assist your care.
  • You have the right to access your medical record and personal information held by the Women’s.   
  • If you identify information that is incorrect or you do not agree with, you have the right to request that it be amended.

Protecting your privacy

The Royal Women's Hospital (the Women's) is committed to protecting the privacy of patient information. We are required by law to protect personal information and comply with the Health Records Act 2001 (HRA) and other relevant legislation relating to confidentiality and privacy. The Women’s protects privacy by keeping personal information secure from unauthorised access, use or loss. 

Only authorised personnel have access to your information, for example staff involved in your care.  Strict policies provide staff with guidelines for collection, use, release and disposal of personal information.

What information is collected?

We collect information such as your name, address and contact details as well as information about your health problems and treatment you may receive. Your medical record is updated with new information every time you attend the Women’s.

Why information is collected and how is it used?

Collection of information is important as it helps us to plan and provide you with the best possible treatment and care. The Women's only collects personal health information necessary to perform our functions. Please let staff members know or contact us when your details, such as your address, telephone or local doctor, change.

We also use your information for:

  • planning, evaluation and quality improvement of our services
  • internal teaching & research.

 If your information is used for these activities, we remove details that identify you. 

What happens to information?

General information about your condition may be provided to your next of kin or a near relative whilst you are an inpatient, unless you request otherwise.

With your consent, once you are discharged from hospital, or after an emergency or outpatient visit, we provide your local doctor with a summary of any treatment you have received, your medication requirements and any special instructions that the doctor may need to be aware of. We normally write a letter, fax or electronically transfer this information to your doctor. 

Other hospitals or new doctors that you visit may contact the Women’s to obtain information about you so that they can provide treatment for you.  We would ask for your written consent before we release information to them.  In an emergency situation however, we will release information to facilitate your care.

In some circumstances the Women’s is required by law to release information. Some details about people who have specific conditions (for example, some infectious diseases and types of cancer) must be reported to databases or registers maintained securely by the Department of Health or other health care bodies. Information may also be provided to a court or tribunal when subpoenaed.

Certain information relating to your hospital visit may be forwarded to other organisations, such as the Department of Health and Human Services. This information is summarised and does not identify you. It is used for funding, planning and improving health care quality. 

We may also be required to contact Medicare, your Private Health Insurance Company, Travel Insurance Company or the Department of Immigration to verify your eligibility for care as a new patient.

Access to your information

The Freedom of Information Act 1982 sets out your right to access your medical record and personal information held by the Women’s. If you would like access to your Medical Record you can contact the Freedom of Information Officer.  For more information, including application forms for Freedom of Information Requests and applicable fees, see Health Records Requests.

If you identify information that is incorrect or you do not agree with, you have the right to request that it be amended.  This can be arranged through the Freedom of Information Officer.

Need more information?

If you have further questions or would like to request access to your information contact the Freedom of Information Officer at the Women's.


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