Privacy Policy

APP PRIVACY POLICY – Managing patient Health information


 Telepsych Online is an alliance of independent psychiatrists, psychologists and their private practices.


The employees and management of every alliance practice who is part of the Telepsych Online alliance are committed to protecting the privacy of  patients within their practice. Information collected is kept strictly confidential and used only for the medical and health care of patients.




To ensure patients who receive care from our practices are comfortable in entrusting their health information to the practice. This policy provides information to patients as to how their personal information is collected and used within the practice and the circumstances in which we may disclose it to third parties.




This policy applies to all employees, contractors and patients of Telepsych Online alliance practices.




The Alliance Practices will:


  • Provide a copy of this policy upon request
  • Ensure staff comply with the APP and deal appropriately with inquiries or concerns
  • Take such steps as are reasonable in the circumstances to implement practices, procedures and systems to ensure compliance with the APP and deal with inquiries or complaints
  • Collect personal information for the primary purpose of managing a patient’s healthcare and for financial claims and payments


Staff Responsibility


All practice staff will take reasonable steps to ensure patients understand


  • What information has been and is being collected
  • Why the information is being collected and whether this is due to a legal requirement
  • How the information will be used or disclosed
  • Why and when their consent is necessary
  • The Practice’s procedures for access and correction of information, and responding to complaints of information breaches, including by providing this policy


Patient Consent


The practice will only interpret and apply a patient’s consent for the primary purpose for which it was provided. The Practice staff must seek additional consent from the patient if the personal information collected may be used for any other purpose.




Telepsych Online practices recognise that the information we collect is often of a highly sensitive nature and as an alliance we have adopted the privacy compliance standards relevant to Telepsych Online  to ensure personal information is protected.


For administrative and billing purposes and to ensure quality and continuity of patient care a patient’s health information is shared between the clinical practitioners of Telepsych Online alliance practices .


Collected personal information will include patient’s


  • Names, addresses and contact details
  • Medicare number, and other relevant identifiers (DVA, Workcover etc) for identification and claiming purposes
  • Healthcare identifiers
  • Medical information including medical history, mental health history, personal history, medications, allergies, adverse events, immunisations, social history, family history and risk factors.


A patient’s personal information is held by the practice in various forms


  • As paper records (short term - all paper received is electronically scanned and shredded within 24 hours of receipt)
  • As electronic records
  • As electronic visuals ie xrays, ct scans, videos & photos


The practice’s procedures for collecting personal information is set out below:


Practice systems and staff collect patient’s personal and demographic information via registration when patients are referred to the clinic for the first time.


During the course of providing medical services the practice’s healthcare practitioners will consequently collect further personal information.

Our practice uses highly secure AI medical transcription software to assist with note taking, letter and report writing. No recordings of consultations are kept. By accepting an appointment with our psychiatrists, you consent to the use of these systems.

If you have it enabled, your psychiatrist will access your My Health Record and review relevant clinical information, and will send a copy of any letters to your My Health Record.


Personal information may also be collected from the patient’s guardian or responsible person (where practicable and necessary) or from other involved healthcare specialists.


The practice holds all personal information securely, in electronic format, in protected information systems.


Personal information collected by Telepsych Online alliance practices may be used or disclosed in the following instances:


  • For medical defence purposes;
  • As required by law in instances of mandatory reporting of communicable diseases;
  • Necessary to lessen or prevent a serious threat to a patient’s life, health or safety or public health or safety, or if it is impracticable to obtain patient’s consent
  • To assist in locating a missing person
  • For the purpose the patient was advised during consult with the treating Doctor;
  • As required during the normal operation of services provided. i.e. for referral to a medical specialist or other health service provider;
  • For the purpose of a confidential dispute resolution process
  • Some disclosure may occur to third parties engaged by or for the practice for the Practice for business purposes such as accreditation or for the provision of information technology. These third parties are required to comply with this policy.
  • The practice will not disclose personal information to any third party other than in the course of providing medical services, without full disclosure to the patient or the recipient, the reason for the information transfer and full consent from the patient.


The Practice will not disclose personal information to anyone outside Australia without need and without patient consent.


The Practice will not use any personal information in relation to direct marketing to a patient in any circumstances.


The practice evaluates all unsolicited information it receives to decide if it should be kept, acted upon or destroyed.


Telepsych Online alliance practices will employ all reasonable endeavours to ensure that a patient’s personal information is not disclosed without their prior consent.




Patient information collected and retained in our records for the purpose of providing quality health care will be complete, accurate, and up to date at the time of collection.




All due care will be taken to ensure the protection of patient privacy during the transfer, storage and use of personal health information.


All information systems are encrypted by a minimum 256-bit encryption key, and all logins require second-factor authentication.


Retention of medical records is for 7 years from the date of last entry into the patient record unless the patient is a child in which case the record is kept until the patient attains the age of 25 years. After the retention period, records are securely destroyed.




The following will apply with regard to accessing personal and private medical information by an individual:


An individual has the right to request access their own personal information and request a copy or part of the whole record.


On registration all patients are provided with access to their medical records via the secure online portal. Patients may download a copy of their own file without charge. Patients are responsible for securing their user-name and password. No responsibility is accepted if the patient shares their user-name and password with others or fails to keep it secure. The patient portal may be deactivated on request from the patient.


Patients may also request that staff provide a copy of the record. Requests must be made in writing and an acknowledgement letter will be sent to the patient within 14 days confirming the request and detailing whether the request can be complied with and an indication of any costs associated with providing the information. Time spent and copying costs when processing a request can be passed on to the requesting patient. Information can be expected to be provided within 30 days.


Whilst the individual is not required to give a reason for obtaining the information, a patient may be asked to clarify the scope of the request;

In some instances the request to obtain information may be denied, in these instances the patient will be advised;

The material over which a Doctor has copyright might be subject to conditions that prevent or restrict further copying or publication without the Doctors permission;


The practice will take reasonable steps to correct personal information where it is satisfied they are not accurate or up to date. From time to time the practice will ask patients to verify the personal information held by the practice is correct and up to date.


Patients may also request the Practice corrects or updates their information and patients should make such requests in writing.


Upon request by the patient, the information held by this clinic will be made available to another health provider.




To protect the rights of a child’s privacy, access to a child’s medical information may at times be restricted for parents and guardians. Release of information may be referred back to the treating Doctor where there professional judgement and the law will be applied.




Telepsych Online alliance practices understands the importance of confidentiality and discretion with the way we manage and maintain the personal information of our patients. The Practices take complaints and concerns about the privacy of patient’s personal information seriously. Patients should express any privacy concerns in writing. The relevant Practice will then attempt to resolve it via a complaint resolution process.


All employees and contractors of our alliance practices are required to observe the obligations of confidentiality in the course of their employment and are required to sign Confidentiality Agreements.


In the instance where you are dissatisfied with the level of service provided within a practice we encourage you to discuss any concerns relating to the privacy of your information with your treating practitioner.


If the complaint has not been resolved to your level of satisfaction all complaints should be directed to:


The Federal Privacy Commissioner

Level 8 Piccadilly Tower

133 Castlereagh Street

Sydney NSW 2000


Privacy Hotline: 1300 363 992




National Privacy Principles


Freedom of Information Act 2001


13. Our Alliance Practices


Professor Richard Harvey (Psychiatrist)
ABN: 90 012 311 435

Telepsychiatrist Online

PO Box 117

North Geelong, VIC 3215

Dr Catherine Maud (Psychiatrist)
ABN: 61 886 470 731
PO BOX 377
Torquay VIC 3228

Dr Doug Blomeley (Psychiatrist) - no longer in private practice, for records requests only

ABN: 80 640 178 635

PO BOX 2112 

Bendigo DC VIC 3554






November 2023




Richard Harvey

Telepsych Online


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