Insights Categories: Privacy

Oct 22, 2019

INSIGHT: Handling sensitive health information about patients and customers – do you understand your obligations?

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (the OAIC) has released a Guide to Health Privacy to assist health care providers to understand their obligations under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (the Privacy Act) regarding the handling of sensitive health information about their patients and customers. Health care providers range from doctors, hospitals, allied health […]

Sep 3, 2019

INSIGHT: Be Data Smart

Pharmacy data is a valuable resource and pharmacy owners are increasingly being asked to permit third parties to access their pharmacy computer systems for a range of purposes. Pharmacy owners need to be extremely cautious about permitting third parties to access their pharmacy computer systems and before doing so should ensure that they question and […]

Feb 18, 2019

INSIGHT: Restrictions on the use and disclosure of confidential communications between a victim of sexual assault and treating health practitioners

Legislation in Victoria now protects the medical and counselling records of victims of sexual assault from disclosure in Court hearings.[1] The legislation is directed at:- ‘remedying the mischief of sexual assault victims being deterred from reporting or giving full information to doctors or counsellors in the course of their treatment, because of uncertainty and fear […]

May 2, 2018

INSIGHT: Misuse, interference or loss of personal information by pharmacists – new mandatory notifications for data breaches

On 22 February 2018, mandatory data breach notification requirements were incorporated into the Privacy Act 1988 (Act) and now apply to all entities regulated by the Act. Typically, health service providers such as pharmacists will be bound by the Act irrespective of the size of their business, because they provide a health service and because […]

Oct 23, 2017

INSIGHT: Massive Privacy Breach: A lesson in using third party web service providers

The potential for inadvertent privacy breaches in the age of third party web providers became all too apparent for the Australian Red Cross Blood Service (the “Blood Service”) recently, after it was discovered that the personal information relating to approximately 550,000 prospective blood donors was leaked on 5 September 2016. The circumstances of the breach […]

May 3, 2016

INSIGHT: Telemedicine – minimising new liability risks

Principal Julie Somerville writes: Last week (on 18 April) the first “online hospital” was announced in Australia. Known as AHI TeleHealth, and run by Docto, the “hospital” enables Accident and Health International’s policy holders to access emergency doctors and allied health professionals by video, email, phone or sms, at any time of the day. While it’s […]

Mar 29, 2016

INSIGHT: Foresights: Internet of things and social media – Parts 1 & 2

Julie Somerville, Principal at Meridian Lawyers, comments on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) renewed enforcement priorities and the implications for professionals with an online presence, including health service providers. While social media and the internet of things offer new ways to interact with clients, they also carry new risks, such as statutory breaches and […]

May 14, 2014

INSIGHT: Credit reporting regime under the Privacy Act has a new bite

As of 12 March 2014, significant changes to the credit reporting regime under the Privacy Act 1998 (Cth) will impact on how dentists handle patients’ credit related information [1]. Are dentists credit providers? Do you provide credit in full or in part for at least seven days? Do you offer structured payment plans for your […]

Dec 2, 2013

INSIGHT: Privacy, legal liability and the pharmacist

What were the legal implications of allowing a third party access to a pharmacy’s computer to identify patients who may benefit from the Home Medicines Review (HMR) program? Meridian Lawyers Managing Principal, Paul Baker, says that under no circumstances should a third party be allowed access to a pharmacy computer or for that matter any […]