Policies and Appointments

Policy

 PATHOLOGY RESULTS

 Patients are encouraged to see their own GP for necessary investigations to enhance continuity of care.

It is DoctorDoctor policy that it is preferable for tests to be conducted by a patient’s usual GP, as follow up of results is more practical, or in the case of more urgent tests that emergency care providers may be more appropriate. If a DoctorDoctor doctor does instigate tests, the following policy is followed.

1.         The doctor that orders the test is responsible for the test.

2.         The doctor will always copy the GP on the request as extra insurance for follow up and for continuity of care acting as their deputy.

3.         DoctorDoctor FCM call management system records that a test has been initiated – when clinically significant, this is indicated also via FCM.

4.         DoctorDoctor administrative staff assists the doctor to ensure appropriate protocols are followed and assist them in meeting their obligation as the doctor that ordered the test.

5.         When results are received at the DoctorDoctor office:

a. the doctor that ordered the test is notified that the results can be viewed on the applicable docket number for the patient;

b. the doctor reviews the result;

c. the doctor will contact the patient when follow up is required and advise the office once this is completed;

d.DoctorDoctor confirms that the patient’s usual GP has also received a copy of the test result;

e. where the GP has not received a copy, DoctorDoctor staff forwards a copy and confirms receipt;

f. a copy of the result and letter advising of the need for follow up is sent to the patient;

g. the result is scanned and attached to the patient’s file in Documents (it must be noted in the Description box that the result has gone to the GP and emailed to the Deputising Doctor, dated and staff initialed. It is then also attached to the appropriate docket number);

h. where the DoctorDoctor doctor is not contactable and the GP has received the result, the GP is requested to follow up with their patient;

i. where both the DoctorDoctor doctor and the patient’s regular GP is not available, the DoctorDoctor Medical Director is contacted to follow up on the results;

6.         When clinical significant tests are requested by the doctor:

a. if the results have not been received by DoctorDoctor within 5 days, DoctorDoctor administrative staff will contact the patient for follow up as to whether the tests have been conducted;

b. if the doctor has not been advised of the result of clinically significant tests within 5 days, the doctor will contact DoctorDoctor to initiate or verify that contact has been made with the patient for follow up.

It is DoctorDoctor policy that if a Deputising Doctor initiates testing of a patient, it is that Doctor’s responsibility to follow up on both the results of this testing and also that any recommendation to conduct clinically significant tests are followed up with the patient, if it has not been acted upon.

It is very rare for Deputising doctors to review, act upon and incorporate in the medical record details of pathology results, diagnostic imaging reports and clinical correspondence, given DoctorDoctor ’ role as an afterhours medical deputising service providing episodes of care – in the interests of continuity of care, these details are generally referred immediately to the patient’s own GP.

In the very rare case where tests are commissioned, the Deputising Doctor makes a written request that the results are sent to the patient’s GP address and a copy to DoctorDoctor to enable review if the patients GP is unavailable to review test results.

There are two exceptions to this general rule:

·         if the patient does not have a GP (but has been referred by DoctorDoctor  to a GP member practice) and the matter is urgent;

·         if patient does have GP – but the matter is urgent and the GP member practice is not likely to open soon given, say, an extended public holiday period.

 In each of these cases, DoctorDoctor policy requires that the Deputising Doctor:

·         urgently reviews the pathology results, diagnostic imaging reports and clinical correspondence;

·         calls the patient for a phone consultation or to arrange a follow up home visit consultation to discuss the results with the patient;

·         initiates any urgent follow up action required (as agreed with the patient); 

·         incorporates the salient details of the pathology results, diagnostic imaging reports and clinical correspondence – as well as any further advice given to the patient in the consultation – in the medical record of the consultation; 

·         where the patient does have a GP, and where necessary – the Deputising Doctor may call the GP using the GP’s afterhours contact telephone number (as provided to DoctorDoctor ); and

·         give the patient the pathology results, diagnostic imaging reports and clinical correspondence (if the Deputising Doctor is not with the patient, the Deputising Doctor sends the documents to the patient by secure mail).

If a report or test is sent by the pathology lab etc. to DoctorDoctor – DoctorDoctor day staff immediately contact the patient’s GP to inquire whether a copy has been received. If so, the results are sent to the patient by secure mail, along with a letter suggesting that for their own wellbeing that they contact their own GP as soon as possible to follow up such tests. If not, DoctorDoctor fax the results or if required contacts a courier immediately to deliver this test to the patient’s GP. DoctorDoctor then call the GP member practice to confirm receipt. DoctorDoctor is also utilising technology that enables copies of results (the original having gone to the patients GP) to be uploaded and attached to the patients consult record on our call management system.

If the patient does not have a GP, DoctorDoctor  day staff contact the Deputising Doctor who attended the patient; the Deputising Doctor is required to review the results as soon as practicable. After review, any necessary notes are made to the patient’s medical record and the originals are sent to the patient.

If for some reason the Deputising Doctor who attended the patient is not available to review the results, the DoctorDoctor  Medical Director or Medical Advisor is required to review the results as soon as practicable. After review, any necessary notes are made to the patient’s medical record and the originals are sent to the patient.

DoctorDoctor has also recently developed its customer relations software to provide visibility of the audit trail of investigations to our Deputising Doctor on the home screen of their individual login. This will enhance the ability of doctors to monitor the entire process personally, initial such review and initiate any further follow up as and when required.

In the interests of continuity of care, the medical record of the consultation is sent by DoctorDoctor to the patient’s GP (or new GP, as the case may be) on the next business day. This report contains information regarding any investigations.

 

In the circumstance where our Call Centre is contacted regarding urgent test results for the patients of one of our subscribing General Practice, the call centre staff will contact that practices afterhours emergency contact immediately and document that contact in our CRM system.. If they are unable to reach the nominated contact and the diagnostic company does not have a doctor to act on these results, one of our Deputising Doctors will be contacted to review the results and contact the patient concerned as appropriate.

Telephone and electronic communications policy

Emergencies: Where immediate attention is required, a Deputising Doctor takes calls (from the Operations Supervisor only – but not patients – for Deputising Doctor safety reasons the Deputising Doctor calls the patient directly – e.g. providing first aid advice over the phone while the patient is waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

Non-emergencies: DoctorDoctor Deputising Doctors provide telephone consultations to patients as soon as possible after they receive the patient’s details from the Operations Supervisor. DoctorDoctor requires that, for personal security and privacy reasons, a Deputising Doctor’s mobile phone number and other personal contact details never be given out to patients. If a patient asks to speak to a Deputising Doctor, this must be done through a Customer Service Officer. The Customer Service Officer takes down the patient’s details and then asks the Doctor to call the patient (either by calling the Doctor, or by sending the Doctor an encrypted message – or SMS text message with the patient contact details, and then confirming receipt). All callers to DoctorDoctor hear a recorded message advising them to contact 000 if they have an emergency before speaking with a call centre representative and Customer Service Officers will always ask patients if the matter is an emergency before putting them on hold.

Emergencies and potential emergencies – must be dealt with in accordance with the Call Triage and Referral Protocol.

If the patient calls DoctorDoctor  with continuing medical concerns even after seeing a Doctor that same night/shift: Unless an emergency, the Operations Supervisor calls the same Deputising Doctor who previously attended the patient (wherever possible), to provide a further telephone and/or home visit consultation for the patient 

A separate medical record is made by each Deputising Doctor for each such telephone consultation, confirming that they do in fact call each patient for this purpose. Where contact is not made, doctors will note the time of the unsuccessful attempt in the record of that patients consultation.

 

DoctorDoctor does not take patient bookings via email, however an auto generated reply is in placed on  administrative emails that advises patients of this fact, provides the phone number to make bookings or contact administration during business hours and provides a timeframe for when any emails are likely to be replied to, that is within 3 business days.

 COMPLAINTS

We take patient concerns, suggestions and complaints seriously. Please write to, or contact our Client Service Manager Mr Andrew Crowley during business hours to discuss any matter. For matters to be dealt with outside this practice, please contact the following formal complaint body in Melbourne: Victorian Health Services Commissioner Level 26, 570 Bourke Street Melbourne, Vic 3000 Tel: 1300 582 113. E: hsc@health.vic.gov.au

If you are in Perth please write to, or contact our Perth Operations Manager Ms Noeleeen Seares during business hours to discuss any matter. For matters to be dealt with outside this practice, please contact the following formal complaint body in Perth: The Office of Health Review;GPO Box B61;Perth WA 6838;Phone (08) 9323 0600

In Brisbane. Please write to, or contact our Client Service Manager Mr Andrew Crowley during business hours to discuss any matter. For matters to be dealt with outside this practice, please contact the following formal complaint body:

The Office of the Health Ombudsman

PO Box 13281

George Street Brisbane QLD 4003

Phone: 133 646

In Sydney.Please write to, or contact our Client Service Manager Mr Andrew Crowley during business hours to discuss any matter. For matters to be dealt with outside this practice, please contact the following formal complaint body:

Health Care Complaints Commission

Level 13, 323 Castlereagh Street (corner of Hay St)

Sydney NSW 2000

Phone: 1800 043 159

Privacy Information

 Privacy Policy

We recognise the importance of protecting the privacy and the rights of individuals in relation to their personal information. This document is our privacy policy and it tells you how we collect and manage your personal information. 

We respect your rights to privacy and have a legal obligation to abide by the provisions of the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth)(the Act).  The rules that an organisation must follow under the Act are known as the Australian Privacy Principles, and cover areas including the collection, use, disclosure, quality and security of personal information.  We are also governed by a number of State-specific privacy laws. 

What is your personal information?

When used in this privacy policy, the term “personal information” has the meaning given to it in the Act. In general terms, it is any information that can be used to personally identify you. This may include your name, address, telephone number, email address and profession or occupation. If the information we collect personally identifies you, or you are reasonably identifiable from it, the information will be considered personal information.  Our privacy policy covers all people who use our services or otherwise provide their personal information to us. 

For the purposes of this privacy policy, no distinction has been made between the handling of personal information and sensitive information (as that term is defined in the Act); therefore all information will be referred to as "personal information" throughout this document.

What personal information do we collect and hold?

We may collect the following types of personal information:

·         your name, address and telephone number;

·         your age or date of birth;

·         your Medicare number, Veterans’ Affairs number, Health Care Card number, health fund details or pension number;

·         current drugs or treatments used by you;

·         information relevant to your medical care, including but not limited to your previous and current medical history and your family medical history (where clinically relevant);

·         your ethnic background;

·         your profession, occupation or job title;

·         the name of any health service provider or medical specialist to whom you are referred, copies of any letters of referrals and copies of any reports back; and

·         any additional information relating to you that you provide to us directly through our representatives, medical or allied health professionals providing services at or from our Call Centres, or otherwise.

We may also collect some information that is not personal information because it does not identify you or anyone else. For example, we may collect anonymous answers to surveys or aggregated information about how users use our website.

How do we collect your personal information?

We collect your personal information directly from you unless it is unreasonable or impracticable to do so. When collecting personal information from you, we may collect it in ways including:

·         by you calling our Call Centres for the purpose of booking a locum;

·         by you completing one of our registration or patient information forms;

·         as disclosed by you during the course of a consultation; or

·         through your access and use of our website.

We may also collect personal information from third parties including:

·         information provided on your behalf with your consent; 

·         from a health service provider who refers you to medical practitioners or allied health professionals providing services at or from our Call Centres; 

·         from health service providers to whom you are referred;

·         from your employer or prospective employer; or

·         from third party bodies such as law enforcement agencies and other government entities.

What happens if we can’t collect your personal information?

If you do not provide us with the personal information described above, some or all of the following may happen:

·         we may not be able to provide the requested services to you, either to the same standard or at all; or

·         your diagnosis and treatment may be inaccurate or incomplete.

For what purposes do we collect, hold, use and disclose your personal information?

We collect personal information about you so that we can perform our business activities and functions and to provide the best possible quality of service to you.

We collect, hold, use and disclose your personal information for the following purposes:

·         to provide medical services and treatment to you, and to enable you to be attended by our medical practitioners or other allied health professionals;

·         for administrative and billing purposes;

·         to update our records and keep your contact details up to date;

·         to process and respond to any complaint made by you;

·         to comply with any law, rule, regulation, lawful and binding determination, decision or direction of a regulator, or in co-operation with any governmental authority of any country;

·         for the purposes of data research and analysis including conducting clinical trials and proactive screenings and for the purpose of sending you direct marketing communications in relation to these;

·         for inclusion in a recall register to be advised of follow up visits and medical updates;

·         for the purpose of reporting back to your employer or prospective employer, their authorised representatives and their insurer in the case of a work-related consultation or service;

·         to answer enquiries and provide information or advice about existing and new products or services and all matters relevant to the services we provide to you;

·         to conduct business processing functions including providing personal information to our related bodies corporate, contractors, service providers or other third parties;

·         for the administrative, marketing (including direct marketing), planning, product or service development, quality control and research purposes of us, our contractors or service providers; and

·         to meet obligations of notification to our medical defence organisations or insurers.

Your personal information will not be shared, sold, rented or disclosed other than as described in this Privacy Policy or as permitted under the Act.

To whom may we disclose your information?

We may disclose your personal information to:

·         our employees, our medical professionals and allied health practitioners who provide medical services to you, related bodies corporate, contractors or service providers for the purposes of operation of our business, fulfilling requests by you, and to otherwise provide products and services to you including, without limitation, web hosting providers, IT systems administrators, mailing houses, couriers, payment processors, data entry service providers, electronic network administrators, debt collectors, and professional advisors such as accountants, solicitors, business advisors and consultants;

·         suppliers and other third parties with whom we have commercial relationships, for business, marketing, and related purposes;

·         your employer or prospective employer, their authorised representatives and their insurer in the case of a work-related consultation or service; and

·         any organisation or person for any authorised purpose with your express consent.

We may combine or share any information that we collect from you with information collected by any of our related bodies corporate (within Australia).

Direct marketing materials

We may send you direct marketing communications and information about our products and services that we consider may be of interest to you. These communications may be sent in various forms, including mail, SMS, fax and email, in accordance with all applicable marketing laws, such as the Spam Act 2003 (Cth). If, in your dealings with us, you indicate a preference for a method of communication, we will endeavour to use that method whenever practical to do so. In addition, at any time you may opt-out of receiving marketing communications from us by contacting us or by using opt-out facilities provided in the marketing communications and we will then ensure that your name is removed from our mailing list.

How can you access and correct your personal information?

You may request access to any personal information we hold about you at any time by contacting us (please see contact details below). Where we hold information that you are entitled to access, we will try to provide you with suitable means of accessing it (for example, by mailing or emailing it to you). We may charge you a fee to cover our administrative and other reasonable costs in providing the information to you and, if so, the fees will be as advised from time to time. We will not charge for simply making the request and will not charge for making any corrections to your personal information.

There may be instances where we cannot grant you access to the personal information we hold; however, we will only do so in accordance with our rights and obligations under the Act. For example, we may need to refuse access if granting access would interfere with the privacy of others or if it would result in a breach of confidentiality. If that happens, we will give you written reasons for any refusal. 

If you believe that personal information we hold about you is incorrect, incomplete or inaccurate, then you may send us a written request us to amend it, including the basis on which you are requesting the amendment. We will consider if the information requires amendment. If we do not agree that there are grounds for amendment then we will add a note to the personal information stating that you disagree with it.

What is the process for complaining about a breach of privacy?

If you believe that your privacy has been breached, please contact us in accordance with the arrangements set out below and provide details of the incident so that we can investigate it.

Our procedure for investigating and dealing with privacy breaches is for the incident or complaint to be dealt with in the first instance by our Client Services Manager.  If the issue cannot be resolved at this level, it will be escalated to the relevant Area or State Manager for review and resolution.

Do we disclose your personal information to anyone outside Australia?

In relation to medicals and consultations procured or requested by our overseas clients, we may disclose your personal information to these clients in their countries of operation.  We do not otherwise disclose your personal information to overseas recipients.  In the event that we would like or are required to do so, we will obtain your consent. 

Security

We take reasonable steps to ensure your personal information is protected from misuse and loss and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. We may hold your information in either electronic or hard copy form. Personal information is destroyed or de-identified when no longer needed.

As our website is linked to the internet, and the internet is inherently insecure, we cannot provide any assurance regarding the security of transmission of information you communicate to us online. We also cannot guarantee that the information you supply will not be intercepted while being transmitted over the internet. Accordingly, any personal information or other information which you transmit to us online is transmitted at your own risk.

Links

Our websites may contain links to other websites operated by third parties. We make no representations or warranties in relation to the privacy practices of any third party website and we are not responsible for the privacy policies or the content of any third party website. Third party websites are responsible for informing you about their own privacy practices.

Contacting us

If you have any questions about this privacy policy, any concerns or a complaint regarding the treatment of your privacy or a possible breach of your privacy, please contact us using the following details:

DoctorDoctor
Call Centre & Client Services Manager
Suite 2, Level 41 600 Bourke Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

We will treat your requests or complaints confidentially. Our representative will contact you within a reasonable time after receipt of your complaint to discuss your concerns and outline options regarding how they may be resolved. We will aim to ensure that your complaint is resolved in a timely and appropriate manner.

Changes to our privacy policy

We may change this privacy policy from time to time. Any updated versions of this privacy policy will be posted on our website.

This privacy policy was last updated on 4 March 2014.

Definitions

In this document, the terms “we”, “our”, “us” means DoctorDoctor Pty Limited, Independent Practitioner Network Pty Limited, Sonic HealthPlus Pty Ltd, Matrix Skin Cancer Clinics Pty Limited, Allied Medical Group Holdings Pty Ltd, Lonnex & Millennium Management Holdings Pty Limited  and its related bodies corporate. 

 

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Appointments

Patients may request to book an after hours home visit consult from 6pm Monday to Friday, from 12 noon Saturday and all day Sunday and public Holidays.