Collecting Health Information at NCX
When NCX staff collect health information from patients NCX staff:
- Only collect the information for the purpose of treating the patient or for some other legal purpose;
- Collect the information directly from the patient unless he/she has consented to providing information from someone else, e.g. a referral form via the GP or an electronic referral made via eSCRV system, or one of the other exceptions to this rule applies.
If asked by a patient, staff will let the patient know why NCX is collecting the information, who will have access to the information and that the patient is entitled to access and correct the information.
Staff will attempt to be ‘discrete’, polite and respectful when collecting health information, particularly when information is discussed in the Reception area. If a patient is or appears uncomfortable, staff should offer to discuss health information with the patient in a more private ‘setting’, such as the NCX office.
Using Health Information
Before using patients' health information staff will do what they can to make sure that the information is accurate and up to date. The steps that staff will need to take will vary depending on how old the information is and the risk of relying on inaccurate information in the circumstances.
Staff will only use patients' health information for the purpose for which it has been collected unless the patient has consented to staff using the information for another purpose.
Storing Health Information
Health information is entered on the NCX secure electronic patient management system (Karisma) and shared with Horizon Radiology and Canterbury District Health Board/referring doctor/physiotherapist, etc. as appropriate.
Any older paper medical information at NCX is kept in a secure site, to be accessed only by appointed staff members.
When transferring patients' health information to someone else, staff will do what they can to prevent unauthorized people from accessing or using the information.
NCX can keep patients' health information for as long as NCX needs the information.
Patients are entitled to ask NCX to confirm whether NCX holds information about them and to access the information unless NCX has lawful reasons for withholding the information.
Patients are also entitled to ask NCX to correct the information that NCX holds about them.
Whenever possible, all staff should assist patients who ask to access their health information.
Disclosing Health Information
All staff will not disclose a patient's health information without his/her consent (or the consent of this/her representative) unless staff reasonably believe that it is not possible to get the patient's consent and:
- The disclosure is for the purpose of the patient's treatment (e.g. a referral):
- The disclosure is to the patient's caregiver and the patient hasn't objected to the disclosure;
- It is necessary for staff to disclose the information to prevent a serious and immediate threat to the patient or another person's life or health;
- The disclosure is made for the purpose of a criminal proceeding;
- The patient is, or is likely to become dependent on a drug that staff need to report under the Misuse of Drugs Act or the Medicines Act;
- The disclosure is to a social worker or the police and concerns suspected child abuse;