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What happens to my health information?

When you become a patient of Barwon Health, a record is created containing your name, address, contact details and other information such as the nature of the problem for which you are seeking treatment and the treatment or advice you were given.

Every time you attend Barwon Health as a patient, new information is added to your record. Your record may also be included on Barwon Health clinical databases, where necessary, for your treatment or ongoing care. Barwon Health may also collect information about you from other health services as necessary (pathology results and other relevant clinical referral information) and this information will be added to your record.

Barwon Health is subject to privacy legislation including the Health Services Act 1988 (VIC), and the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (VIC).

Why is it important to collect your information?

This information helps healthcare professionals involved in your care with treating you safely and effectively.

What information do we collect?

The information we collect for your record

  • Your name, address and contact details, and the contact details of your emergency contact person
  • The name of your general practitioner
  • Your medical history
  • Your medications
  • The health problems for which you are seeking advice and treatment
  • The plan for your care and management of your health problems

Information that comes from other sources that we add to your record

  • Pathology and radiology (test) results
  • Referral letters from other health service providers
  • Information about your care if you have been transferred from another health service

How is my health information protected and who has access to it?

Your health information is securely stored in both paper and electronic formats, aligned with Victorian privacy legislation. Only authorised personnel have access to the information.

Information stored within Barwon Health’s computer systems is password protected and Barwon Health complies with the international standard for security of information management systems (ISO 27001 – Information Security Management Systems).

Who is your information shared with?

Information we share with others to provide continuity of care

  • When you have been admitted to Barwon Health, Barwon Health will send a ‘discharge summary’ to your General Practitioner when you are discharged from hospital. This letter summarises your stay at the hospital, your medication and any special instructions for your doctor.
  • Barwon Health will write back to specialists or services who referred you to Barwon Health advising of the treatment you have had.
  • Barwon Health is linked with the Commonwealth My Health Record and electronically sends your discharge summaries, pathology results and medications information to My Health Record if you have a registered My Health Record. From 1 February 2019, a My Health Record was created for every eligible Australian who chose not to opt-out by the deadline of 31 January 2019. You can visit myhealthrecord.gov.au or call 1800 723 471 to find out more.

Information we are legally obliged to provide to others

We may also provide information about you to an entity or person outside Barwon Health where Barwon Health is required by law to do so, such as:

  • A court or tribunal if your medical record is the subject of a subpoena or summons
  • Reporting notifiable diseases to the Victorian Department of Health
  • A prescribed Information Sharing Entity or a prescribed Risk Assessment Entity under the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic).

Who else receives information about you?

  • Research: Barwon Health is actively involved in clinical research and may share your information with researchers for studies that have been approved by a Human Research Ethics Committee. Also, as a Barwon Health patient you may be asked if you want to participate in research. It is your choice as to whether you want to be involved in research studies.  The use of patient information, data or tissue is carefully monitored and must comply with national guidelines and legislation.  If you have further questions, you can contact REGI (the Research Ethics, Governance and Integrity Unit) on (03) 4215 3371.
  • Barwon Health Foundation: The Barwon Health Foundation raises money for the health service, to help us provide the best possible health care to our community. Barwon Health may provide your demographic information to BH Foundation to be used for contacting you about the hospital’s fundraising work, including asking for a donation. It is your choice as to whether you want to support the Barwon Health Foundation and you can contact The Barwon Health Foundation on (03) 4215 8900 if you do not wish to do so. 
  • Clinical Registries: Your information may be provided to professional groups.
  • Department of Health: Any patient aged 16 and over who has been a patient of a Victorian public hospital has the potential to be randomly selected to participate in the Victorian Healthcare Experience Survey (VHES). If you are selected to participate, you will receive the survey by email or post. It is your choice as to whether you want to complete the survey. For more information click here.

More information

How can I access my health information?

Under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic) you have the right to request access to your medical record and personal information held by Barwon Health. If there is information in the record that is incorrect or you do not agree with, you can request for it to be to be amended under the Freedom of Information Act.

Read the Barwon Health privacy policy.

To make a request contact:

Freedom of Information Office, Barwon Health

Phone: (03) 4215 1168

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A fee is charged for Freedom of Information requests and certain exemptions from disclosure may apply.

For more information, click here

Last Modified: Friday, 11 June 2021