There are several pieces of legislation that relate to accessing information that has been developed by your treating clinician, the most important of which for us is the NSW Health Records and Information Privacy Act (2002).
An individual can request access to health related information. Such a request must be:
- In writing
- State the name and address of the individual making the request
- Sufficiently identify the information being sought
- Specify the form in which they wish to receive it (as defined by the Act)
- This can be delegated to another person to receive the information
Please be careful if you are requesting a copy of your file to be sent somewhere as once this information leaves our office we are not responsible for confidentiality being maintained.
The Act provides for two methods of providing the information to the client.
- The client can be given a copy of the Health Information
- By providing the individual an opportunity to inspect the notes and take their own notes
There are several reasons that a request for access to the file can be denied under the Act – but generally these are fairly serious issues and the burden of proof justifying that reason is on us as the provider.
It will generally be the preference and recommendation of the practice that you review information with your clinician and it can be a genuinely useful tool for starting a conversation about why something may have been entered into the record.
You can request that a record be corrected if you believe it to be in factual error. If your clinician disagrees with you and feels the information is accurate – an amendment must be made to the file reflecting the disagreement.
Please be aware that fee’s and charges will apply to either reviewing or providing copies of someones file. With the exception of providing them to a new treating practitioner (for example if you move to a new town and need to continue therapy) in which case they will be provided on a complimentary basis.