The policy also outlines how individuals can correct their personal information, which is held by Lifeview, how to make a complaint about a breach of privacy, and how complaints will be handled.
In our residential services, the role of Privacy Officer, is performed by the Residential Manager, in the first instance. All privacy issues, which relate to the collection, use, storage, access and disclosure of information within a residential care setting should first be directed to the Residential Manager. If the matter cannot be resolved at that level, or if it would be inappropriate for the Residential Manager to deal with the issue, then individuals who wish to contact Lifeview about information privacy can do so by contacting our Chief Executive Officer (CEO), who is also our group Privacy Officer at:
Telephone: 03 9572 9600
Mail: PO Box 910, Carnegie, VIC 3163
Lifeview is required to make this policy freely available and in an appropriate form, and accordingly it is able to be accessed on our public website at www.lifeview.com.au. Individuals who would like to request a copy of this policy in an alternate form, for example suitable for the vision impaired, or individuals from a non-English speaking background, may do so by contacting our Privacy Officer, and reasonable steps in the circumstances will be taken to provide the policy in an appropriate form.
Privacy Act 1988 (Cth)
Lifeview is required to meet certain obligations under the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988 (the Act), and is bound by the Australian Privacy Principles (the APPs). The Act governs how Lifeview collects, uses, stores and discloses the personal information of individuals, and how they may access or correct their information.
Personal information broadly means information or an opinion about an individual, whether true or not, which could reasonably lead to the identification of the individual in the particular circumstances. Personal information can include name or address details, dates of birth, telephone numbers, email addresses, financial information such as banking details, or photographic or video material. An individual’s name does not have to be included in information for it to constitute personal information. The test is whether the information considered as a whole would enable the individual to be identified.
A special category of personal information is known as “sensitive information”, and can include information about race or ethnicity, political opinions or membership, religious or philosophical beliefs, professional or trade association or union membership, gender and sexual preferences or practices, sexual orientation, criminal records, health information and genetic/biometric information such as fingerprints. There are additional obligations for the management of sensitive information required by the Act.
Health information means information or an opinion about the health or a disability (at any time) of an individual; an individual’s expressed wishes about the future provision of health services; or a health service provided, or to be provided, to an individual; that is also personal information; or other personal information collected to provide, or in providing, a health service; or other personal information about an individual collected in connection with the donation, or intended donation, by the individual of his or her body parts, organs or body substances; or genetic information about an individual in a form that is, or could be, predictive of the health of the individual or a genetic relative of the individual.
What kinds of personal information do we collect and hold?
Lifeview collects the personal information of residents, their representatives, employees, members of the public, suppliers, contractors and service providers. The personal information collected will depend on the nature of the individual’s relationship or interaction with Lifeview and its staff. Lifeview will only collect personal information where it is reasonably necessary for, or directly related to, one or more of its functions or activities.
Personal information (including sensitive information) collected can include names, dates of birth, gender details, address and contact details including email addresses, belonging to our clients, next of kin and other legal representatives. We collect information about our residents’ income, assets and pension status. Personal and business details of suppliers and contractors are also collected.
Additional personal information concerning employees which is collected can include job applications, work histories, curriculum vitaes, educational qualifications, training records, competency assessments, details of salary and wages, training records, performance assessments, counselling details and personnel records. Sensitive information is sometimes collected when appropriate, such as criminal record check details and relevant medical histories for employment purposes.
Health information collected can include incident and accident reports, first aid records, workers compensation claims and documents, rehabilitation and attendance records, medical or other health service provider records, medical histories and other assessments for insurance or employment purposes.
We collect information about our residents’ health and care needs and their medical history as it relates to the care and services we provide, information about our residents’ cultural, religious, linguistic and social needs, information about our residents’ interests, hobbies and community activities, and information about any potential medical, social or workplace risks involved in providing care and services to the resident. Information about third parties is sometimes collected in the context of insurance claims.
Sensitive information such as sexual orientation and or sexual preferences is not routinely collected from residents, unless it directly relates to their care and service delivery. A resident is free to refuse to provide this information, however it may impact their care if they do so.
Annually residents, staff and volunteers are asked questions around their gender identity and sexual orientation within the context of an anonymous survey. De-identified information collected, is aggregated and reported on for the purposes of planning future social activities and to better support and include the interests of all our customers, including those from the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and intersex communities (LGBTI).
How do we collect personal information?
We usually collect personal information about our residents in the following ways:
- directly from the resident and/or their representatives
- previously recorded personal and health information from residents’ health care providers and other persons/organisations who provide care and services to the resident
- where relevant, we also collect previously collected and recorded relevant (and current) information about our residents from other aged care providers and aged care referral services.
We also receive information from the Commonwealth Government regarding our residents’ eligibility to pay certain fees and charges.
Employees and service providers
We collect information about our employees:
- directly from the employees
- through general background check processes such as criminal history checks
- from other sources such as referees and employment agencies.
Information about suppliers, contractors and service providers and their employees is collected directly from them.
Lifeview collects personal information by way of several channels or methods. Personal information can be collected when individuals telephone Lifeview or interact verbally, or make contact by mail or email. It is also collected when individuals access our website or use it to communicate with us. In most cases Lifeview collects information directly from individuals, however where information about you is collected from another person or organisation, it is dealt with according to the requirements of the Act.
On admission to a Lifeview residential care service, the Consent for Collection of Personal and Health Information Form is requested to be completed by either the resident or their representative, whereby consent is obtained for personal and health information to be collected, stored, used and disclosed for a range of purposes.
Personal information can be collected when individuals use our online feedback service, or make enquiries or complaints. It is sometimes collected whether it has been requested by Lifeview or not, for example when you send us your personal information without us asking for it. Our website uses “Cookies” which collect user information and data for statistical and analytic purposes.
Personal and business details of suppliers, contractors and service providers are collected when they interact with Lifeview, so that appropriate financial and business records can be maintained. Personal information of job applicants and employees is also collected during the application process (whether or not successful) and during the period of employment, which may also include sensitive information. Health information can be collected when circumstances require that first aid be administered, for administering sick leave or carers leave, or where injury or insurance claims arise.
When personal information is collected, Lifeview takes reasonable steps in the circumstances to notify the individual (either at or before the time of collection, or as soon as practicable thereafter) or make them aware of certain matters. These “collection statements” are included on all forms that Lifeview uses to collect personal information, displayed on our website at the point of collection, or relayed via telephone when individuals provide their personal information to us.
Lifeview is required to use its best endeavours to offer individuals the option of not identifying themselves, or using a pseudonym, when they interact with us. This requirement does not apply if we are required by law or authorised by a Court or Tribunal to only deal with individuals who have identified themselves, or where it is impracticable to deal with individuals in this manner.
How do we store personal information?
Lifeview stores information securely both in paper form and electronically at its head office and on site (eg. at a residential care facility). Authorised staff and service providers providing residents with care and services have access to personal and health information electronically.
A Resident Database is maintained which stores the personal information (which may also include sensitive information such as ethnic background, religion) of residents. Paper-based resident files are stored in the care office or at the nurses’ station. Current and archived electronic resident files are computerised and securely stored within an electronic client management system used for resident records.
A Staff Database is maintained for the storage of staff personal and health information in electronic form. Hard copy staff information is stored in the offices of Residential Managers. Further personnel details and financial information is stored at our Corporate Office.
Lifeview is required to take reasonable steps to ensure that the personal information it collects, holds, uses and discloses is accurate, up to date and complete, with reference to the purpose for which it is collected, used or disclosed. Information held by Lifeview is subject to regular reviews and audits for this purpose. Where it is determined that it is no longer necessary or legally required for Lifeview to hold and store personal information, reasonable steps are taken to de-identify or destroy the information.
Generally, all resident records are retained for a period of seven years following their departure from the residence, or other periods determined by legislation, after which they are securely destroyed. Further information about our document retention protocols is detailed in our Documents and Records Control Policy and Procedure.
Lifeview stores information using a combination of physical files and a secure electronic document management system. Security and access protocols are maintained in order to implement reasonable steps to ensure that personal information is protected from misuse, interference, loss, unauthorised access, modification and disclosure. Internal access controls and protocols ensure that only authorised staff can access personal information in circumstances where they are required to do so in the performance of their duties. Our IT system allows electronic file access to be tracked and audited to ensure that only authorised access to personal information has occurred.
Governance mechanisms employed by Lifeview to ensure the appropriate management of personal information include maintaining a designated privacy officer role, our Resident Handbook, our Staff Handbook, audit programs, staff bulletins and ongoing in-service education and training programs. Lifeview is committed to conducting a Privacy Impact Assessment for any new project where personal information will be handled, or where a significant change to information handling procedures is proposed.
For what purposes do we collect, hold, use and disclose personal information?
Use of information
When Lifeview holds your personal information, it can only be used for the particular purpose for which it was collected (known as the “primary purpose”), unless certain exceptions apply. Personal information can be used for secondary or other purposes where consent has been obtained, where it is reasonably expected to be used for a related purpose, where required or authorised by law or a Court/Tribunal order, where reasonably necessary for enforcement purposes conducted by or on behalf of an enforcement body, or where certain “permitted general situations” or “permitted health situations” exist.
Permitted General Situations
Permitted general situations are where circumstances exist involving serious threats to life, health or safety of any individual, or to public health or safety, suspected unlawful activity or serious misconduct, missing persons, legal or equitable claims and alternative dispute resolution processes.
Permitted Health Situations
Permitted health situations are where a range of specific circumstances apply in relation to the collection, use and disclosure of health information. They will exist where the information is necessary to provide a health service to the individual, and either the collection is required or authorised by or under an Australian law (other than the Privacy Act), or the information is collected in accordance with rules established by competent health or medical bodies that deal with obligations of professional confidentiality which govern activities of the organisation.
A permitted health situation will also exist where the collection is necessary for research relevant to public health or public safety, the compilation or analysis of statistics relevant to public health or public safety, or the management, funding or monitoring of a health service, and:
- those purposes cannot be served by collecting de-identified information,
- it is impracticable to obtain the individual’s consent, and
- the collection is either required by or under an Australian law (other than the Privacy Act), in accordance with rules established by competent health or medical bodies that deal with obligations of professional confidentiality which bind the organisation, or in accordance with approved guidelines.
A further permitted health situation will exist if the use or disclosure is necessary for research, or the compilation or analysis of statistics, relevant to public health or public safety, and:
- it is impracticable to obtain the individual’s consent to the use or disclosure,
- the use or disclosure is conducted in accordance with approved guidelines, and
- in the case of disclosure – the organisation reasonably believes that the recipient of the information will not disclose the information, or personal information derived from that information.
Permitted health situations arise in relation to genetic information about an individual if:
- the organisation has obtained the information in the course of providing a health service to the individual,
- the organisation reasonably believes that the use or disclosure is necessary to lessen or prevent a serious threat to the life, health or safety of another individual who is a genetic relative of the individual,
- the use or disclosure is conducted in accordance with approved guidelines, and
- in the case of disclosure – the recipient of the information is a genetic relative of the individual.
Finally, a permitted health situation will arise when the organisation provides a health service to the individual, and:
- the recipient of the information is a responsible person for the individual,
- the individual is either physically or legally incapable of giving consent to the disclosure, or physically cannot communicate consent to the disclosure,
- another individual providing the health service (the ‘carer’) is satisfied that either the disclosure is necessary to provide appropriate care or treatment of the individual, or the disclosure is made for compassionate reasons,
- the disclosure is not contrary to any wish expressed by the individual before the individual became unable to give or communicate consent of which the carer is aware or of which the carer could reasonably be expected to be aware, and
- the disclosure is limited to the extent reasonable and necessary for providing appropriate care or fulfilling compassionate reasons.
Lifeview uses personal information provided during enquiry processes for the purposes of applications for entry, assessment of medical and nursing care required, making decisions about the appropriate level of funding, fulfilling client requests, providing personalised services, maintaining accounts and records, statistical analysis, conducting market research and marketing, and assessing and evaluating the use of our website. Personal information may also be used by Lifeview in conducting criminal record checking and employment screening, obtaining legal advice, and participating in legal proceedings.
Disclosure of or access to information
In most circumstances, Lifeview is restricted in how it may disclose your personal information. Personal information can only be disclosed for the particular purpose for which it was collected (known as the “primary purpose”), unless certain exceptions apply. Personal information can be disclosed for secondary or other purposes where we have consent to do so, where it is reasonably expected to be disclosed for a related purpose, where required or authorised by law or a Court/Tribunal order, where reasonably necessary for enforcement purposes conducted by or on behalf of an enforcement body, or where “permitted general situations” or “permitted health situations” as described above exist.
Circumstances where personal information may be disclosed broadly include compliance with statutory obligations, arranging for insurance, progressing insurance claims and meeting occupational health and safety obligations. Lifeview may disclose personal information of members of the public, clients, suppliers, contractors and service providers which is provided for the purposes of fulfilling client requests, providing personalised services, maintaining accounts and records, statistical analysis, conducting market research and marketing, and assessing and evaluating the use of our website.
Personal information may also be disclosed for residential application assessment, administration of resident agreements, and in some circumstances in obtaining references. Other circumstances where it may be disclosed include complaint management, security purposes, and administration of job applications and employment, which may include criminal record checking and employment screening. Personal information may also be disclosed by Lifeview in obtaining legal advice, and participating in legal proceedings.
Personal information may be given to Commonwealth and State government agencies and other individuals/organisations including loss adjusters, security companies, insurance companies and health service providers. It will only be disclosed to third parties where permitted by the Act, and only disclosed to Lifeview staff where necessary for the performance of their duties and where they are authorised to access it.
We collect, hold, use and disclose personal information about residents for the primary purposes of providing care and services to our residents.
Where permissible, we disclose residents’ relevant personal information other persons/ organisations who are involved in providing health services and other care and services to the resident. This can include the resident’s doctor and allied health service providers.
We also collect, hold, use and disclose residents’ information for the following purposes:
- so that we can receive funding from government agencies in respect of our clients
- in order to comply with our legal obligations under the Aged Care Act 1997 and other laws
- so that we can improve our services through quality improvement activities such as audits, surveys and other quality improvement activities
- for direct marketing
- for the purposes of obtaining professional advice
Employees and service providers
We collect, hold, use and disclose information about our employees and services providers for following purposes:
- to administer employment arrangements, personnel development and management responsibilities
- to provide care and services to our clients
- for quality improvement and marketing purposes
- to meet our legal obligations such as the requirement to obtain criminal record checks for employees involved in providing care to our clients and workplace laws obligations.
Lifeview may use or disclose personal information (other than sensitive information) for direct marketing purposes where it has collected the information directly from the individual, the individual would reasonably expect the information to be used for that purpose, where a simple means for the individual to opt out of direct marketing communications has been provided and where the individual has not done so.
Direct marketing can also can also occur where Lifeview has consent to use personal information for that purpose, whether or not the information was collected from the individual, where a simple means for the individual to opt out of direct marketing communications has been provided with each direct marketing communication and where the individual has not done so.
Lifeview can use sensitive information for direct marketing communications where consent to do so has been obtained.
When Lifeview uses personal information for direct marketing purposes or to facilitate direct marketing by another organisation, the individual may request not to receive marketing communications, request that Lifeview not use or disclose their personal information to facilitate direct marketing by another organisation, and request that Lifeview inform the individual of the source of their personal information where practicable or reasonable (or inform the individual that it cannot do so).
Lifeview cannot charge an individual for dealing with a request not to receive direct marketing communication, that their information not be disclosed to another marketing organisation, or to provide its source of information. It must deal with these requests within a reasonable period of time, and will usually do so within seven days.
How can you access and correct your personal information?
Requests made by individuals to access their personal information held by Lifeview will generally be granted, unless certain limited circumstances apply. Those circumstances may include where it is reasonably determined that granting access would pose a serious threat to the life, health, or safety of an individual or to public health or safety, where granting access would have an unreasonable impact on the privacy of other individuals, where the request is frivolous or vexatious, or where legal proceedings are on foot. Lifeview may also deny access in some circumstances where it is required to do so by law or access would be unlawful, where commercial negotiations or decision making processes may be prejudiced, where unlawful activity or serious misconduct is suspected, or where enforcement related activities may be prejudiced.
Lifeview responds to requests to access personal information within a reasonable period (usually 45 days but often sooner), and gives access to the information in the manner requested where it is reasonable and practicable. If access needs to be refused due to one of the above exceptions, Lifeview will take reasonable steps in the circumstances to provide access that meets the needs of Lifeview and the individual, including through using a mutually agreed intermediary.
If access is refused, Lifeview will give the individual a written notice which sets out the reasons for refusal, how to complain about the refusal, and where it relates to a commercially sensitive decision-making process, the reasons for refusal may include an explanation of the nature of the commercially sensitive decision.
Lifeview may require that reasonable charges be paid in respect of granting access to personal information, however the charges must not be excessive, and must not apply to the making of the request.
Requests for access to personal information must be made in writing, and can be made using the Information Access Form – Private Information, or the Access Form – Health Information, both of which are available on our website or in hard copy at our various premises. If you require any assistance in making an access request you can contact our Privacy Officer directly.
Requests to update or correct
If Lifeview holds personal information about an individual, and is satisfied that the information is inaccurate, out of date, incomplete, irrelevant or misleading (having regard to the purpose for which it is held), or the individual requests that Lifeview correct the information, then Lifeview will take reasonable steps to correct the information to ensure that it is accurate, up to date, complete, relevant and not misleading.
When Lifeview corrects personal information that it previously disclosed to someone else, and the individual requests that Lifeview notify the other person of the correction, then Lifeview will take reasonable steps in the circumstances to give that notification unless it is impracticable or unlawful to do so. If in some circumstances Lifeview refuses to correct personal information as requested, it will provide the individual with a written notice that sets out the reasons for refusal, and how to complain about the refusal.
When Lifeview refuses to correct personal information as requested, and the individual requests Lifeview to add a statement to their record that the information is inaccurate, out of date, incomplete, irrelevant or misleading, then Lifeview will take reasonable steps in the circumstances to add the statement to the record in a manner that will make it apparent to users of the information. Lifeview will respond to requests to correct/update or add a statement within a reasonable period after the request is made, and will not charge the individual for the making of the request, the correction, or the adding of the statement.
Requests to update or correct personal information can be made by contacting our Privacy Officer directly. Requests will usually be met or responded to within 30 days.
How can you complain about a breach of the APPs?
All complaints concerning breaches of the Act and APPs will be examined, and unless they are considered frivolous or vexatious, will be investigated by Lifeview’s Privacy Officer, the CEO. Where appropriate, the CEO may delegate the handling of a complaint to the relevant residential Manager. Complaints should be submitted in writing directly to the Privacy Officer via the contact details on page 1 of this policy. Lifeview follows dedicated procedures for identifying and reporting privacy breaches, and for receiving and responding to complaints.
Lifeview’s Privacy Officer maintains a complaints register, and will investigate complaints concerning the mishandling of personal information, security breaches, and allegations of breaches of the Act and the APPs, and any matters which are referred from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC). Your complaint will be promptly acknowledged, and will be dealt with within a reasonable amount of time depending on the complexity of the matter. You will receive updates as to the progress of your complaint if the investigation takes longer than expected. Less complex complaints can usually be dealt with within 30 days, however more complex matters may take longer to resolve.
Where a notification of a breach of privacy, or a complaint about the handling of personal information is received, Lifeview’s Privacy Officer will take immediate steps to contain the breach, which may involve securing or quarantining personal information or Lifeview files which contain the personal information. A preliminary assessment will be conducted and any necessary actions taken. These actions may include notifying the individual(s) whose personal information is subject of the breach/complaint.
Where the preliminary assessment finds that the matter is complex or of a serious nature, independent investigators and/or legal advisors may be retained to assist with the investigation. All investigations will determine whether or not there appears to have been a breach of Lifeview’s obligations under the Act.
At the conclusion of the investigation, recommendations may be made as to changes to information handling practices and protocols within Lifeview. The complainant (or if the matter was referred by it, the OAIC) will be informed of the outcome of the investigation, any relevant findings, and any actions taken as a result.
If the complainant is not satisfied with the investigation or the outcome, they may make a further complaint to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
Further information can be found at http://www.oaic.gov.au/privacy/making-a-privacy-complaint
You can also contact the Aged Care Complaints Scheme in relation to any concerns you have about the care and services we provide:
Phone: 1800 550 552
 From 1 January 2016 responsibility for managing aged care complaints transfers from the Aged Care Complaints Scheme to the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner – the contact phone number will remain the same.
Our View: Lifeview is trusted, respected, consumer focused, inclusive and innovative