How we use your information
Fundamentally, the information in your file is used to help provide ongoing care for you. It is a record of your contacts with us, and the outcomes of those contacts.
Having an electronic file helps in the continuity of care, meaning that even if you see different people across our service, there is a record of what assistance has been provided previously. It can help reduce having to tell your story multiple times and can also help ensure important information isn’t forgotten.
As a service, we also use de-identified data to help us understand how many students we are seeing each year, the main kinds of difficulties they are reporting, and the extent and type of supports being provided.
Your rights in terms of confidentiality and privacy
There are a couple of things to note in terms of the confidentiality and privacy of your information.
First, the Genie database sits separate from other information databases in the university, and is only accessible to staff of the Health, Counselling and Disability Service. Other areas of the university cannot access this database.
Second, many students are concerned that friends, lecturers or family members may find out that they have seen someone in the Health, Counselling and Disability Service. Any contact you have with our service will be in professional confidence. We take privacy seriously and, except in the rare situations outlined below, nothing concerning a client/patient is reported elsewhere or to anyone without his/her prior consent.
The situations where we may need to use or disclose confidential or personal information regarding your treatment, information which you provide to us, or information which is otherwise on your record (“Confidential information”) to other staff or third parties are:
- where we are required to disclose the confidential Information by law;
- where disclosure is warranted in order to prevent an imminent threat to your health or safety, or the health or safety of another person;
- where the disclosure is requested by authorities in connection with a criminal investigation;
- where the disclosure is to the University in connection with suspected unlawful activity or serious misconduct;
- where we believe that a disclosure is reasonably necessary to mitigate or prevent a foreseeable risk of harm or yourself or to a third party; or
- where a student is enrolled in a course where mandatory notification requirements to AHPRA apply, and we form the view that the student has an impairment that may place the public at risk of substantial harm, then a mandatory report to AHPRA may be required as well as the topic coordinator.
Outside of these situations, we will require your consent prior to any use or disclosure of your personal information.
For students who see a disability advisor and provide documentation regarding their disability; once you have provided documentation to the disability advisor (DA) you do not have to disclose your disability to any other person - it is up to you whether or not you discuss the nature of your disability with teaching staff.
An exception to this is where a school has a “Fitness for Placement’ process in place and a student has a medical or other condition that means their performance on a placement would be impaired. In those cases, the student is required to disclose their condition to the topic coordinator.
For more details read the policy on Administrative Procedures for Student Work-Integrated Learning Placements.
You can speak to a disability advisor if you need more information about disclosure.