RACGP provides guidance on using email in general practice

Mar 27, 2015

Avant has worked with the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) to develop new guiding principles on the use of email in general practice.

"The use of email is part of everyday life, so it comes as no surprise that GPs are increasingly receiving requests from patients, other practitioners and third parties for health information to be sent electronically," Dr Penny Browne, Avant's Senior Medical Officer said.

The Australian Privacy Principles regard health information as one of the most sensitive types of personal information. Health practitioners have a fundamental role in ensuring the privacy of patient health information and should take reasonable steps to safeguard patient information when sending by email.

"GPs who have their patients' records and private health information entrusted to them take their privacy obligations very seriously," Dr Browne said.

"The resources developed by RACGP are guides which will assist practices to decide on how they will communicate health information safely and securely."

The resources include:

  • Guiding principles on using email in general practice
  • Privacy and security matrix
  • Secure communications in general practice – product list

The guiding principles and matrix can be found on RACGP's website.

Useful links

Avant Guide to Privacy Reforms
Avant Privacy Reforms Checklist
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner – Guide to securing personal information: 'Reasonable steps' to protect personal information

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