Who we are
Cancer Alliance Queensland brings together The Cancer Control Safety and Quality Partnership (The Partnership), Queensland Cancer Control Analysis Team (QCCAT) and the Queensland Cancer Register (QCR). Together with the support of Queensland Health, and in partnership with clinicians, health facilities and external organisations we support and promote clinician led improvement of cancer services in Queensland.
The Cancer Alliance Queensland have access to a vast and secure array of Queensland’s public and private health related data, including population based cancer diagnoses, pathology and staging, treatment, death information and clinical and administrative data systems.
We aim to provide the cancer community with information and tools to routinely review, share and compare data on cancer treatment and outcomes. We conduct analysis and distribute cancer information and statistics for Queensland. We also help to direct clinical innovations and support cancer research.
What is personal information?
Any information or opinion about an identifiable living individual1.
What is sensitive information?
A subset of personal information and can include (but not limited to) any of the following: racial or ethnic origin; political opinions; religious beliefs; sexual preferences; criminal record; or health information2.
What is confidential information?
Confidential information most often relates to patients of the Department of Health who may be living or deceased1.
The Department of Health is subject to privacy and confidentiality legislation which set the standards for how we handle personal and confidential information. The two primary pieces of legislation are the Part 7 of the Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011 (the HHB Act)1 and Information Privacy Act 2009 (the IP Act)2
Information Privacy Act 2009 (the IP Act)
- gives a person the right to apply to access and amend their own personal information
- details the privacy principles public sector agencies must comply with
- establishes the Privacy Commissioner as a deputy to the Information Commissioner with particular responsibility for Information Privacy in Queensland
Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011 (HHB Act)
We do not disclose information we collect about persons or organisations to anyone outside the Cancer Alliance Queensland unless authorised to do so under the HHB Act. Access to data is only available to be released under legislation and specifically tailored to address data request questions. It is an offence to disclose confidential information about a person unless one of the exceptions in Part 7 of the Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011 applies.
For the purpose of this policy personal, sensitive and confidential information will be referred to as confidential information.
How we use confidential information?
The Cancer Alliance Queensland collects and disclose health related information specifically for our programs of work. We also collect some personal information when people use our QOOLTM applications and website to improve our products and services.
Why we collect confidential information?
Statistics and information
We collect this information for a variety of reasons, including to:
- conduct analysis and report cancer information
- to improve the safety and quality of cancer services
- to enable the evaluation, management, monitoring or planning of cancer services
- undertake data linkage and integration
- support clinical and health service research
- develop and improve cancer statistics
- to provide clinicians with data systems and tools to enable the collection of clinical data
We may also collect confidential information for other purposes. This includes:
- users of our QOOLTM applications and website
- members or relevant persons of Cancer Alliance Queensland committees and working groups
- to distribute publications and communique
How we collect confidential information?
We collect this information:
- directly from clinical and treatment systems, Queensland Cancer Register, Multidisciplinary teams via QOOLTM applications and the Department of Health
- indirectly from health administration sources, research projects, national death index
This information is collected in various ways including:
- paper based and electronic forms
- electronic data files
- our QOOLTM applications and website
Types of confidential information we hold
We may collect the following types of information as we perform our work:
- name, address and contact details
- public and private health care facilities and providers of oncology services
We also collect and hold some sensitive information, including:
- health information
- race or ethnic origin
- patients under the age 18yrs
How we secure and dispose of confidential information
The Cancer Alliance Queensland implemented security measures following the Department of Health policies and procedures to prevent accidental loss and from unauthorised access, use, alteration and disclosure.
We apply correct storage, handling and disposal methods so information has security classifications applied to them and are protected from unauthorised.
Electronic and paper records containing personal information are stored and protected in accordance with Queensland Health information Security Policy Framework.
We support these broader requirements with many internal policies and procedures on:
- information security and privacy
- data custody
- submissions to HREC for projects involving personal information
- access to information
- data linkage
- de-identifying data
- release of statistical information
All our staff, contractors, medical students and visiting research officers must sign confidentiality agreements before they can access any data we hold. We only grant users with access to systems/information relevant to what they need to perform their work.
How we use and disclosure of confidential information
We only use this information to perform our work under the HHSB Act and PHA or in our capacity as an employer.
If we disclose confidential information, we do so as permitted by the HHS Act, PHA or IP Act to the following:
- disclosure for research
- other general disclosure
- State and Territory/Commonwealth entities
- other third parties such as authorised health care professionals
We may disclose personal information where:
- the person has consented
- the person would reasonably expect, or have been told, that we usually disclose information in a particular circumstance or to a particular person or organisation
- it is required or authorised by law
When will we seek consent to disclose confidential information?
We will not use or disclose this information without consent unless:
- it is disclosed or used for the purpose related to the primary purposes of collection detail and you would reasonably expect your personal information to be used or disclosed for such a purpose
- if we reasonably believe that the use or disclosure is necessary to lessen or prevent a serious or imminent threat to an individual’s life, health or safety or to lessen or prevent a threat to public health or safety
- if we have reason to suspect that unlawful activity has been, or is being engaged in; or
- if it is required or authorised by law
We may obtain consent from an individual directly and if so it will be required in writing. In order for the consent to be valid you must be provided enough information to understand:
- the type of personal information being disclosed
- the purpose of the disclosure
- who will be receiving the information and what it will be used for by the recipient/s
- foreseeable consequences of agreeing to the disclosure
Do we transfer or disclose confidential information outside of Queensland?
From time to time, we may disclose health information, to individuals and organisations who are located outside of Queensland.
The kinds of individuals and organisations to whom we may securely transfer/disclose information outside of Queensland include third parties such as the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare or Universities conducting approved research studies. We may also disclose de-identified information to researchers or international cancer entities in other countries.
Our QOOLTM applications and website
When a user browses our website, we collect this information about their visit, which we use for statistical purposes:
- server or IP address
- date and time of visit
- pages accessed and documents downloaded
- search terms used
- type of browser used
When a user registers for an account for access to our QOOLTM application, we collect the following information about the user for approving access, auditing and monitoring purposes:
- personal information disclosed when registering for an account
- date and time of login
- pages accessed and edited
Can you access personal information that we hold about you?
You can ask to access the personal information we hold about you. We will, upon your request and subject to any exemptions in applicable privacy laws, provide you with access to your personal information.
If that information is incorrect of out dated, you can ask to correct it.
Send your request to the Senior Director of the Cancer Alliance Queensland providing your contact details.
How to complain about a possible breach of privacy
We are committed to protecting your privacy. You can make a complaint if you believe we may have breached your privacy or our privacy obligations.
Send your complaint to the Senior Director of the Cancer Alliance Queensland providing your contact details.
We take all complaints seriously and are committed to quickly and fairly resolving them. If the matter is complex and takes longer to investigate that we first expected, we will keep you informed on when you will receive a response.
If you are not satisfied that we have resolved your complaint you can request that the matter is escalated for review by the Department of Health, to the Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC) Queensland.
How to contact us about privacy
Updates and availability to this policy
Effective date: April 2018 (Version 1.0)