Operational Update 16 04 2020 - FAQs

Thursday, 16 April 2020 | Brooke Kenny

As we all embrace the digital solutions which are enabling you to continue consultations with your patients, we are also mindful of exploring operational models which continue to minimize the spread of COVID-19, such as encouraging electronic results, and limiting numbers of people attending our Collection Centres. If you have not yet taken up the opportunity to transfer the receipt of your patient pathology requests via the SonicDX platform, we strongly encourage you to contact your Client Liaison or email busdev@clinpath.com.au if they have not yet been in touch with you.

We have previously shared that your electronic referral form may be an emailed copy of the form generated out of your medical practitioner software, a scanned copy of your hand written request form in an emailed format or simply an email with the details of the request included within the body of the email.

“Is it safe to send the referral request via email?”

Clinpath IT infrastructure is managed by our parent company Sonic Healthcare who state that, “we will take all reasonable steps to protect your [personal] information from misuse, interference, loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. We use technologies and processes including, but not limited to, access controls, network firewalls, encryption and physical security measures, in order to protect your privacy.” You can read our full guideline here: www.sonichealthcare.com/privacy-policy

If we delve into the topic more broadly, what we find are the AMA Privacy Guidelines, where on Page 31 they answer the question, “Can I fax and email medical information?” The AMA states, there is nothing specific to prohibit electronically transmitting health information, as long as you take reasonable steps to ensure that the information is secure in transmission. A link to their full policy is here: ama.com.au/system/tdf/documents/AMA%20Privacy%20Handbook

“How do I put my signature on an electronic request?”

During these unprecedented times, Clinpath is working with you to streamline our work in line with the telehealth and work from home scenarios. Summary response:

  • There is no requirement for formal signature from the requesting doctor on the request as long as the request would be readily accessible for subsequent reference.
  • There is no requirement for the patient to physically sign for bulk billing purposes - a note on the request to the effect that verbal consent was obtained is sufficient. 

Like you, we are encouraging patients to continue with their routine tests in line with your medical advice. As you know our domiciliary, or mobile services provide patients with the ability to have the test at home, eliminating the need for patients to attend a busy collection centre. Any patient can book a mobile service via (08) 8366 2000.

We encourage you to stay aware of our directives, either via this medium, your BD Client Liaison Rep, or our website, here: clinpath.com.au/clinicians/news/

Kind regards,

Brooke Kenny

Pre-Analytics Manager