Telephone and electronic communication advice and information for patients.
Communicating with patients is a large part of our daily routine at Monto Family Practice. Often it can be difficult for patients, and sometimes even more so for a patient’s friends or family members to understand what is and what is not appropriate communication.
Patients of our practice are only able to obtain timely advice or information related to their clinical care by telephone and electronic means where their GP determines that this is clinically safe and that a face-to-face consultation is unnecessary for that patient.
In most cases, our GPs would prefer to see patients at the practice for a consultation. GPs are then provided the opportunity to visualise patients concerns, ensuring proper comprehension of the issue and make a better informed diagnosis and treatment plan. It also affords the opportunity for GPs to ensure patients have understood instructions and advice.
In cases where patients phone the practice for advice regarding a current condition or treatment plan, receptionists must refer your concerns to a member of our clinical staff for a reply. It is the policy of Monto Family Practice that no staff member who has not undergone formal medical training will provide advice to a patient regarding a medical concern. It is appropriate for non-clinical staff at the practice to reiterate advice provided by GPs or another clinical staff member, but must ensure that only the advice provided by that clinical member of staff is conveyed.
If the receptionist feels the patient’s query is complex or that there may be confusion in the relay of information, she may suggest to the patient that it would be more appropriate to see the GP in a face-to-face consultation.
It is important for patients to keep in mind that there may be a delay in receiving a response about their query. It is not always possible, or appropriate for receptionists to interrupt a consultation already in progress with another patient, and often the receptionist looking after your query may be attending to another patient when the relevant GP or clinical staff member is available. GPs are only available for very short periods of time between consultations during the day, and it may take time for a receptionist to be able to speak with them.
IF YOU HAVE PHONED THE PRACTICE FOR ADVICE AND YOUR CONDITION DETERIORATES WHILE WAITING FOR A REPLY, PLEASE CONTACT THE PRACTICE IMMEDIATELY TO REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT, CALL ‘OOO’ OR PRESENT TO MONTO HOSPITAL IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY.
Where patients request information be provided by electronic means, Monto Family Practice will request that an electronic communication consent be completed.
Email often lacks encryption and there is a significantly increased chance that sensitive health information might inadvertently be seen by another person. Monto Family Practice reserves the right to deny a patient’s request for information to be provided electronically if the information is deemed too sensitive.
In all instances of electronic or telephone communication is it important to establish the correct identity of the patient. The Monto Family Practice communication policy outlines that three RACGP approved patient identifiers are obtained prior to engaging in conversation or other communication with patients.
Monto Family Practice staff members are always mindful of a patient’s right to privacy.
Patients will be offered a place of privacy to express any concerns or health issues and all written information provided to the practice is handled in accordance with The Privacy Act 1988 and RACGP Standards.
Concerns may be heard from friends or family members, however no information will be divulged to any person other than the patient or person attending an appointment with the patient, with the patient’s express consent.
Further, we ask that all patients of Monto Family Practice be mindful of the privacy entitlements of all other patients of the practice. Please stand back from the reception desk until you are called. Perhaps the receptionist is speaking to a patient about a medical condition. It is important to respect that patient’s privacy, just as you would expect your privacy to be respected.
Please don’t expect staff of Monto Family Practice to provide you with information about another person. We would prefer not to have to offend you when we refuse your request.
Do you have your prescriptions up to date?
Do you have enough medication to get you through until your next appointment?
It is often difficult to get a short notice appointment at the clinic to obtain new prescriptions.
Please make an appointment well in advance to renew your scripts. It is a good idea to make an appointment as you fill your last script at the pharmacy.
Unfortunately we cannot guarantee that we will get you in at short notice if you run out of your medication.
Please call us on 4166 1212
Patient Rights & Responsibilities
As a patient of Monto Family Practice, what are my rights and responsibilities?
As a client, you have the right to:
- Request to have your health professional changed
- Give informed multi-service provider consent
- Non-discriminatory, quality and respectful health care
- Confidentiality, privacy and anonymity
- Be treated with courtesy and respect
- Be informed and consulted
- Be part of decisions about your care
- Receive quality services
- Refuse to be involved in research
- Express your own views and ideas
- Make a complaint
- Have someone with you when seen by a health professional
- Request a copy of your records in accordance with the Privacy Act, and Freedom of Information Act.
As a client, it is your responsibility to:
- Attend all allocated appointments, or provide at least 24 hours’ notice of cancellation wherever possible
- Appreciate that if you are late for an appointment you may not be able to be seen on that day
- Be polite and considerate to staff and other clients
- Treat all people you meet in the health service with care, dignity and consideration that we all deserve
- Respect the confidentiality and privacy of others
- Provide health professionals with complete and accurate information to receive high quality care
- Ask for more information about your care if you do not understand what you have been told
- Inform staff if you are taking any medicine, recreational drugs or natural therapies
- Inform staff if someone else is treating you for the same condition
- Follow staff instructions for your treatment and care
- Talk to your GP if your condition changes while you are on a waiting list
Compliments, Complaints & Suggestions
Monto Family Practice is on a mission. Our mission is to provide comprehensive, non-discriminatory and holistic medical care, to the highest standard, within the boundaries of general practice and skill set available amongst staff.
We are committed to providing care particular to the patient and their significant others, with dignity and respect, and in a timely manner.
The promotion of health, wellbeing and disease prevention is a high priority for all staff.
We would like to know if you feel we meet the brief. If you feel that you have been provided with less than optimal care at our practice, please let us know. But please also take the time to compliment our service, if you feel we have made the mark.
A formal complaints system is in place at the practice and a written complaint can be delivered to the practice at any time you feel it is necessary. We can also provide you with a complaints form to complete if you would prefer.
Your complaints will be handled with absolute professionalism. We will review our service as a result and take necessary action to ensure that this doesn’t re-occur.
Your suggestions are also a very important mechanism to enable us to improve our service to you. Please feel free to provide any suggestions you have for the practice and lodge them in the suggestion box at the clinic.
Who knows… your little idea may just be the beginning of something big!
Your feedback is the most important learning tool for us.
If you feel your complaint has not been addressed fully at a local level, please feel free to contact the following authorised government agencies:
Office of the Health Ombudsman: 133 OHO (133 646)
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC): 1300 363 992
Call us to make an appointment on 07 4166 1212 or
Practice ID: 9288
Monto Family Practice is AGPAL accredited and committed to providing you the best available medical treatment.