BreastScreen SA aims to provide you with the best breast cancer screening services possible. Knowing information about how we use and store your information, how to access your personal records, and your rights and responsibilities as a BreastScreen SA client, will ensure you have an informed and respectful experience with our program.
BreastScreen SA maintains high accreditation standards that are needed to achieve our aim of reducing deaths from breast cancer through early detection. Several of these accreditation standards relate to the privacy of our clients.
What information does BreastScreen SA need and why?
We have been granted permission to use information (names, addresses, dates of birth, email addresses and phone numbers) from both Medicare and the South Australian Electoral Commission to identify South Australian women aged 50 and older. This information allows us to invite eligible women to make an appointment for a free breast screen.
Information is collected from you (our client) when you attend for screening, allowing us to correctly identify you and your records.
Further information is then collected from you regarding:
- your family history of breast cancer – this allows us to recommend whether you should be screened annually or two-yearly
- any current breast symptoms and previous breast problems you may have – this enables us to make recommendations to your doctor about future management after your breast screen
- any investigations and treatment following your breast screen – this information is collected, with your consent, from external health providers to ensure you receive the most appropriate care
- any investigations and treatment for breast cancer that is diagnosed between your regular breast screens – this information is collected from the SA Cancer Registry and allows us to monitor the effectiveness of our service.
If you do not provide us with all the relevant information about yourself, we may not be able to provide you with the best advice about your need or further investigations and future screening.
If you do not sign the Screening Information and Consent form, we are unable screen you.
How is my information used?
Your personal details are used by BSSA to contact you when your breast screen is due and to inform you of your results. Your nominated general practitioner (GP) or treating doctors will also be contacted to ensure you receive the most appropriate care. Data is analysed so BSSA can monitor the quality of its service, and plan for future needs.
How is my information stored?
Your information is stored securely within an electronic database. Privacy and confidentiality is strictly maintained, according to the Health Act 2008 (sec 93) and Mental Health Act 2009 (sec 106).
Who has access to my information and why?
Our staff have access to information at the level that is required for them to perform their duties and provide the best possible breast screening service for you.
Your nominated doctor is provided with the results of your screening visit if you have provided us with their name and given your signed consent. Your nominated doctor and treating specialist(s) are provided with information about you if you need investigation or treatment for breast cancer.
The SA Cancer Registry is notified of all cases of breast cancer. This is required by law.
Data is used to collect statistics for quality assurance and for monitoring and evaluation of the BreastScreen SA program. Reports produced from this data may be provided to BreastScreen Australia and government health departments. Information may be used for ethically approved research purposes. It is not possible to identify individuals from these published reports in any way.
BreastScreen SA has a charter of client rights, which is based on the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care's standards.
As a client of BreastScreen SA, you have the right to:
- a welcoming, friendly, high-quality service view your own health care records and, if incorrect, have them amended
- be treated with respect and be safe from abuse
- be assured that only authorised personnel
- involved in your care have access to information about you and your care
- receive information that is easy to understand and helpful
- be given clear information about:
- the screening process
- the assessment process
- procedures that may be conducted
- who can provide you with your assessment results
- referral options for any recommended treatment
- the risks, benefits and limitations involved in breast cancer screening
- ask questions about your screening mammogram and investigations
- actively participate in improving the safety and quality of our service through feedback
- provide feedback about the service you received
- provide or withdraw consent for treatment at any time
- have a family member, friend, carer or advocate with you
- have an independent, professional interpreter if required
- have your personal information treated confidentially.
BreastScreen SA clients also have responsibilities that improve their experience with our service.
As a client, you have a responsibility to:
- keep appointments and be on time – if you are running late or unable to attend, you must let us know
- provide up-to-date information about any relevant medical history so that we can provide you with the best and safest care
- ask questions so that you feel confident in making decisions about your care
- tell us of your needs in a polite way
- help in your own care by following any after-care advice and notifying us if you have any problems following your appointment
- let us know if you are worried or unhappy with any aspect of your visit to BreastScreen SA
- inform us of any special needs you may have.