Lifeline Shanghai understands that people are concerned about their privacy.
This Privacy Statement is to ensure that callers to the Lifeline Shanghai Telephone Counselling service can receive open and accurate information about what personal information may be collected during a call to a telephone counsellor, and how and for what purpose that information will be used.
Collection and use of personal information (health information)
During a call, the Lifeline Shanghai telephone counselling service may collect personal information about callers.
Lifeline Shanghai will only collect information that is considered necessary for the provision of a quality counselling service, or for directly related secondary purposes.
What kind of information may be collected during calls?
A telephone counsellor may keep notes on aspects of the call such as:
- call time, day and duration
- caller situation as told to Lifeline Shanghai
- issues and outcomes of the call
- information about a person’s health, disability, or use of health services
Lifeline Shanghai may also ask a caller for information about themselves:
- current marital status
- current employment situation
- current living arrangements
- the language usually spoken at home (if other than English)
Use and Disclosure
Lifeline Shanghai will only ask for and collect information that is necessary to the provision or quality improvement of the telephone counselling service.
Uses of information:
- To provide the best possible counselling service to the caller, within professional and industry standards in counselling practice
- For reasons related to the life and safety of the caller or a third party
- To protect the safety and well being of telephone counsellors
- To inform counsellor supervision, assessment and training
- To support efficient and effective management of our service
- To support strategic planning and service development
De-identified and aggregated data on calls to the Lifeline Shanghai telephone counselling service may be used for internal and external research purposes that will guide service quality improvement and service development.
All Lifeline Shanghai staff and volunteers are required to keep caller personal information confidential.
Lifeline Shanghai does not disclose personal information to others outside Lifeline Shanghai unless:
- disclosure is required by Chinese law
Lifeline Shanghai will take reasonable steps to ensure that personal information on callers is accurate. Telephone counsellors will be trained and supervised in information collection practices.
Lifeline Shanghai provides standardized definitions of data and a structured call record for the collection of call information, to minimize anomalies and variations in approach to data quality.
Data Security and Confidentiality
Lifeline Shanghai will take reasonable steps to protect the personal information it holds from misuse and loss, as well as from unauthorized access, modification or disclosure.
Lifeline Shanghai protects the personal information it collects (in both paper and computer form) from misuse and loss, as well as from unauthorized access, modification and/or disclosure. Some of the ways we do this are by:
- Implementing computer system safeguards, including password protection and controlled user access.
- Monitoring computer information systems to test and evaluate data security in line with the appropriate industry standards
- Having lockable physical security for paper records
- Ensuring that information is transferred securely.
Occasionally, calls may be monitored by Lifeline Shanghai supervisors for the purpose of assessment or training of telephone counsellors. Continuation of a call following a caller listening to the Lifeline Shanghai Welcome message constitutes ‘implied consent’ for monitoring of the call. The message invites callers to let the counsellor know if they do not want the call monitored. Calls will not be monitored if the caller does not want this to happen. In circumstances where the life and safety of the caller or a third party is at risk Lifeline Shanghai may still monitor the call without caller consent.
Audio Recording of calls
Lifeline Shanghai does not record either side of telephone counselling calls.
Frequent callers to the telephone counselling service
Staff or supervisors may ask a caller for consent to provide their name and/or contact details if a caller has been calling the service regularly and it is assessed that some form of care plan would be beneficial. Consent will be sought for care plans where practical and reasonable.
Use of Call Data for Service Development and Research
Lifeline Shanghai may use de-identified aggregated call data for service development and research purposes. This data does not allow for the identification of individuals and their personal information. Lifeline Shanghai may under certain conditions make aggregated call data available to researchers, either internally or externally, to assist with learning more about the effectiveness of its service to callers.
Lifeline Shanghai does not use any prohibited identifiers (for example caller tax file numbers or health care card numbers).
AnonymityMany callers choose to remain anonymous when calling Lifeline Shanghai. Lifeline Shanghai will honour this preference.
Callers to the Lifeline Shanghai telephone counselling service are not required to give their name or other information about their personal identity in order to receive service.
Notes may be taken during a call and Personal Information on the caller collected. This information may be sufficient to reasonably identify the caller. Lifeline Shanghai therefore provides a confidential service, but cannot guarantee an anonymous service for its callers.
Lifeline Shanghai telephone counselling service staff and supervisors may have access to a callers’ phone number if the number is not ‘blocked’ or if the caller has provided his/her number to the service.
Full telephone numbers and contact details of callers will not be made known to telephone counsellors under any circumstances.
Callers may be asked to provide some demographic information about themselves to the telephone counsellor during a call. This information is de-identified and used for service improvement purposes only. The demographic information will not be recorded if the caller does not give consent to collection.
The anonymity of a caller will not be maintained under these circumstances. There are some limits. These are outlined in the section on confidentiality.
Modifications to this document
Lifeline Shanghai may modify this Privacy Statement and the way it handles personal information at any time at its sole discretion. Such modifications will be consistent with current privacy legislation and will be easily identified as subsequent versions.
Last modified May 19th 2010
How to find out more
Any queries about this Privacy Statement should be directed to the Lifeline Shanghai Administrative Office: firstname.lastname@example.org
‘Disclosure’: In general terms a health service provider discloses personal information when it releases information to others outside the organisation. Disclosure does not include giving an individual information about themselves (this is ‘access’ see above).
‘Personal information’: means information or an opinion (including information or an opinion forming part of a database), whether true or not, and whether recorded in a material form or not, about an individual whose identity is apparent, or can reasonably be ascertained.