PRIVACY POLICY

   

This notice describes how health information about you may be used, collected and disclosed and how we protect your information. Please review it carefully.

Policy Statement
The purpose of this policy is to ensure that all personal health information is protected based upon the Personal Health Information Protection Act.

Commitment to Privacy
Protecting your privacy and the confidentiality of your personal information has always been an important aspect of the Maitland Valley Medical Centre's operations. The appropriate collection, use and disclosure of patient's personal health information are fundamental to our day-to-day operations and to your care.

We strive to provide you with excellent medical care and service, which includes treating your personal information with respect. Each member and employee of the practice must abide by our commitment to privacy in the handling of personal information.

Applicability of this Privacy Policy
Our Privacy Policy informs you of our commitment to privacy and tells you the ways we ensure that your privacy is protected. Our Privacy Policy applies to protect the personal health information that is in our possession and control.

What is Personal Health Information?
Personal health information includes the following personal information:
-Identification and contact information (name, address, date of birth, emergency contact, etc.),
-Billing information (provincial health plan and/or private insurer),
-Health information (including medical history, symptoms, diagnosis, test results, consultations, record of immunization and allergies, prescriptions, organ and tissue donation)

When and To Whom Do We Disclose Personal Health Information (Release of Information)?
Implied consent for the provision of care: By virtue of seeking care from us, your consent is implied (assumed) for your information to be used by our clinic to provide you with care, and to be shared with other providers involved in your care.

Disclosure to other health care providers: Relevant health information is shared with other providers involved in your care, including (but not limited to) other physicians, specialists, pharmacists, lab technicians, nutritionists, physiotherapists.

Disclosures authorized by law: There are limited situations where we are legally required to disclose your personal information without your consent. These situations included (but are not limited to) billing provincial health plans, reporting infectious diseases and fitness to drive, or by court order.

Disclosures to all other parties: Your express consent is required before we will disclose your information to third parties for any purposes other than to provide you with care or unless we are authorized to do so by law. Examples of disclosures to other third parties requiring your express consent include (but are not limited to) third party medical examinations, provision of chart or chart summaries to insurance companies.

Can You Withdraw Consent?
You can withdraw consent to have your personal health information shared with other providers or other parties at any time, except where the disclosure is authorized by law. However, please discuss this with your physician or nurse practitioner first.

How Do You Access the Personal Health Information Held By This Office?
You have the right to access your record in a timely manner. If you request a copy of your record, one will be provided to you at a reasonable cost. If you wish to view the original record, one of our staff must be present to maintain the integrity of the record, and a reasonable fee may be charged for this access. Patient requests for access to the medical record must be made in writing, directed to the appropriate physician or nurse practitioner.

In extremely rare circumstances, you may be denied access to your records such as if providing access would create a significant risk to you or another person or when health information is subject to legal privilege or collected as part of an investigation authorized by law.

What If You Feel Your Record Is Not Accurate?
We make every effort to ensure that all of your information is recorded accurately. If an inaccuracy is identified, you can request that a note be made to reflect this on your file. You should make the request to the health information custodian. Health information custodians must correct an incomplete or inaccurate record, but they are not required to change professional opinions or correct records that they did not complete.

What Is Our Communications Policy?
We protect personal health information regardless of the format. Specific procedures are in place for communicating by phone, email, fax or post/courier.

How Long Do We Keep Information and How Do We Dispose of the Information When It Is No Longer Required?
We retain patient records as required by law and professional regulations. When information is no longer required, it is destroyed in a secure manner, according to set procedures that govern the storage and destruction of personal health information.

The 10 Principles of Privacy
Our Privacy Policy reflects our compliance with fair information practices, applicable laws and standards of practice.

Accountability
We take our commitment to securing your privacy very seriously. Each physician and employee associated with the Maitland Valley Family Health Team is responsible for the personal health information under his/her control. Our employees are informed about the importance of privacy and receive information to update them about our Privacy Policy and related issues. The MVFHT has a Privacy Information Officer who is ultimately responsible for the compliance of the organization with the standards spelled out in the Act.

Identifying Purpose: Why We Collect Information
We ask you for information to establish a relationship and serve your medical needs. We obtain most of our information directly from you or from other health practitioners whom you have seen and authorized to disclose to us.

You are entitled to know how we use your information and this is described in the Privacy Statement posted in the waiting room. We collect only the information that we need for those purposes, and we will use it only for those purposes. We will obtain your consent if we wish to use your information for any other purpose.

Consent
You have the right to determine how your personal health information is used and disclosed. For most health care purposes, your consent is implied as a result of your consent for treatment. In some circumstances, your express, sometimes written consent may be required.

Limiting Collection
We collect information by fair and lawful means and collect only that information which may be necessary for purposes related to the provision of your medical care.

Limiting Use, Disclosure and Retention
The information we request from you is used for the purposes defined. We will seek your consent before using the information for purposes beyond the scope of the posted Privacy Statement.

Under no circumstances do we sell patient lists or other personal information to third parties. There are some types of disclosure of your personal health information that may occur as part of the Maitland Valley Family Health Team fulfilling its routine obligations and/or practice management. This includes consultants and suppliers to the clinic, on the understanding that they comply with our Privacy Policy.

We will retain your information for the time it is required for the purposes we describe. Once your information is no longer required, it will be destroyed. However, some information may be kept for a longer period.

Accuracy
We strive to ensure that all decisions involving your personal information are based upon accurate and timely information. While we do our best to base our decisions on accurate information, we rely on you to disclose all material information and to inform us of any relevant changes.

Safeguards: Protecting Your Information
We protect your personal health information with appropriate safeguards and security measures. The clinic maintains personal health information in a combination of paper and electronic files. Recent paper records concerning individuals' personal information are stored in files kept onsite at our office. Older records may be stored offsite.

Access to personal information will be authorized only for the physician and employees associated with the clinic, and other agents who require access in the performance of their duties, and to those authorized by law.

We provide information to health care providers acting on your behalf, on the understanding that they are also bound by law to safeguard your privacy. Other organizations must agree to abide by our Privacy Policy and may be asked to sign contracts to that effect.

If you send us an e-mail message that includes personal information (such as name and address), we will use that information to respond to your inquiry. Please remember that e-mail is not necessarily secure.

Openness: Keeping You Informed
The Maitland Valley Family Health Team has prepared this Privacy Policy to keep you informed. You may ask to receive a copy of it from the staff. If you have additional questions or concerns about privacy, we invite you to contact us (by phone, fax or in person) and we will address your concerns to the best of our ability.

Access and Correction
With limited exceptions, we will give you access to the information we retain about you within a reasonable time, upon presentation of a written request and satisfactory identification.

We may charge you a fee for this service and will notify you in advance. If you find errors of fact in your personal information, please notify us as soon as possible and we will make the appropriate corrections. We are not required to correct information relating to clinical observations or opinions made in good faith. You have the right to append a short statement of disagreement to your record if we refuse to make a requested change.

If we deny your request for access to personal information, we will advise you in writing of the reason for the refusal and you may challenge our decision.

Challenging Compliance
We encourage you to contact us with any questions or concerns you might have about your privacy or our Privacy Policy. In most cases, an issue is resolved simply by telling us about it and discussing it.

If you believe that this office has not replied to your access request or has not handled your personal information in a reasonable manner, please address your concerns with your doctor, nurse practitioner or with our Privacy Information Officer by telephone (519-524-6060), or in writing at 180 Cambria Road North, Goderich, Ontario, N7A 4N8.

You may also make a complaint to the Provincial College or the Provincial Privacy Commissioner. Changes To This Notice

The Maitland Valley FHT reserves the right to change the terms of this notice and our privacy policy, any changes we apply to your past, current, or future PHI. When we make an important change to our policy, we will change this and post a new notice.