We are committed to promoting privacy and protecting the confidentiality of the health information we hold about you.
Our doctors belong to a Family Health Organization which is a health information custodian under the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA). For the purposes of privacy obligations, the Family Health Team and our staff are agents of the doctors. This means we all follow the same rules and work together to protect your privacy.
Your Health Record
Your health record includes information relevant to your health including your date of birth, contact information, health number, health history, family health history, details of your physical and mental health, record of your visits, notes from the care and support you received during those visits, results from tests and procedures, and information from other health care providers. It also includes the name of your substitute decision-maker if you are not able to make your own decisions.
The information in your health record belongs to you, but the health record itself is the property of our clinic.
With a few exceptions, you have the right to access the health information we hold about you, whether in the health record or elsewhere. If you ask for a copy of your record, we will make you a copy (at a reasonable cost). If you wish to view the original record, one of our staff members will sit with you so you can see what is in it. If you need a copy of your health record, please contact us in writing at: Central Hastings Family Health Team, 52 St. Lawrence St., E. Madoc, ON K0K 2K0 or ask your physician who will explain the process. In rare situations, you may be denied access to some or all of your record (if for example providing you with access could cause harm to you or someone else) and any such denial must be done only as the law allows.
We try to keep your record accurate and up-to-date. Please let us know if there is something that is incorrect. You have a right to ask for a correction to your record if you disagree with what is recorded, and in most cases we will be able to make the change, or otherwise we will ask you to write a statement of disagreement and we will attach that statement to the record.
We are all bound by confidentiality. We have to protect your information from loss or theft and make sure no one looks at it or does something with your information if they are not involved with your care or allowed as part of their job. If there is a privacy breach about your information, we have to tell you.
We collect, use and disclose (meaning share) your health information to:
- Treat and care for you
- Provide appointment reminders to you
- Update you of upcoming events, activities and programs
- Deliver and evaluate our programs
- Plan, administer and manage our internal operations
- Be paid or process, monitor, verify or reimburse claims for payment
- Conduct risk management, error management and quality improvement activities
- Educate our staff and students
- Dispose of your information
- Seek your consent (or consent of a substitute decision maker) where appropriate
- Respond to or initiate proceedings
- Conduct research (subject to certain rules)
- Compile statistics
- Allow for the analysis, administration and management of the health system
- Comply with legal and regulatory requirements
- Fulfill other purposes permitted or required by law
- Our collection, use and disclosure (sharing) of your personal health information is done in accordance with Ontario law.
Your Choices and Who Decides
You have a right to make choices and control how your health information is collected, used, and disclosed, subject to some limits.
There is no magic age when you become able to make your own decisions about your health information. You may make your own decisions if you are “capable”. Your physician or other care provider will decide if you are capable based on a test the law sets out. You may be capable of making some decisions and not others. If you are not capable – you will have a substitute decision-maker (often your parent(s) or guardian or family members) who will make your information decisions for you. Who can act as a substitute decision-maker and what they have to do is also set out in law.
If you are under the age of 16, there are some additional rules to know. If you are capable to make your own information decisions, your parent(s) or guardian will also be allowed to make some decisions about your health record. But they won’t be able to make decisions about any counseling or treatment where we asked for your permission alone. We encourage you to share information with your family to have supports you need. And we also encourage you to ask your physician or care provider questions to find out more about privacy and your family.
We assume that when you come to have health care from us, you have given us your permission (your consent) to use your information, unless you tell us otherwise. We may also collect, use and share your health information in order to talk with other health care providers about your care unless you tell us you do not want us to do so.
You have the right to ask that we not share some or all of your health record with one or more of the Family Health Team’s staff members or ask us not to share your health record with one or more of your external health care providers (such as a specialist). This is known as asking for a “lockbox”. View our Patient Lockbox Information to learn more.
There are other cases where we are not allowed to assume we have your consent to share information. We may need permission to communicate with any family members or friends with whom you would like us to share information about your health (unless one or more of these individuals is your substitute decision-maker). We need your permission to share information with your insurance company or your employer.
When we require and ask for your consent, you may choose to say no. If you say yes, you may change your mind at any time. Once you say no, we will no longer share your information unless you say so. Your choice to say no may be subject to some limits.
But, there are cases where we may collect, use or share your health information without your permission, as permitted or required by law. For example, we do not require your permission to use your information for billing, risk management or error management, quality improvement purposes; or to share personal health information in a number of permitted or required circumstances, including to keep you or someone else safe (it’s called to eliminate or reduce a significant risk of serious bodily harm); or to meet reporting obligations under other laws such as for child protection or safe operation of a motor vehicle.
For More Information or Complaints
We encourage you to contact us with any questions or concerns you might have about our privacy practices. You can reach our Privacy Officer at:
Central Hastings Family Health Team
52 St. Lawrence St. E.
Madoc, ON K0K 2K0
613-472-1167 ext 216
Attention: Mary Stuart, Administrator
If, after contacting us, you feel that your concerns have not been addressed to your satisfaction, you have the right to complain to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. The Commissioner can be reached at:
Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario
2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400
Toronto, Ontario M4W 1A8