In Ontario, the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) came into effect November 1, 2004. PHIPA applies to personal health information across many health care settings, including but not limited to, assessment centers, private clinics, Community Care Access Centers (CCACs), Hospitals, physician’s offices, laboratories, diagnostic test facilities, long-term care facilities and homes for the aged. PHIPA considers that all regulated health professionals including physicians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, massage therapists, psychologists, nurses etc are “Health Information Custodians” and as such have to abide by PHIPA, including having appropriate polices and procedures in place for the handling of personal health information.
The existence of multiple laws dealing with the protection of information and privacy creates a complex framework from within which Pursuit Health Management will strive to provide the best possible assessment and treatment services to our clients and at the same time understand and respect your rights.
Maintaining the protection of your personal or personal health information is important to Pursuit Health Management and is required by law. Our organization is committed to collecting, using, and disclosing personal or personal health information responsibly and only to the extent necessary for the services we provide.
What is personal and personal health information?
Personal information includes any identifying information about you other than certain publicly available information set out in law or regulation. Personal Health Information is any identifying information in writing or spoken about your physical or mental health; the provision of your health care; the eligibility or payment for your health care and the provider of your health care.
Pursuit Health Management has designated a Privacy Officer who is accountable for the organization’s compliance with the 10 principles of protection of personal and personal health information. These principles are accountability; identifying purposes; consent; limiting collection; limiting use, disclosure and retention; accuracy; safeguards; openness; individual access and challenging compliance.
The Privacy Officer, working with Pursuit Health Management, will receive and respond to questions and complaints about our policies to protect personal or personal health information, requests for access to personal or personal health information and requests to amend or rectify inaccurate personal or personal health information.
Why does Pursuit Health Management need to collect use and disclose your personal or personal health information?
• To provide assessment and treatment services related to your injury or illness, and / or your claim for compensation or benefits and to report the assessment findings to the referring source.
• To obtain payment for the assessment/treatment services we provide, and determine any entitlement to insurance coverage or other benefits
• To identify the assessment/treatment services provided within a stated time period, and share this information with Pursuit Health Management to plan the resources required for future assessment services.
• Pursuit Health Management also compiles information for its database that does not identify you (this is neither personal or personal health information). The database information is used to compile aggregate statistics for quality improvement initiatives, for example improving overall performance in the timely provision of assessment services.
• Pursuit Health Management may also collect, use or disclose your personal or personal health information if permitted or required by law to do so.
You are required to know of, and give consent to, the collection, use or disclosure of your personal or personal health information. Your consent must be freely given, and you need to understand the purposes why Pursuit Health Management will collect, use or disclose your personal or personal health information before you give your consent, and understand that you are able to withhold consent or may withdraw your consent after it has been given.
Pursuit Health Management will make all reasonable efforts to ensure that the purposes for which the information will be used are identified in order that you can provide knowledgeable consent. A consent form explaining the purpose of the personal information to be collected and identifying to whom information will be disclosed will be utilized. If you are unable to read the consent, a verbal explanation will be provided so that you can reasonably understand how your personal or personal health information will be collected, used or disclosed.
Pursuit Health Management will not collect, use or disclose your personal information without your consent unless otherwise permitted or required by a professional regulatory body or by law.
Withdrawing your consent
You have the right to withdraw your consent to the collection, use or disclosure of personal or personal health information in whole or in part, at any time upon providing reasonable written notice to Pursuit Health Management.
Pursuit Health Management is responsible for informing you of any potential consequences that may result from the withdrawal of your consent, prior to you making such a decision such as limiting the ability of Pursuit Health Management to provide your assessment/treatment services.
If you withdraw your consent, it is not retroactive and does not apply to personal or personal health information already collected, used or disclosed by Pursuit Health Management.
Pursuit Health Management is required to notify our Privacy Officer if you withdraw your consent, in whole or in part, so that any files related to you can be flagged to indicate your withdrawal of consent.
Pursuit Health Management will retain your personal or personal health information for the duration necessary to fulfill its stated purposes, its legal obligations or its regulatory requirements. Your personal or personal health information will be kept as accurate, complete and up-to-date as is necessary for the purposes for which it is to be used. If you return for a further assessment service, the personal or personal health information in your file will be updated at that time.
Pursuit Health Management has established a variety of safeguards to protect your personal and personal health information in its care, including organizational training of its employees, having employees sign a Confidentiality Agreement, performing an annual audit of privacy practices, locking filing cabinets, central filing of active charts, safe storage requirements for archived files, office security systems and technological safeguards such as virus protection, computer backup and personal password entry to computer systems.
Right of Access
You may request access to your personal or personal health information, by making the request in writing and addressing it to the Privacy Officer of Pursuit Health Management. If you require assistance in preparing the request, our staff will assist you.
Pursuit Health Management will provide a response to your request within 30 days, either providing access to the requested information, providing a written notice of why an extension of the time to respond is required, or provide you with written reasons why access has been declined.
If your request for access is denied the Privacy Officer will provide you with information about the recourse available through the, the provincial or federal Privacy Commissioner.
It is the responsibility of Pursuit Health Management staff to ensure that you understand the material to which access has been given. A suitable time must be arranged so that a member of Pursuit Health Management staff can review the material with you and explain abbreviations or medical terminology to avoid misunderstanding and misinterpretation.
Right to request correction or amendment
You have the right to request correction or amendment of any personal or personal health information, if its accuracy and completeness is challenged and found to be deficient. Pursuit Health Management is obligated to correct a record that is not accurate or complete, unless Pursuit Health Management did not create the record, or the information to be amended consists of a professional opinion made in good faith.
If Pursuit Health Management does not agree to your request to correct or amend your personal or personal health information, this disagreement will be noted in your file, and include your written request for correction or amendment as well as the reasons for the refusal to amend.
When your personal or personal health information has been corrected or amended, or when a disagreement regarding amendment has occurred, all parties that have received the original personal or personal health information will be informed of the changes or informed of the disagreement if it is relevant to do so.
Right to complain to the federal or provincial Privacy Commissioner
If you are not satisfied that you have received adequate information from the Privacy Officer of Pursuit Health Management, you may make a complaint to the Provincial or Federal Privacy Commissioner using the following contact information:
Pursuit Health Management
1-121 Oxford St. E., Suite 1
Web site: www.pursuithealth.ca
Privacy Commissioner of Canada
112, Kent Street,
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1H3
Fax: (613) 947-6850
Web site: www.privcom.gc.ca