As a health care provider I must collect a certain amount of personal information from you in order to safely treat you. It is extremely important that this information be collected responsibly and that it only be disclosed to other individuals under appropriate circumstances. This document details your rights and how I protect your personal information.
What is personal information?
Personal information is information about identifiable individuals. Personal information includes information that relates to:
- an individual’s personal characteristics (e.g., gender, age, income, home address or telephone number, ethnic background, family status);
- health (e.g., health history, health conditions, health services received by them);
- activities and views (e.g., opinions expressed by an individual, an opinion or evaluation of an individual).
Personal information is different from business information (e.g., an individual’s business address and telephone number). This is not protected by privacy legislation.
Who can see your health information?
When you request health care from me, I assume that I have your permission to collect, use and share that information with your other health care providers. This is limited only to those providers who you have actually seen for health care; other providers are not entitled to your information, except in the cases I have listed below.
If you do not want me to use, share or give out some or all of your personal health information to other people who provide you with health care, please inform me as soon as possible.
The reception team at my office, Dundas University Health Clinic, has access to your basic personal information (such as address and phone number) in order to do their job. However, your health information (discussed during our appointments) is only available to myself. If you see another health care provider at this office, your information may be shared with them, as discussed above.
Others agencies or companies may need to see part of your health care information, such as your employer or your insurance company. However, I cannot share information with them unless I have your specific consent.
You may also have family or friends to whom you would like me to give more detailed information about your health, like how your treatment is working or what kind of care you will need at home. You can let me know if I can discuss your health with family and friends. I must have your consent in order to do so.
When Your Consent is Not Required
I am allowed or may be required to use and/or give out some of your personal health information without your consent in situations as required by law. These situations include legal proceedings, criminal investigations, medical emergencies, and serious medical situations such as reporting certain types of abuse to the authorities.
I am also required to release private health information for the purposes of peer assessment. Peer assessments are done with all Massage Therapists in the province on a regular basis, to insure we are providing quality care and following all regulations. The assessor is also an RMT and required to keep all information learned in the assessment confidential, except for required reporting to the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario.
Marketing and Personal Information
Your personal information will never be provided to anyone outside the clinic for marketing purposes.
I understand the importance of protecting your personal information. For that reason, I have taken the following steps:
- Paper information is either under supervision or secured in a locked cabinet.
- Computers and backups are under supervision or secure in a locked or restricted area at all times. In addition, passwords are used on computers, and screens are locked when they are not in use.
- Electronic information is transmitted either through a direct line, or has identifiers removed, or is encrypted.
Retention of Personal Information
I am required to retain personal information for some time to ensure that I can answer any question you may have about the services provided and for my own accountability to the Collect of Massage Therapists (CMTO).
Massage client files are retained by Dundas University Health Clinic for 10 years, as required by the CMTO.
I destroy paper files containing personal information by shredding. I destroy electronic information by deleting it and, when the hardware is discarded, physically destroying the hard drive.
Viewing your own personal information
With only a few exceptions, you have the right to see what personal information I hold about you. I will try to help you understand any information that may be unclear (e.g., short forms, technical language, etc.). If you would like a copy of your personal information, please make your request in writing. I reserve the right to charge a nominal fee for such requests.
Some exceptions may apply. For example, when the information relates to law enforcement, legal proceedings or another individual, you may not get to see the record.
I must respond to your request as soon as possible and within 30 days. There may be a delay if I have to ask others about your records or if it will take time to find the record. You have the right to be notified of such delays. If you require the record urgently, please let me know and I will do my best to get it to you.
If you believe there is a mistake in your information, you have the right to ask for it to be corrected. You must make this request in writing, stating specifically what in your record is incorrect or incomplete.
Do note that I cannot correct a record that was created by someone else as I do not know enough about the record to change it. Also, I cannot correct details where, for example, the opinions or observations in the record were made in good faith. You are entitled to be told the reasons for not making a correction and of your right to have a statement of disagreement attached to your records. You can also ask to have this statement made available to those who see the record.
If I correct a record, it must be done carefully so that the full corrected record remains visible or by ensuring that the corrected version is readily available.
If you would like further information, you can contact me (Candice Eisner, BSc RMT) at the clinic (see here for current contact information). I would be happy to discuss any questions or concerns you may have. As well, if you have a formal complaint to make concerning my privacy practices, you should contact me in writing. The address of the clinic is:
Candice Eisner c/o Dundas University Health Clinic
438 University Ave Suite 104
Toronto, ON M5G 2K8
I will respond to your concerns promptly. If after discussing the issue with me, I am still not able to resolve your complaint or concern, you have the right to make a formal complaint to the Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. This must be done within one year of the matter you are complaining about. Their office can be reached at:
Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario
2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400
Toronto, Ontario M4W 1A8
Telephone: 416 326 3333
or 1 800 387 0073
Facsimile: 416 325 9195
TTY: 416 325 7539
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org