NOTICE OF CAREFIRST PRIVACY AND PERSONAL HEALTH INFORMATION PRACTICES
Carefirst Seniors and Community Services Association (“Carefirst”) recognizes that protecting the privacy of your personal health information is an essential part of our commitment to quality service, programs and care. We believe our Patient/clients should know what personal health information we collect, how we use it, to whom we disclose it and how we protect it.
PERSONAL HEALTH INFORMATION
Personal health information is information in any form that identifies you and that relates to your health and health care including health history, health care programs and services, health care providers, substitute decision makers, health card number and other personal identification numbers.
YOUR CONSENT AND PERSONAL HEALTH INFORMATION
Carefirst will only collect, use and disclose your personal health information with your consent or as required or permitted by law. You may change your mind and withdraw this consent at any time by providing notice to Carefirst provided that there are no legal requirements to prevent this.
HOW WE COLLECT PERSONAL HEALTH INFORMATION
Carefirst may collect personal health information directly from you or another person who may act on your behalf such as a substitute decision maker or a parent or legal guardian of a minor. We may also collect personal health information about you from other sources if your consent has been obtained or if the law permits or requires the collection. The personal health information we collect may include your name, date of birth, address, health history, records of your visits to your physician or staff health service provider at Carefirst, and the care that you received during those visits.
WHY WE COLLECT PERSONAL HEALTH INFORMATION
Carefirst may collect personal health information for:
- the provision or assisting in provision of health care
- planning or delivering health programs or services
- arranging referrals, providing supportive counselling and establishing interventions
- health protection, health promotion and awareness
- public health administration and monitoring
- administering and managing the health care system
- purposes related to the function of the Medical Officer of Health pursuant to the Health Protection and Promotion Act
- conducting research and compiling statistics
- purposes permitted or required by law
- compliance with legal and regulatory requirements
HOW WE USE AND DISCLOSE PERSONAL HEALTH INFORMATION
Carefirst may use personal health information for the purposes for which it is collected, as listed above, e.g., to treat and care for you, as well as to:
- get payment for your treatment and care (from OHIP, WSIB, your private insurer, or others)
- plan, administer and manage our internal operations
- conduct risk management and quality improvement activities
- fulfill other purposes permitted or required by law
WHEN DO WE DISCLOSE YOUR PERSONAL HEALTH INFORMATION
Carefirst will not disclose your personal health information to any external person or entity without your consent unless it is permitted or required by law. For example, we may share your personal health information without your consent:
- with health care professionals for the purpose of providing you health care when it is not reasonably possible to obtain your consent, for example you are seriously ill or mentally incapacitated
- with public health authorities such as the Chief Medical Officer of Health and Medical Officer of Health
- with a person carrying out an inspection or investigation authorized by a warrant or by law
- where it is necessary to eliminate or reduce a significant risk of serious bodily harm
- pursuant to a summons, subpoena or court order, and to the Children’s Aid Society
To learn more about the purposes for which we disclose your personal health information, please consult our Personal Health Information and Privacy Practices Policy or contact our Privacy Officer listed below.
HOW WE PROTECT PERSONAL HEALTH INFORMATION
Carefirst is committed to protecting the privacy, confidentiality and security of personal health information held in any form. We employ physical, organizational and technological safeguards to protect your personal health information against theft and loss, as well as unauthorized access, copying, modification, use, disclosure and disposal.
We conduct audits and complete investigations to monitor and manage our privacy compliance.
All staff that come into contact with your personal health information are aware of its sensitive nature and are trained in the appropriate use, disclosure and protection of your personal health information. Staff will ensure the amount and type of personal health information collected, used or disclosed is limited to that which is necessary to fulfill the purpose for which it was collected.
We also require organizations that perform services or provide programs on our behalf to protect the privacy of your personal health information and to use such information only for the purposes you have consented to or that are permitted or required by law.
Finally, subject to certain exceptions, Carefirst will notify you at the first reasonable opportunity if your personal health information in our custody or control is stolen, lost or accessed by unauthorized persons.
Under our Personal Health Information and Privacy Practices Policy, you have the right to:
- be informed about the purposes for which we collect, use and disclose your personal health information
- request and be granted access, subject to limited exceptions, to your own personal health information in the custody or control of Carefirst (by contacting the physician/staff member from whom you received health care or health programs or services or by contacting our Privacy Officer (see below)
- subject to limited exceptions, request and receive a photocopy of your personal health information at a minimal cost
- request correction of your own personal health information if you believe it is incomplete or inaccurate by contacting your physician or the Privacy Officer (see below)
- direct questions, comments or complaints about our policy or about alleged contraventions of the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 to our Privacy Officer. The Privacy Officer will investigate any complaints and take action to resolve such complaints
- complain to the Information and Privacy Commissioner if you believe that we have contravened our policy, or if you are not satisfied with the handling of your inquiry or complaint. The Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner may be reached at:
Ontario Information and Privacy Commission
2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400
Toronto, Ontario M4W 1A8
Tel: (416) 326-3333; Long Distance: 1-800-387-0073 (within Ontario) TDD/TTY: 416-325-7539
Fax (416) 325-9195
CAREFIRST PRIVACY OFFICER
Chief Executive Officer
300 Silver Star Blvd.,
Scarborough, ON M1V 0G2
(416) 502-2323 ext 6008