Effective January 1, 2012, hospitals in Ontario are subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). The Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) embraces openness and accountability. To support access to information, PRHC has established a Freedom of Information Office to process freedom of information requests and oversee the protection of privacy.

ABOUT FIPPA

The Act has two main purposes:

  • To make public bodies more transparent and accountable by providing a right of access to government records

  • To protect personal information from unauthorized collection, use or disclosure by public bodies

PROACTIVE DISCLOSURE

PRHC’s public website is your primary point of reference for hospital records. Frequently requested information includes:

If you cannot find what you are looking for on our website, please email us at info@prhc.on.ca

REQUESTING INFORMATION

As of January 1, 2012, you may access information about PRHC under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). You will have the right to make a request for access to a range of recorded information held by our hospital (including records of your own personal information), that came into the custody or under the control of our hospital going back to January 1, 2007.

PLEASE NOTE: Access to your own personal health records or personal health information will continue to be governed by the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA). A form for requesting your Personal Health Information can be found here.

INFORMAL REQUEST
We want to make accessing information about the hospital as easy as possible. Our website is growing to meet the information requests we are anticipating. If you can’t find what you are looking for on our public website, please contact us to request the information. If we can simply point you to the right place on our website where that information is available, we will.

Contact us at info@prhc.on.ca to make an informal request.

FORMAL REQUEST
You may also make a formal FIPPA request. We will process your request and make information available to you in an expedient and reasonable amount of time, in accordance with FIPPA. To make an information request, please complete and submit a request form.

Download and print PRHC’s FIPPA request form

There are three ways to submit the FIPPA request form:

  • Submit in person: Print the form above, and deliver to the Freedom of Information office together with payment. Please contact the FOI Coordinator in advance to set up an appointment.

  • Submit by postal mail: Print the form above and mail to PRHC, together with payment, at the following address:

    Peterborough Regional Health Centre
    Freedom of Information Office
    1 Hospital Drive
    Peterborough, ON
    K9J 7C6

  • Submit by email: Return the completed form above to privacy@prhc.on.ca

A request will be initiated with receipt of payment, as outlined on the form. PRHC’s Freedom of Information Specialist will contact you to coordinate payment. Please note that additional fees may apply depending on the nature of the request submitted.

If requesting a correction to personal information, please do not send via email or fax.

DIRECTORY OF RECORDS AND PERSONAL INFORMATION BANKS

Our Directory of Records and Personal Information Banks provide information about the types of records held by PRHC. Please note that some or all of these records may fall under the protection of privacy rules as stated in law.

FREQUENTLY-ASKED QUESTIONS

What is Freedom of Information (FOI)?
Freedom of Information (FOI) means the right to access information under the authority of an Ontario government organization, as defined in one of two legislative Acts:

What is FIPPA?
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) is legislation that gives the public right to request the records of public institutions, including hospitals as of January 1, 2012. FIPPA regulates the collection, use and disclosure of personal information, and the retention, destruction, security and accuracy of personal information; it requires hospitals to maintain certain data banks; it applies to all existing corporate records. Read the complete Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act online.

Is it always necessary to go through a formal process to access records under FIPPA?
No, the formal process is not always required. In fact, as much as possible, PRHC is proactively posting information on its public website to make accessing information convenient. The information that you are seeking may be readily available on the hospital’s public website. When it is not available on the public website or by making an informal request to info@prhc.on.ca, a formal request may be made by emailing privacy@prhc.on.ca.

How do I make a formal request for access to information under FIPPA?
If you are making a formal request for access to information or access to personal information or to have your personal information corrected, you must fill out the Access to Information Request form, for which public institutions may charge an application fee of $5. The $5 cheque should be made out to the PRHC. Additional fees may apply relevant to the cost of research, gathering and sending the information requested.

PLEASE NOTE: Access to your own personal health records or personal health information will continue to be governed by the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA). A form for requesting your Personal Health Information can be found here.

What if I disagree with the results of a formal access to information request?
You have the right to appeal a decision of the FIPPA officer to the provincial Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. Appeals must be made within 30 days of when you receive the decision that you wish to appeal. You may contact the Commissioner at:

Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario
2 Bloor Street East
Suite 1400
Toronto, ON
M4W 1A8

What is PHIPA?
The Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) came into effect in Ontario, Canada on November 1, 2004. PHIPA prescribes rules for the collection, use and disclosure of personal health information (PHI) in all types of health care settings, including hospitals, psychiatric facilities, laboratories, ambulance services, and nursing homes. PHIPA applies to all regulated health professionals (doctors, nurses, allied health professionals) and to non-regulated health professionals, who provide health care for payment, such as acupuncturists, psychotherapists, and ultrasonographers.

PHIPA also gives patients rights related to access to their health records and how their health information is used. PHIPA defines personal health information (PHI) as identifiable information relating to an individual’s health and health care history. For example, information contained in medical files such as diagnostic, treatment and care information, OHIP numbers, genetic information and other health record details.

Who is affected by PHIPA?
PHIPA applies to “health information custodians” in Ontario, Canada. Health information custodians include hospitals, doctors, health care practitioners, long-term care facilities, health care clinics, laboratories, pharmacies, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and other health-related organizations. The Act also applies to organizations outside the health system that receive information such as insurance companies, employers and schools.

Under PHIPA you have the right to:

  • Be confident that your personal health information (PHI) held by us remains accurate, confidential and secure;

  • Know how we collect, use, disclose and store personal health information;

  • Look at or receive a copy of your personal health information. Please note there is per page cost to obtain a record, and requests must be made in writing;

  • Ask us to correct your client health record;

  • Expect that your personal health information remains private. We will not share your personal health information with others without your consent unless we are permitted or required to by law;

  • Ask questions or make a complaint to the Administrator, the Director of Peel Long Term Care, or the Privacy Commissioner about our information management practices;

  • Withdraw your consent (if the law allows) for some of the above uses and disclosures by contacting us

What is Personal Health Information (PHI)?
PHIPA defines personal health information (PHI) as identifiable information relating to an individual’s health and health care history. PHI includes medical file information such as:

  • Diagnostic, treatment and care information

  • OHIP numbers

  • Genetic information

  • Payments or eligibility for healthcare

  • Donations, testing or examination of any body part or bodily substance

  • Your Health Card number, OHIP number

  • Information identifying your substitute decision maker

  • Other health record details

How do I update/change/access my Personal Health Information?
To update/change/access your Personal Health Information, please contact the Health Records office at PRHC.

What’s the difference between PHIPA and FIPPA?
Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) prescribes rules for the collection, use and disclosure of personal health information (PHI) in all types of health care settings, including hospitals, psychiatric facilities, laboratories, ambulance services, nursing homes and applies to all regulated and non-regulated health care professionals. PHIPA only governs the collection, use and disclosure of personal health information and not other types of information. Under PHIPA, you are entitled to request access to your own records of personal health information, including hospital records. PHIPA also allows a substitute decision-maker to access records of personal health information on behalf of another individual in defined circumstances. Learn more about PHIPA.

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) relates to records of an institution, such as hospitals (as of Jan. 1, 2012). FIPPA regulates the collection, use and disclosure of personal information, and the retention, destruction, security and accuracy of personal information; it requires hospitals to maintain certain data banks; it applies to all existing corporate records. Learn more about FIPPA.

What is personal information?
The definition of “personal information” as given in FIPPA is recorded information about an identifiable individual, including:

  • Information relating to the race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation or marital or family status of the individual;

  • Information relating to the education or the medical, psychiatric, psychological, criminal or employment history of the individual or information relating to financial transactions in which the individual has been involved;

  • Any identifying number, symbol or other particular assigned to the individual;

  • The address, telephone number, fingerprints or blood type of the individual;

  • The personal opinions or views of the individual except where they relate to another individual;

  • Correspondence sent to an institution by the individual that is implicitly or explicitly of a private or confidential nature, and replies to that correspondence that would reveal the contents of the original correspondence;

  • The views or opinions of another individual about the individual; and

  • The individual’s name where it appears with other personal information relating to the individual or where the disclosure of the name would reveal other personal information about the individual.

What is a personal information bank?
The definition of a “personal information bank” as given in FIPPA is a collection of personal information that is organized and capable of being retrieved using an individual’s name or an identifying number or particular assigned to the individual.