Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) is committed to protecting your privacy.  In order to provide you with the best possible care, it is important that we have access to your Personal Health Information (PHI).  You have the right to know how we may use and disclose your PHI and how you can gain access to it.  You may ask to access and/or correct your PHI record, or to withdraw your consent for some of the uses of your PHI.

We collect, use, disclose, retain and safeguard your information in compliance with the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004.  As part of our Privacy program, our foundation is based on international standards for privacy protection developed by the Canadian Standards Association and adopted as the basis for Canadian federal privacy legislation.

COLLECTION OF PERSONAL HEALTH INFORMATION

We collect PHI directly from you or from the person acting on your behalf. The PHI that we collect may include, your name, date of birth, address, health history, records of your visits to PRHC and the care that you received during those visits. Occasionally, we collect PHI about you from other sources if we have obtained your consent to do so or if the law permits. Your health information is stored in a shared electronic system and is available to healthcare providers involved in your care, unless you tell us otherwise.

WHAT IS PERSONAL INFORMATION PRIVACY?

Personal information is anything that can identify you as an individual such as your name, your social insurance number, or information that is specific to you, such as a test result with your name on it. Keeping personal information private means you have the right to know how and where personal information is being used within the hospital. It also means PRHC has an obligation to ensure that the information is kept confidential. PRHC is taking active steps to ensure that the hospital follows best practices in respecting staff and patient personal information privacy rights.

USES & DISCLOSURES OF PERSONAL HEALTH INFORMATION

We use and disclose your personal health information to:

  • Treat and care for you

  • Receive payment for your treatment and care (for example from OHIP, WSIB, your private insurer)

  • Assist in the planning, administration and management of our internal operations

  • Conduct risk management activities

  • Teach and conduct research

  • Conduct quality improvement activities (such as patient satisfaction surveys)

  • Compile statistics

  • Comply with legal and regulatory requirements

  • For the PRHC Foundation (name and address only)

YOUR CHOICE

As a patient you can request to access or correct your personal health records or withdraw your consent for some of the above uses and disclosures by contacting us (subject to legal exceptions).

We take steps to protect your personal health information from theft, loss and unauthorized access, copying, modification, use, disclosure and disposal. We conduct audits and complete investigations to monitor and manage our privacy compliance. We take steps to ensure that everyone who performs services for us protects your privacy and only uses your personal health information for the purposes you have consented to.

You have the right to complain to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario if you think we have violated your rights. The commissioner can be reached at:

Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario
Bloor Street East, Suite 1400
Toronto, Ontario
M4W space 188
Phone: 416-326-3333 or 1-800-387-0073
Email: info@IPC.on.ca

10 PRINCIPLES OF PRIVACY AT PRHC

PRHC is responsible for personal information under our control and has designated individuals who are accountable for compliance. PRHC has implemented policies and procedures to protect your Personal Health Information and all other confidential information relating to patients, staff and affiliates.  Our staff, volunteers and physicians all receive Privacy education and training.

PRHC will identify the purposes for which PHI is collected at or before the time of collection.  These purposes will be conveyed by means of posters, brochures and our website. The primary purpose for collecting, using and sharing PHI is to deliver safe and efficient patient care. We also may use your information for administrative purposes, research, teaching, fundraising, and to comply with our legal and regulatory requirements.

We rely on your implied consent for some purposes but will seek your written consent for other purposes (for example if you are going to have a surgical procedure). You have the right to know why we are collecting your information and how it is being used.  You also have the right to withdraw your consent at any time, unless the collection, use or sharing is required or permitted by law.

Only the information necessary for the purposes identified may be collected.

PHI may be used only for the purposes for which it was collected, except with your consent or required by law. The information is retained only as long as necessary and is securely destroyed in accordance with legislation and hospital policies and guidelines.

PRHC will make every effort to ensure the information we hold is accurate, complete and up-to-date. Patients have the right to challenge the accuracy of the information.

PRHC applies security safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity of personal health information to protect it against loss, theft, unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, use or modification, regardless of its format.

PRHC makes information about our privacy policies and practices available by means of posted notices and brochures as well as on the hospital’s website.

Upon request, within a reasonable time and at a reasonable cost, an individual will be informed of the existence of their personal information and will be given access to it (in most circumstances). They can challenge its accuracy and completeness and have it amended as appropriate. Exceptions to providing access will be limited and specific. This may include information that is prohibitively costly to provide, that refers to other individuals, that cannot be disclosed for legal, security or proprietary reasons and/or is subject to solicitor/client privilege.

An individual may challenge the hospital’s compliance with its Privacy policies or Privacy law through the Chief Privacy Officer or the Director of Decision Support. PRHC has procedures in place to receive and respond to complaints or inquiries about its policies and practices relating to the handling of personal health information. If a complaint is justified, PRHC will take appropriate measures including, if necessary, amending its policies and practices.

For more information about our privacy protection practices, or to raise a concern you have with our practices, contact the PRHC Privacy Office at 705-743-2121  x. 3856 or by email at privacy@prhc.on.ca