Hospall Private Homecare Inc. (“Hospall”) is committed to ensuring that the information it holds is protected and that confidentiality is maintained. Hospall’s duties include collecting, using, disclosing, retaining, and destroying personal information as it relates to providing health care services and otherwise caring for you.
While all Hospall employees are accountable for maintaining the privacy of information obtained in the course of their employment, Hospall’s Privacy Officer is responsible for overall compliance. Hospall staff receive careful training on privacy practices and our own Privacy Management Program.
In order to provide you with good care and service, Hospall’s employees endeavor to ensure that all personal information is accurate, complete, and up to date. We need your assistance in doing this. Please let us know if any information relevant to your health care needs to be changed. However, we will not continue updating your information once you have been discharged.
As required, Hospall will amend this document and its Privacy Management Program when changes to privacy legislation or best practices are known.
SECTION 3: WHAT PERSONAL INFORMATION WE COLLECT AND WHY
Hospall staff will collect the personal information required to provide you with the care and service requested and to respond to questions and inquiries you have. Such information may include your name, address, contact information (on yourself and other designated persons), your health information number, and the name of your family physician and any other health care providers. For all services that you request, we may ask you specific questions to help us determine how you manage at home with your current health status, including your ability to be independent in the residence.
When you request or require home support or personal support services, we will collect information regarding your health and ability to perform activities of daily living. This allows us to assess how best to support you. If you require nursing services, we will complete a more thorough assessment of your health to determine the level of care that you will require.
If you make inquiries of Hospall online, we may ask for your name, email address and any other information that we feel is reasonably necessary to answer your questions.
If at any time we require more or different information, or your information is required for a purpose other than the care and service discussed with you, unless otherwise permitted or restricted by law, you will be contacted.
SECTION 4: CONSENT
We will obtain your consent – either express or implied – before collecting your personal information. Implied consent depends on what is reasonably anticipated in the circumstances. For example, if you ask Hospall to attend at your house, it is implied that we will collect your address for purposes of attending at your house.
When your case begins, we will request that you give us your express written consent for the services that we will be providing you. This is typically done by way of a Client Consent and can include your permission regarding the release of information that we require. Before you fill out this form, our supervisor or nurse will discuss it with you and, at this point, you can advise us if there are certain people with whom you do not want your information shared with.
Once your consent is given, it is deemed to be given throughout the entirety of our service, however, you may withdraw your permission or consent in part or in whole, at any time during your care and service. Changing your consent may restrict our ability to provide the requested services. Should this occur, you will be informed about how your consent change will affect our services. In order to change the terms of your consent, or to withdraw, simply contact the Hospall office.
For those individuals who are unable to provide consent, e.g. minors, those who are seriously ill or mentally handicapped persons, consent will be obtained by an authorized authority, e.g. a legal guardian, power of attorney or the executor of your estate.
SECTION 5: HOW WE USE YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
Your personal information will be used so that we can provide you with the health care services you request and work with your other health care professionals. Using the Client Consent form, our nurse will review the information and record your wishes.
Your information may be reviewed with respect to auditing and quality improvement services, but this may be done without reference to specific people. The purpose of such a review is to monitor our performance and improve our services.
SECTION 6: WHO WE SHARE YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION WITH
When you start service with Hospall, and you sign the Client Consent, we discuss with you who we may share your information with. We will typically share your information with those individuals that we consider the members of your “multidisciplinary care team” or “circle of care”. We may also share your information as otherwise permitted or required by law. Not all employees of Hospall have access to your personal information, even though they are employees of Hospall, and you are a client of Hospall.
If there are people to whom you do not want us to share your information with, please let us know.
In those rare circumstances where we are required by law to share your information, Hospall will verify the lawful authority requesting the information and only provide what is reasonably necessary for the stated purpose of such request.
SECTION 7: HOW LONG WE KEEP YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
Hospall will continue to have access to your information even after your services have been discontinued. We retain all discontinued client records for a minimum of 10 years, or longer if required by provincial regulation. We retain children’s records until the child reaches the age of majority plus 10 years. These records whether at our offices or off site, are stored in a manner that are designed to ensure ongoing security. Hospall uses off site storage facilities that cite privacy practices which are in compliance with relevant privacy legislation and only after a Confidentiality Agreement has been signed with the facility. Records are kept of the location of files retained, so that we may retrieve them as required. At the end of the 10-year period, all information that we have, regardless of format, is destroyed in a confidential manner.
In a circumstance where the records are created by Hospall and then retained by other health care organizations, such organizations will maintain the information according to their own retention schedule. Accordingly, access requests will be redirected to the relevant organization in possession of the information.
SECTION 8: SAFEGUARDS
Hospall has many measures in place designed to ensure that your information remains confidential, and to comply with requirements under PIPEDA, PHIPA and other applicable laws. Confidentiality applies to all of your information, regardless of whether we store it electronically, in paper format or simply within the knowledge of our staff.
Staff members complete privacy training at the commencement of their employment and throughout the course of their employment. In addition, they sign a confidentiality agreement and are not permitted to share any information beyond what is required to exercise their duties at Hospall.
Electronic information is password protected and firewalled. Unauthorized access is restricted through the implementation of safeguards for the storage of information. We also limit access to personal information to those individuals that require it to complete your services. In this regard, we manage our employees and contractors strictly to ensure that information is treated with the utmost care.
Hospall protects hard copy files by storing them in our office where access is restricted to staff with the necessary authority. Outside of working hours, the files are kept in a locked and secure area.
In order to protect faxes from going astray, they are sent to pre-programmed numbers and include a confidentiality sheet that outlines what to do if received in error. Similarly, our emails contain a statement informing the receiver what to do if the message is received in error. Both faxes and emails contain the number for Hospall’s Privacy Officer in case errors occur.
Hospall is not responsible for the privacy practices of organizations linked on our website.
SECTION 9: ACCESS TO YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
Subject to certain limitations, you are able to view your personal information at any time. This can be done by sending a written request to Hospall’s Privacy Officer. You may also request a copy of your file by writing to your local Hospall branch. We invite you to view your records with one of our nurse managers so that they may be available to answer any of your questions.
In order to maintain our privacy standards, we may need information to identify the person who is making a request for the information. This is only used to make sure that the requesting person is authorized to obtain the information.
When Hospall receives a request for information, we aim to respond to it within 30 days, subject to any limitations that may arise at law. If your access to information is refused for any reason, we will provide you with the reasons for such refusal. A reasonable fee may be charged based on the information that is being requested.
SECTION 10: YOUR RIGHT TO CORRECT YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
You may contact Hospall in writing to request a correction of any errors that may be in your personal information. If the requested correction cannot be made, we will notify you of the reasons for this.
SECTION 11: CONTACT INFORMATION – PRIVACY OFFICE
If You Need More Information about Hospall and its Privacy Practices
Anyone can contact Hospall, at the contact information below, with respect to a complaint, question, concern or compliment relating to Hospall’s information handling practices. Any complaints made to Hospall will be investigated thoroughly and action will be taken if the complaint is found to be justified.
If you have any questions or concerns about your personal information, or if you would like more information about Hospall’s policies and practices for managing and handling personal information, you are invited to contact Hospall’s Privacy Office by email at email@example.com, by calling 1-800-208-8480 ex 101 or in writing to Hospall Private Homecare Inc., 28 Claudview St, King City, ON L7B 0C6, Attention: Privacy Officer.
You are also entitled to contact your provincial Privacy Commissioner’s Office if you feel this is necessary. While we would appreciate the opportunity to do what we can to address your concerns, we would also assist you in contacting your Privacy Commissioner’s Office if you believe this is warranted.