Patient privacy is a top priority at VHA Health & Home Support. We have processes in place to ensure privacy protection for all of our clients and to comply with legislation. VHA collects personal health information of its clients under the authority of the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA). As a client, you have the right to:
- Have your personal health information kept confidential, with limited exceptions;
- Access your personal health information;
- Request a correction of incomplete or inaccurate information contained in your health record.
Using a robust privacy protection framework, we educate VHA’s employees about how we protect client privacy and ensure compliance with Ontario’s privacy legislation. This includes staff training, confidentiality agreements, policies that outline VHA’s privacy expectations, and security controls that apply to both paper and electronic medical records.
Your Personal Health Information (drop down box opens to the following info)
Your personal health information belongs to you and as a custodian of the information, we hold it in trust for you.
Collection of Personal Health Information:
We collect your personal health information under the authority of the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA). The personal health information that we collect from clients may include contact information, medical history and details of the care you receive from VHA. We may also collect personal health information about you from other sources (eg Home & Community Care services) unless you have advised us not to.
Use and Disclosure of Personal Health Information:
Personal Health Information is used first and foremost to provide you with care.
Restricting Access to your Health Record (drop down box opens to the following info)
Should you wish to restrict access to your personal health information, please contact your service supervisor who will convey that information on to management for follow-up
Consent: We collect, use and disclose your personal health information for the purpose of your continued care or as required by law. We require your consent for other purposes such as sending your information to your lawyer.
Access to your health record (drop down box opens to the following info)
While receiving services from VHA, you may request to review your service record with a care provider. A time will be arranged to support this request.
After discharge from VHA, you can request a copy of your service record by speaking with your service Supervisor.
Corrections to your Health Record (drop down box opens to the following info)
If you believe that the personal health information we have recorded about you is inaccurate or incomplete, please raise this with your service supervisor who will convey that information on to management for follow-up.
Frequently Asked Questions – Privacy (drop down box opens to the following info)
Where can I get more information about my rights with respect to my personal health information?
- Contact VHA at 613-238-8420 and ask to speak to a management member.
- The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (www.ipc.on.ca) has extensive
- information about the protection of health information as it pertains to the legislation.
What are examples of how VHA protects my information?
- Teaching our employees and students about confidentiality. They must sign a confidentiality agreement as a condition of their relationship with VHA;
- Requiring all staff to have close access to their photo identification card at all times while at work to protect against unauthorized individuals from accessing information;
- Requiring all staff with access to electronic health information systems to be issued their own user ID and password to access the system, which is subject to timeouts. Staff are not to share their IDs nor leave their systems unattended;
- Applying additional security measures to all electronic health records – for example, firewalls; anti-virus protection; encryption of mobile devices;
- Locking doors and filing cabinets; and
- Conducting regular, randomized audits on health records.
Does VHA sell client information?
No. VHA does not sell client information to anyone.
When may I be required to provide consent? What happens if I am unable to provide consent?
Examples include consent to allow VHA to provide your service, or consent to disclose your personal health information to your private insurance company to facilitate payment of your bill.
If you are unable to provide consent directly to VHA regarding your personal health information, your substitute decision-maker (such as your spouse, parent, adult child or guardian) or someone you have designated under a power of attorney for personal care or property will have the authority to make decisions for you. This person is bound by law to act on your behalf and to make decisions based on their interpretation of your prior capable wish, if known, or otherwise based on your values and beliefs.
Will my family see my personal health information?
Although you have the right to access your health record, this right does not automatically extend to family members and/or friends. If you consent to have a friend or family member see your record, they will be able to access all or part of the record you have consented to share with them. If you become incapable to consent to treatment, or to give consent to collect, use or disclose your personal health information, your substitute decision-maker will have access to any personal health information required in order to assist themto make decisions on your behalf.
How do I report a privacy concern?
Privacy concerns and questions can be raised directly with VHA management. Concerns will be investigated and if a privacy breach has occurred, we will follow up with staff and will also keep you informed.
If you are dissatisfied with the response you receive from VHA, you have the further right to raise your concerns with the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC), toll-free at 1-800-387-0073.