The privacy and protection of your personal health information is a priority in Ontario. When you receive health services in the province including from i2i Opticians, you have a right to expect the appropriate use and safekeeping of your personal health information. The Health Information Protection Act (HIPA) provides rules and guidelines that govern the collection, use and disclosure of personal health information in Ontario.
HOW DOES HIPA PROTECT YOUR PERSONAL HEALTH INFORMATION?
HIPA places duties or responsibilities on organizations and individuals in the health system to protect the privacy of your personal health information. Personal health information is defined as information about the mental or physical health of an individual, which is identifiable to that individual. The Act applies to personal health information held by any trustee in Ontario, regardless of format. All parts of the Act apply equally to all media including paper, microfilm, x-rays and electronic records. The Act calls them trustees to reflect the fact that they hold your personal health information “in trust” and must manage it with your best interests in mind. Examples of a trustee include: Ontario Government Ministries; Regional Health Authorities; hospitals; health professionals (e.g. physicians, optometrists, dentists, nurses, pharmacists); and ambulance operators.
RULES i2i OPTICIANS FOLLOWS
HIPA identifies several rules that trustees must follow for the collection, use and disclosure of your personal health information. Among them are:
• The primary purpose for collecting personal health information must be for the benefit of the individual.
• Trustees should only collect, use or disclose personal health information required to provide you with a service.
• Trustees must also have practices in place that will ensure the safekeeping of personal health information.
• i2i Opticians collects health information from you for the sole purposes of conducting an eye exam or providing eye wear including prescription glasses, prescription sunglasses, and/or prescription contact lenses.
WHAT ARE YOUR RIGHTS UNDER HIPA?
HIPA identifies specific rights that individuals have with respect to their personal health information. These rights include:
• The right to revoke consent for the collection, use and disclosure of your personal health information.
• The right to be informed about the anticipated uses and disclosures of your personal health information.
• The right to refuse to provide the Health Services Number as identification for a non-health service.
• The right to access personal health information about oneself.
• The right to request amendments to records of personal health information about oneself.
• The right to request a review by the Information and Privacy Commissioner about a decision by a trustee and the right to appeal to a court.
• The right to designate another person to make decisions about one’s personal health information.
These rights are important because they ensure that you will be involved in decisions about your personal health information. Examples of personal health information include: the medical record held by a physician; a patient record held by a hospital; registration information (ie. Health Services Number) held by the Ministry of Health to register individuals for insured services; and records of prescriptions filled by a pharmacist.
RIGHTS RELEVANT TO i2i OPTICIANS’ SERVICES
• The right to request an electronic or paper copy of your medical record(s). i2i Opticians provides this in addition to other health information we have about you. We will provide a copy or a summary of your health information, usually within 30 days of your request. We may charge a reasonable, cost-based fee.
• The right to correct your medical record(s). You can ask us to correct health information about you that you think is incorrect or incomplete. Proof of incorrect information must be provided. We may say “no” to your request, but we’ll tell you why in writing with a legitimate reason within 60 days.
• The right to request confidential communications. You can ask us to contact you in a specific way (for example, home or office phone) or to send mail to a different address. Extra charges may be billed for postage. We will say “yes” to all reasonable requests.
• The right to limit what we use or share. You can ask us not to use or share certain health information for treatment, payment, or our operations. We are not required to agree to your request, and we may say “no” if it would affect your care. If you pay for a service or health care item out-of-pocket in full, you can ask us not to share that information for the purpose of payment or our operations with your health insurer. We will say “yes” unless a law requires us to share that information.
• The right to get a list of those whom we’ve shared information. You can ask for a list (accounting) of the times we’ve shared your health information for seven years prior to the date you ask, who we shared it with, and why. We will include all the disclosures except for those about treatment, payment, and health care operations, and certain other disclosures (such as any you asked us to make). We’ll provide one accounting a year for free but will charge a reasonable, cost-based fee if you ask for another one within 12 months.
• The right to get a copy of this privacy notice. You can ask for a paper copy of this notice at any time, even if you have agreed to receive the notice electronically. We will provide you with a paper copy promptly.
• The right to choose someone to act for you. If you have given someone medical power of attorney or if someone is your legal guardian, that person can exercise your rights and make choices about your health information. We will make sure the person has this authority and can act for you before we take any action.
• The right to File a complaint if you feel your rights are violated. You can complain if you feel we have violated your rights by contacting us by mail at 10-25 Overlea Boulevard, Toronto, ON M4H 1P9 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will make every reasonable effort to ensure that your complaint and concerns are resolved.
For certain health information, you can tell us your choices about what we share. If you have a clear preference for how we share your information in the situations described below, talk to us. Tell us what you want us to do, and we will follow your instructions.
• In these cases, you have both the right and choice to tell us to:
– Share information with your family, close friends, or others involved in your care.
– Share information in a disaster relief situation.
– Include your information in a hospital directory.
– If you are not able to tell us your preference, for example if you are unconscious, we may go ahead and share your information if we believe it is in your best interest. We may also share your information when needed to lessen a serious and imminent threat to health or safety.
• In these cases we never share your information unless you give us written permission:
– Marketing purposes.
– Sale of your information.
– Most sharing of psychotherapy notes.
• In the case of fundraising:
– We may contact you for fundraising efforts, but you can tell us not to contact you again.
OUR USES AND DISCLOSURES
How do we typically use or share your health information? We typically use or share your health information in the following ways.
• Treat you
– We can use your health information and share it with other professionals who are treating you.
– Example: A doctor treating you for an injury asks another doctor about your overall health condition.
• Run our organization
– We can use and share your health information to run our practice, improve your care, and contact you when necessary.
– Example: We use health information about you to manage your treatment and services.
• Bill for your services
– We can use and share your health information to bill and get payment from health plans or other entities.
– Example: We give information about you to your health insurance plan so it will pay for your services.
HOW ELSE CAN WE USE OR SHARE YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION?
We are allowed or required to share your information in other ways – usually in ways that contribute to the public good, such as public health and research. We have to meet many conditions in the law before we can share your information for these purposes.
Help with public health and safety issues
• We can share health information about you for certain situations such as:
– Preventing disease.
– Helping with product recalls.
– Reporting adverse reactions to medications.
– Reporting suspected abuse, neglect, or domestic violence.
– Preventing or reducing a serious threat to anyone’s health or safety.
• Do research
– We can use or share your information for health research.
• Comply with the law
– We will share information about you if state or federal laws require it, including with the Department of Health and Human Services if it wants to see that we’re complying with federal privacy law.
• Respond to organ and tissue donation requests
– We can share health information about you with organ procurement organizations.
• Work with a medical examiner or funeral director
– We can share health information with a coroner, medical examiner, or funeral director when an individual dies.
• Address workers’ compensation, law enforcement, and other government requests
– We can use or share health information about you:
— For workers’ compensation claims.
— For law enforcement purposes or with a law enforcement official.
— With health oversight agencies for activities authorized by law.
— For special government functions such as military, national security, and presidential protective services.
• Respond to lawsuits and legal actions
-We can share health information about you in response to a court or administrative order, or in response to a subpoena.
• We are required by law to maintain the privacy and security of your protected health information.
• We will let you know promptly if a breach occurs that may have compromised the privacy or security of your information.
• We must follow the duties and privacy practices described in this notice and give you a copy of it.
• We will not use or share your information other than as described here unless you tell us we can in writing. If you tell us we can, you may change your mind at any time. Let us know in writing if you change your mind.
CHANGES TO THE TERMS OF THIS NOTICE
We can change the terms of this notice at any time without notice, and the changes will apply to all information we have about you. The new notice will be available upon request, in our office, and on our web site www.i2iopticians.ca.
i2i OPTICIANS CONTACT INFORMATION
10-25 Overlea Boulevard
Toronto, ON M4H 1P9
Phone: +1 (416) 424-3343