WHAT IS PERSONAL HEALTH INFORMATION?
Personal Health Information is defined as information relating to an individual's physical or mental health, the provision of health care, the eligibility or payment of health care, financial information related to the provision of care and the individual's health card number. This information includes things such as your name, address, gender and age, in addition to your health information.
WHAT IS AN AGENT?
As an Agent to a Health Information Custodian (HIC), Health Shared Services Ontario (HSSOntario) acts for or on behalf of the HIC in respect of collecting, using or disclosing personal health information, for the purposes of the HIC, and not the Agent's own purposes. For example, a HIC may designate HSSOntario as its Agent to correct a patient record.
A HIC may permit HSSOntario to access, collect, use, disclose, retain or dispose of personal health information on its behalf only within the limitations already imposed on the HIC and only with the HIC's express authorization.
As an Agent of a HIC, HSSOntario does not make any independent decisions with respect to the handling of personal health information, but acts only in accordance with the terms of its agreement with the HIC, and in compliance with the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA).
WHAT IS A HEALTH INFORMATION NETWORK PROVIDER (HINP)?
A HIC is a person or organization who has custody or control of personal health information—for example, a physician, hospital or Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) may hold its clients' personal health information. A Health Information Network Provider (HINP) is a person or organization that provides services to two or more HICs where the services are provided primarily to enable the custodians to use electronic means to disclose personal health information to one another. An example would be HSSOntario providing network services to a hospital in order to share information between the hospital and a LHIN. In this case HSSOntario would be a HINP for both the hospital and the LHIN.
HOW DOES HSSOntario COLLECT MY INFORMATION?
As an Agent to a HIC, HSSOntario may collect your personal health information on behalf of a HIC only within the limitations already imposed by the HIC and only with the HIC's express authorization.
As a HINP, HSSOntario does not collect information from patients. Your health care provider will provide you with information on how they collect your information.
HOW DOES HSSOntario USE MY PERSONAL HEALTH INFORMATION?
As an Agent to a HIC, HSSOntario may use your personal health information on behalf of a HIC only within the limitations already imposed by the HIC and only with the HIC's express authorization. For example, HSSOntario may use your information to prepare statistical reports as authorized by the HIC. Statistical reports may be disclosed externally by HSSOntario as authorized by the HIC or as required by applicable law.
As a HINP, HSSOntario uses your personal and personal health information in creating or maintaining one or more electronic health records and the systems they are housed in.
HOW DOES HSSOntario DISCLOSE MY INFORMATION?
As an Agent, HSSOntario may only disclose information with the authorization of a HIC. The HIC may disclose information without your consent for purposes permitted by law, e.g., disclosure related to risk of serious bodily harm [PHIPA S.40 (1)]. In addition, the HIC can disclose your information in situations where you have provided consent for them to do so. Only the HIC can provide you with a summary of how your information has been disclosed.
As a Health Information Network Provider, HSSOntario does not disclose personal health information.
WHO SHOULD I CONTACT IF I HAVE A PRIVACY COMPLAINT?
If you have a privacy complaint about your health care provider, please contact that provider directly. If you believe any of your privacy rights have been violated by HSSOntario in any way, please contact the HSSOntario Privacy Office:
HSSOntario Chief Privacy Officer
130 Bloor Street West, Suite 200
Toronto, Ontario M5S 1N5
If the HSSOntario Privacy Office cannot resolve your concerns, you may wish to contact the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario at (416) 326-3333 or 1-800-387-0073 (toll free), or via their web site: http://www.ipc.on.ca
WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE personal health information protection act, 2004?
You can find more information from the following links:
Information and Privacy Commission of Ontario
Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004
Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004, O. Reg. 329/04