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Personal Health Information - Privacy & Access
Personal Health Information Privacy: It's Your Right and Our Obligation

Collection of Personal Health Information

We collect personal health information about you directly from you or from the person acting on your behalf. The personal health information that we collect may include, for example, your name, date of birth, address, health history, record of your visits to HPHA and the care that you received during those visits. Occasionally, we collect personal health information about you from other sources if we have obtained your consent to do so or if the law permits. We make sure that only those people who need to see your personal records are allowed to look at them. We protect your information using policies and security measures.

Use and Disclosure of Personal Health Information

Unless you tell us otherwise, we use or disclose your personal health information for our “main activities”, being to:

  • communicate with your various health care providers including your family physician and/or other health care institutions for continuity of care*, in order to treat and care for you,
  • request payment for your treatment and care (from OHIP, WSIB, your private insurer or others),
  • plan, administer and manage our internal operations, and conduct risk management activities,
  • conduct quality improvement activities (such as sending patient satisfaction surveys),
  • teach, conduct research, and compile statistics, and
  • comply with legal and regulatory requirements, and fulfill other purposes permitted or required by law.

If we use your information for any purpose other than our main activities, we will ask your permission.

*HPHA, comprised of hospitals in Stratford, Seaforth, St. Marys & Clinton and affiliated with Alexandra Marine & General Hospital in Goderich, shares a common computer system amongst these hospitals. If you have been treated or seek treatment at any of these hospitals, you can be assured that only staff or physicians required to access your personal health information for direct care or administrative purposes are authorized to access your computerized clinical records.

Unless you tell us not to, we will disclose your information to other health care providers in the “Circle of Care” who need to know this information to provide you with care or help provide you with care. A patient’s instruction cannot prevent us from recording information that is required by law, professional standards, or our practice. The “Circle of Care” includes health care professionals, pharmacies, laboratories, ambulance, nursing homes, CCACs and home service providers who provide you with health care services.

Unless you tell us not to, we may tell anyone who calls or visits an HPHA hospital asking about you that:

  • You are in the hospital (Room #, extension #);
  • Your basic health condition.

If you are admitted to hospital and you or a family member tells us your religion, unless you tell us otherwise, we will give your name, room number and religion to all visiting clergy members.

To Access or Correct Your Information:

A patient may access their health record by completing a Request For Access To Personal Health Information form or submitting a written request to Health Information Services at the site where they were seen. The Request for Access to Personal Health Record form can be downloaded from the link above or can be obtained from Health Information Services. A reasonable fee will be charged for this service. If an individual believes their record is inaccurate or incomplete, they maysubmit a written request for correction of their record to Health Information Services.

For More Information, Comments or Complaints:

If you would like more information (including a copy of our formal Privacy Policy) or to raise a concern you have with our privacy practices or for information on how to contact the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, contact the Information & Privacy Office via e-mail: alliance.privacyoffice@hpha.ca or by calling (519) 272-8210 ext. 2736 or through this website at www.hpha.ca. All enquiries will be kept strictly confidential.