Caroline Family Health Team Privacy Statement
The Caroline Family Health Team of Burlington (C-FHT) is a leader in the provision of primary health care in Burlington and the surrounding communities. A Family Health Team is a new way of providing primary care using a team approach. The team brings together family doctors with interdisciplinary healthcare providers to coordinate the best possible care for patients. Everyone on the team enjoys working together to meet your needs. Our focus is on keeping you and your family healthy, not just treating you when you are sick. Newly funded as a Family Health Team in 2007, the C-FHT brings together 11 physicians and a team of interdisciplinary health providers through two major sites. Our team includes physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, dietitians, social workers, and a pharmacist supported by a dedicated group of health service assistants and administrative staff.
As part of our mission, Caroline Family Health Team is committed to your privacy and protecting the confidentiality of the health information we hold about you. The primary care providers and staff at Caroline Family Health Team of Burlington (C-FHT) are bound by law and ethics to safeguard your privacy and the confidentiality of your personal information. The appropriate collection, use, and disclosure of patients’ personal health information are fundamental to our day-to-day operations and patient care. We strive to provide our patients with excellent medical care and service. C-FHT employees and those who act on behalf of the team, are accountable for maintaining confidentiality and privacy of all information collected, accessed, or disclosed during and after their employment or professional contact.
To provide health services to you and plan your care, C-FHT needs to collect, use and disclose personal health information about you. You have a right to know how we collect, use and disclose your personal information. You have a right to expect that we will use all reasonable means to keep your personal health information accurate, confidential, and secure.
What is Personal Health Information?
Personal health information means identifying information about an individual relating to an individual’s physical or mental health (including mental health history), or the provision of health care to the individual. The personal health information that we collect may include, for example, the patient’s name, date of birth, address, health history, a record of a patient’s visits, the records of treatment provided during those visits, payments or eligibility for health care, organ and tissue donation and health number.
Electronic Health Records
Patient health information is to be maintained in electronic health records that are password and firewall protected. The software allows for monitoring by health professionals identified as involved in a patient’s health care.
We collect, use and disclose your health information to:
- Treat and care for you
- Remind you of a booked appointment
- Pursue your consent (or consent of a substitute decision maker) where suitable
- Discard your information
- Provide education for our staff and students
- Implement our programs
- Respond to or instigate proceedings
- Administer research (subject to applicable rules)
- Administer error management, risk management, and quality improvement undertakings
- Assemble statistics
- Be paid or process, monitor, verify or reimburse claims for payment
- Plan, administer, and manage our internal functioning
- Allow for the analysis, administration, and management of the health system
- Act in accordance with legal and regulatory requirements
- Implement other purposes permitted or required by law
Our collection, use, and disclosure of your health information are done in compliance with the laws of Ontario.
For most healthcare purposes, your consent to use your health information is implied as a result of your consent to treatment, unless you indicate otherwise to us. In addition, we may collect, use and share your health information to communicate or consult with other healthcare providers about your care unless you notify us that you do not want us to do so.
There are other circumstances where we are not allowed to assume we have your consent to share information. For example, we are required to have permission to give your health information to people who do not provide you with health care, such as your insurance company or your employer. We also require your consent to use your health information for fundraising or marketing purposes. We may also need consent to communicate with any family members or friends with whom you would like us to give more detailed information about your health.
If we ask for your consent, you may choose not to provide consent. If consent is given, you may withdraw consent at any time, however, the withdrawal cannot be retrospective. The withdrawal may also be subject to legal or contractual restrictions and reasonable notice.
However, there are some instances where we may collect, use or disclose (meaning share) your health information without your consent as authorized or required by law. For example, we do not require consent for using or disclosing your information for billing, risk management, or quality improvement purposes or to fulfill compulsory reporting obligations.
Your Privacy Questions and Concerns
Should you have any questions or concerns regarding Caroline Family Health Team’s privacy practices, we encourage you to contact us. You can reach our Privacy Officer at:
Kathleen Whittaker, Executive Director and Privacy Officer
3305 Harvester Road, Units 15-20
Burlington, Ontario L7N 3N2
Should you feel after contacting us that your concerns have not been addressed to your satisfaction, you have the right to complain to the Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario. The Commissioner can be reached at:
Information and Privacy Commissioner/ Ontario
2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400
Toronto, Ontario M4W 1A8 1-800-387-0073