Student Health Services Privacy Statement

Protecting your privacy and the confidentiality of your personal information has always been an important part of Brock Student Health Services’ operations.

We strive to provide you with excellent medical care and service, which includes treating your personal information with respect. All members of the Student Health Services team are bound by law and ethics to safeguard your privacy and the confidentiality of your personal information. This includes:

  • Collecting only the information that may be necessary for your care;
  • Keeping accurate and up-to-date medical records
  • Safeguarding the paper and electronic medical records in our possession
  • Sharing information with other health-care providers and organizations on a “need to know” basis where required for your health care;
  • Disclosing information to third parties only with your express consent, or when legally necessary;
  • Retaining/destroying records in accordance with the law.
  • Your request for health care from us implies consent for our collection, use and disclosure of your personal information for purposes related to your care. This includes information required for billing the appropriate agencies for services rendered. As noted above, other purposes require your express consent.
  • With limited exceptions, we will give you access to the information we retain about you within a reasonable time, upon presentation of a written request and satisfactory identification.
  • Please see the receptionist for our fees for this service. Please speak to the Director if you have concerns about the accuracy of your records.

If you would like to discuss our privacy policy in more detail, or have specific questions or complaints about how your information is handled, please speak to the Director and we will try to resolve them.

*If your complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction by this office, you may contact the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario at 1-800-387-0073.

Commitment to Privacy

Protecting your privacy and the confidentiality of your personal information has always been an important aspect of Brock Student Health Services’ operations. The appropriate collection, use and disclosure of patients’ personal health information is fundamental to our day-to-day operations.

Student Health Services strives to provide excellent medical care and service, which includes treating personal information with respect. Each member and employee of the practice must abide by our commitment to privacy in the handling of personal information.

Applicability of This Privacy Policy

This Privacy Policy Statement applies to protect all the personal health information that is in our possession and control.

This policy statement is intended to complement, not detract from Provincial or Federal legislation or any other agreements or policies in place at the University. Where this policy disagrees with collective or other existing agreements, the agreements will take precedence over this policy.

What is Personal Health Information?

Personal health information means identifying information about an individual relating to their physical or mental health (including medical history), the providing of health care to the individual, payments or eligibility for health care, organ and tissue donation and health number.

The 10 Principles of Privacy

Our Privacy Policy Statement reflects our compliance with fair information practices, applicable laws and standards of practice. We are governed by both the Health Information Protection Act and by Brock University’s privacy regulations.

1. Accountability

We take our commitment to securing privacy very seriously. Each member of the Student Health Services team is responsible for the personal information under his/her control. All members are informed about the importance of privacy and receive information periodically to update them about our Privacy Policy Statement and related issues.

In addition to establishing this Privacy Policy Statement, we have appointed Marion Hansen, Freedom of Information and Privacy Coordinator, for privacy matters.

2. Identifying Purposes: Why We Collect Information

We collect information to establish a relationship and serve our patients’ medical needs. We obtain most of our information directly from the patient them self or from other health practitioners who have been authorized to disclose to us. Patients are entitled to know how we use this information and this is described in the Privacy Statement posted in the waiting rooms. We will limit the information we collect to what we need for those purposes, and we will use it only for those purposes. We will obtain written consent if we need to use personal health information for any other purpose.

3. Consent

A patient has the right to determine how personal health information is used and disclosed. For most health care purposes, consent is implied as a result of request for treatment; however, in some circumstances express, sometimes written, consent may be required.

4. Limiting Collection

We collect information by fair and lawful means and collect only that information which may be necessary for purposes related to the provision of medical care.

5. Limiting Use, Disclosure and Retention

The information we request is used for the purposes defined. We will seek consent before using the information for purposes beyond the scope of the posted Privacy Statement.

Under no circumstances do we sell patient lists or other personal information to third parties. There are some types of disclosure of personal health information that may occur as part of their practice fulfilling its routing obligations and/or practice management. This includes consultants and suppliers to the practice, on the understanding that they abide by our Privacy Policy Statement, and only to the extent necessary to allow them to provide business services or support to this Practice. But we cannot be responsible for how these agents handle this documentation.

We will retain information only for the time it is required for the purposes we describe and as required by law. Following this it will be destroyed according to acceptable practice.

6. Accuracy

We endeavour to ensure that all decisions involving personal information are based upon accurate and timely information. While we will do our best to base our decisions on accurate information, we rely on patients to disclose all material information and to inform us of any relevant changes.

7. Safeguards: Protecting Your Information

We protect personal health information with appropriate safeguards and security measures. The Student Health Services maintains personal information in a combination of paper and electronic files. Recent paper records concerning individuals’ personal information are stored in files and kept securely onsite at our office. Older records are stored offsite on microfilm with limited secure access.

Access to personal information will be authorized only for the physicians, nurses and staff associated with Student Health Services and to those otherwise authorized by law.

We provide information to health care providers to whom a patient has been referred on the understanding that they are also bound by law and ethics to safeguard privacy. Other organizations and agents must agree to abide by our Privacy Policy Statement and may be asked to sign contracts to that effect. We will give them only the information necessary to perform the services for which they are engaged, and will require that they not store, use or disclose the information for purposes other than to carry out those services.

Our computer systems are password-secured and constructed in such a way that only authorized individuals can access secured systems and databases.

If we received email massages that include personal information, such as a name included in the “address”, we will use that information to respond to inquiries. Please remember that email is not necessarily secure against interception. If a communication is very sensitive, it should not be sent electronically unless the email is encrypted or the browser indicates that the access is secure.

8. Openness: Keeping You Informed

Student Health Services has prepared this plain-language Privacy Policy Statement to keep patients informed. On request, a copy of it may be obtained from the administrative staff at Student Health Services.

If there are any additional questions or concerns about privacy, please contact us by phone, fax, mail, email or our website and we will address all concerns to the best of our ability.

9. Access and Correction

With limited exception, we will grant access to the information we retain within a reasonable time, upon presentation of a written request and satisfactory identification.

We may charge a fee for this service and if so, we will give notice in advance of processing the request.

If a patient finds error of fact in personal health information he/she is requested to notify us as soon as possible and we will make corrections if appropriate. We are not required to correct information relating to clinical observations or opinions made in good faith. A patient has the right to append a short statement of disagreement to the record if we refuse to make a requested change.

If we deny the request for access to personal information, we will advise the patient in writing of the reason for the refusal and the patient may then challenge our decision.

10. Challenging Compliance

We encourage any questions or concerns about privacy issues or our Privacy Policy Statement. We will investigate and respond to concerns about any aspect of our handling of personal health information.

In most cases, an issue is resolved simply by discussing it. We can be reached at:

Student Health Services Questions:

Sarah Pennisi, Director
Student Wellness & Accessibility Centre, Brock University
905 688 5550  x3981
pennisi@brocku.ca

Privacy Questions:

Marion Hansen, Freedom of Information and Privacy Coordinator
University Secretariat, Brock University
905 688 5550  x5380
mhansen@brocku.ca

Conclusion

Any changes to Student Health Services Privacy Policy Statement shall be acknowledged in a timely manner. This Policy was last updated on the modification date found below.
Last modified on the 11th day of July 2005.