Your Privacy is Important to US
On January 1, 2004, Canada enacted privacy legislation called the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). PIPEDA governs the collection, use, disclosure, and retention of personal information in the course of commercial activities.
However, this legislation did not focus on the core activities of hospitals. This resulted in questions regarding its applicability to health care.
On November 1, 2004, the Ontario government enacted the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA). The Act provides direction to all individuals who collect, use, disclose, and retain personal health information (PHI). These individuals may include staff, physicians, volunteers, students, and contracted staff at health care facilities.
Privacy is the right of an individual to control his or her own personal information. In other words, a person can determine how, when, and to what extent, they will share information with others.
Confidentiality is the obligation of staff and affiliates (definition) to protect information entrusted to them regardless of format; formats may include, but are not limited to verbal, written, and electronic.
Confidentiality at South Huron Hospital Association (“SHHA”)
The hospital has a responsibility to ensure confidentiality is maintained by its staff and affiliates. Failure to maintain confidentiality may result in disciplinary action, including:
Personal information includes name, date of birth, address, Health Card Number, and extended health insurance numbers. Personal health information includes information relating to previous health problems, the record of visits to the hospital, and what health care we provide during those visits.
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