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If you have any questions or concerns related to your privacy and CMHA Grey Bruce, please contact our Privacy Officer at [email protected]  or 519-371-3642 ext. 1002.

Understanding Your Personal Health Information and Privacy Rights

What is personal health information?

Your personal health information may contain information about:

Why is my information being collected?

Your personal health information (PHI) is primarily used to paint the picture of your overall health so that your care providers can give you better care. Sharing your PHI by mail, fax and electronically with other service providers is important. The information shared with the members of your community care team allows them to have the most up-to-date information about you so they can better and more safely meet your needs.

How does CMHA Grey Bruce use my information?

CMHA Grey Bruce may collect, use, or disclose your health information for the following reasons:

How is my personal health information being protected?

Canadian Mental Health Association, Grey Bruce (CMHA Grey Bruce) has a longstanding policy of protecting the privacy of its clients. The CMHAGB Privacy Policy has been revised to align itself with Bill 31 Ontario’s privacy legislation, also known as the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA). As of November 1, 2004, PHIPA controls the way personal health information may be collected, used, and disclosed.

There are administrative, physical, and technical safeguards in place to protect physical records and electronic networks from misuse, correction, copying, disclosure, destruction, monitoring and/or damage.

These safeguards include: security software and encryption protocols, firewalls, locks and other access controls, privacy impact assessments, privacy training for staff and students, and confidentiality agreements. Privacy and security safeguards are constantly under review and are enhanced where necessary to ensure the highest level of protection.

What are my privacy rights?

How is my privacy protected even when I receive my services through secure virtual care?

Secure virtual care includes telephone, email, text, and videoconferencing (through OTN or Zoom). We will ask for your express consent to communicate using any of these platforms. When participating in a virtual group, all group members are required to review and sign a participation agreement that outlines the expectations for participating in a virtual group.

Due to privacy concerns, we discourage counselling via email or text. Texting may be used only to send/receive administrative communication, such as appointment times.

Is my personal health information ever sent using email?

To expedite service, it may be necessary to use email to share protected documents that include your personal health information, either to you or to other healthcare providers within your circle of care. Your express consent will be obtained before sharing information with other non-circle of care providers (e.g., legal). All personal health information being transmitted electronically will be done so in alignment with our CMHA Grey Bruce communications policy.

Can my personal health information be shared with third parties that are not health care providers?

Your health care provider requires your express consent to share your PHI with third parties who are not directly involved in providing you with care. You can request that copies of part or all of your health record, for purposes other than healthcare, are provided to third parties such as your lawyer, or an application for disability support or housing.

Are there times when my personal health information can be shared without my express consent?

Yes – there are times when your health care providers are required to share your personal health information without your express consent. For example, if you are at risk of harm to self or others, we may need to share need-to-know information to keep you safe. Your health care providers are also obligated by law to respond to a subpoena and/or search warrant.

Data from CMHA Grey Bruce’s electronic client management system is exported to prescribed organizations such as Ontario Health daily.  This information is used to monitor service volumes, assess equity, conduct data quality assurance activities on the personal health information it receives and manage funding decisions for programs and services.

What does it mean when I give my consent to share my personal health information within my circle of care?

Your care providers will share the information they have collected with others involved in your care to provide you with the safe, quality care that better meets your needs. You have the right to be informed of the positive and negative consequences of your consent to share (or not to share) your personal health information with health service providers involved in your care. You have the right to revoke or withdraw your consent to share information with your circle of care.  This must be expressly communicated to your care provider so they can put the proper safeguards in place to prevent information sharing.

How do I provide Feedback/Complaint?

To speak with the Privacy Officer you can call: 519-371-3642 (ext 1002).

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