Information from your Provider
We take the privacy of your personal information very seriously. Here are details about a provincial law that protects your personal information.
The Personal Information Protection Act, SBC 2003, c. 63 (PIPA), which came into force on January 1, 2004, sets out rules about how primary care providers collect personal information on their patients, use it to provide medical care, and disclose it to others (such as labs, other providers, hospitals, and so on) for your care. PIPA also allows you to get access to your own information and correct it if necessary.
This policy outlines how we protect the privacy of your personal information and medical record. Everyone working for this office is required to adhere to the protections described in this policy. If you have any questions regarding our privacy practices, please contact your Provider or one of our staff.
Collection, Use and Disclosure of Personal Information.
We collect the following personal information:
- Identification and contact information (name, address, date of birth, emergency contact, etc.
- Billing information (provincial plan and/or private insurer)
- Health information (symptoms, diagnosis, medical history, test results, reports and treatment, record of allergies, prescriptions, etc.)
When and to whom do we disclose personal information?
- Implied consent for provision of care: By virtue of seeking care from us, your consent is implied (i.e., assumed) for your information to be used by this office to provide you with care, and to share with other providers involved in your care.
- Disclosure to other health care providers: Relevant health information is shared with other providers involved in your care, including (but not limited to) other Providers and specialists, pharmacists, lab technicians, nutritionists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists.
- Disclosures authorized by law: There are limited situations where we are legally required to disclose your personal information without your consent. These situations include (but are not limited to) billing provincial health plans, reporting infectious diseases and fitness to drive, or by court order.
- Disclosures to all other parties: Your express consent is required before we will disclose your information to third parties for any purpose other than to provide you with care, or unless we are authorized to do so by law. Examples of disclosures to other parties requiring your express consent include (but are not limited to) third party medical examinations, provision of charts or chart summaries to insurance companies, or enrollment in research studies and trials.
Can you withdraw consent?
- You can withdraw your consent to have your information shared other health care providers or other parties at any time, except where the disclosure is authorized by law. However, please discuss this with your Provider or other clinician first.
As a patient, you have the right to request access to your medical records with us, but do not necessarily have access to everything in your file. PIPA allows providers to hold back information if it could cause harm to the patient or to others. The office’s privacy officer will help you fill out the required form to seek access to your records and will explain the process. The privacy officer may also talk to you about a fee for accessing your records.
How do you access the personal information held by this office?
- You have the right to access your record in a timely manner. If you request a copy of your record, one will be provided to you. If you wish to view the original record, one of our staff must be present to maintain the integrity of the record, and a reasonable fee may be charged for this access. Patient requests for access to the medical record can be made verbally, in writing, directed to the Provider, or directed to any office staff.
- Limitations on access: In extremely limited circumstances you may be denied access to your records, but only if providing access would create a significant risk to you or to another person.
What if you feel your record is not accurate?
- We make every effort to ensure that all of your information is recorded accurately. If an inaccuracy is identified, you can request that a note be made to reflect this on your file.
Safeguards are in place to protect the security of your information. These safeguards include a combination of physical, technological and administrative security measures that are appropriate to the sensitivity of the information. These safeguards are aimed at protecting personal information against loss or theft, as well as unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, use or modification.
How long do we keep information?
- We retain patient records as required by law and professional regulations.
How do we dispose of information when it is no longer required?
- When information is no longer required, it is destroyed in a secure manner, according to set procedures that govern the storage and destruction of personal information.
If you believe that this office has not replied to your access request or has not handled your personal information in a reasonable manner, please address your concerns first with your clinician. You may also choose to make a complaint to:
- BC College of Nurses and Midwives
- College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC
Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of BC