Privacy of personal information is an important principle to VC Therapeutics. We are committed to collecting, using, and disclosing personal information responsibly and only to the extent necessary for the services we provide. We attempt to be open and transparent about how we handle personal information. This document describes our privacy policies.
What is Personal Health Information?
Personal health information is information about an identifiable individual. Personal health information includes information that relates to:
Who We Are
VC Therapeutics includes, at the time of writing, a registered massage therapist and a registered physiotherapist. We use a number of consultants and agencies that may, in the course of their duties, have limited access to personal health information we hold. These include specialists, referring health care providers, computer/software consultants, accountants, lawyers, credit card companies, and website managers. We restrict their access to any personal information we hold as much as is reasonably possible. We also have their assurance that they follow appropriate privacy principles.
Why We Collect Personal Health Information
Like all regulated health professionals, we collect, use, and disclose personal information in order to serve our patients. For our patients, the primary purpose for collecting personal health information is to provide appropriate, safe and effective patient care/treatment(s). For example, we collect information about a patient’s health history, including their family history, physical condition and function and social situation in order to help us assess what their health needs are, to advise them of their options and then to provide the health care they choose to have. A second primary purpose is to obtain a baseline of health and social information so that in providing ongoing health services we can identify changes that are occurring over time. It would be rare for us to collect such information without the patient’s express consent, but this might occur in an emergency (e.g. the patient is unconscious) or where we believe the patient would consent if asked and it is impractical to obtain consent (e.g. a family member passing a message on from our patient and we have no reason to believe that the message is not genuine).
Like most organizations, we also collect, use, and disclose personal health information for purposes related to or secondary to our primary purposes. The most common examples of our related and secondary purposes are as follows:
You can choose to not be part of some of these related or secondary purposes (e.g. by declining to receive notice of special events or opportunities, by paying for your services in advance or the time service is rendered). We do not, however, have much choice about some of these related or secondary purposes (e.g. external regulation).
Browsing our Website, E-mailing our Clinic & Booking
Online We do not collect any personal identifiable information when browsing our site, with the exception of cookies, which are only used to help you navigate our website and are not used to monitor you.
When you book an appointment online or e-mail our clinic, we collect personal information necessary to provide you with the service(s) you have requested (e.g. respond to your email, book an appointment).
Marketing and Personal Information
Your personal information will never be provided to anyone outside the clinic for marketing purposes.
Our clinic will not supply your personal medical/identifiable information to any third party without your written consent. You may withdraw your consent for use and disclosure of your personal information at any time.
Protecting Personal Information
We understand the importance of protecting personal information. For that reason, we have taken the following steps:
Retention and Destruction of Personal Information
We need to retain personal information for some time to ensure that we can answer any questions you might have about the service(s) provided and for our own accountability to external regulatory bodies. However, in order to protect
your privacy, we do not want to keep personal information for longer than necessary.
We keep our client files for at least 10 years from the date of the last patient interaction or from the date the patient turns 18.
We destroy paper files containing personal health information by cross-cut shredding.
We destroy electronic information by deleting it in a manner that it cannot be restored. When hardware is discarded, we ensure that the hardware is physically destroyed or the data is erased or overwritten in a manner that the information cannot be recovered.
You Can Look at Your Records
With only a few exceptions, you have the right to see what personal information we hold about you by simply contacting our clinic. We can help you understand any information you do not understand (e.g. short forms, technical language, etc.). We will need to confirm your identity, if we do not know you, before providing you with this access. In the event of photocopying your chart, we reserve the right to charge $30.00 for the first twenty pages of records and 25 cents for each additional page.
We may ask you to put your request in writing. We will respond to your request as soon as possible and generally within 30 days, if at all possible. If we cannot give you access, we will tell you the reason, as best we can, as to why.
If you believe there is a mistake in the information, you have the right to ask for it to be corrected. This applies to factual information and not to any professional opinions we may have formed. We may ask you to provide documentation that our files are wrong. Where we agree that we made a mistake we will make the correction. At your request and where it is reasonably possible, we will notify anyone to whom we sent this information (but we may deny your request if it would not reasonably have an effect on the ongoing provision of health care). If we do not agree that we have made a mistake, we will still agree to include in our file a brief statement from you on the point.
If there is a Privacy Breach
While we will take precautions to avoid any breach of your privacy, if there is a loss, theft or unauthorized access of your personal health information we will notify you.
Upon learning of a possible or known breach, we will take the following steps:
Depending on the circumstances of the breach, we may notify and work with the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. If we take disciplinary action against one of our practitioners [or revoke or restrict the privileges or affiliation of one of our practitioners] for a privacy breach, we are required to report that to
the practitioner’s regulatory College. We may also report the breach to the relevant regulatory College if we believe that it was the result of professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity.
Do You Have Questions or Concerns?
If you have any questions or concerns you can contact our Information Officer, Amanda Vogan, at:
15-279 Weber St. North
Waterloo, ON N2J 3H8
She will attempt to answer any questions or concerns you might have.
If you wish to make a formal complaint about our privacy practices, you may make it in writing to our Information Officer. Amanda will acknowledge receipt of your complaint, and ensure that it is investigated promptly and that you are provided with a formal decision and reasons in writing.
If you have concern about professionalism or competence of our services or the mental or physical capacity of any of our professional staff we would ask you to discuss those concerns with us. However, if we cannot satisfy your concerns, you are entitled to complain to our regulatory bodies:
College of Massage Therapists of Ontario 810-1867 Yonge St. Toronto ON M4S 1Y5
Tel. 416-489-2626 ext. 4149
Toll Free 1-800-465-1933 ext. 4149 Fax 416-489-2625
College of Physiotherapists of Ontario 800-375 University Ave. Toronto ON M5G 2J5
Tel. 416-591-3828 ext. 227
Toll Free 1-800-583-5885 ext. 227 Fax 416-591-775
You also have the right to complain to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario if you have concerns about our privacy practices or how your personal health information has been handled by contacting:
Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario
1400-2 Bloor Street East, Toronto, Ontario M4W 1A8
Toll Free 1-800-387-0073
This policy is made under the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004, S.O. 2004, c. 3. It is a complex statute and provides some additional exceptions to the privacy principles that are too detailed to set out here.
At the current time, we are not accepting any new massage therapy patients.
If you have been referred to our massage therapist, please call (519-208-2352) or email (email@example.com) the clinic to discuss booking as any online booking for a new patient may not be accepted.
Thank you and have a healthy day!