Privacy Statement & Collection of Personal Information

The Health & Counselling Centre (HCC) staff members are bound as a condition of employment, and by law and ethics to safeguard your privacy and the confidentiality of your personal information. Your request for care from the HCC implies consent for our collection, use and disclosure of your personal information related to your care.

HCC Staff include family physicians, psychiatrists, nurses, dietitians, counselors, social workers, health educators and support staff.  We restrict access to your information to a need to know basis in order to provided you with the best health care.  In addition all staff are required to sign confidentiality agreements.

We only collect the information that may be necessary for your care; keep accurate and up to date records; safeguard the medical and/or counselling records in our possession; share information with other health care providers, where required for your health care; disclose information to third parties only with your signed, written consent or when legally required; and retain and destroy records in accordance with the law.

The HCC is ethically and/or legally required to disclose confidential information to the appropriate authorities in 4 situations:

1.    If you indicate that you or another person may be a danger to themselves or others.
2.    In the case of apparent, suspected or potential child abuse or neglect.
3.    If you report sexual abuse by a Regulated Health Care Professional.
4.    When the court issues a summons for records or testimony.

Emergency Situations:
It is important that Student Affairs administrators who are responsible for students on campus be able to identify students in crisis in order to provide them with support and be able to protect the University community.  When a health professional has reason to believe that you are a danger to yourself, or others, that information may be communicated to the Students in Crisis Committee in order for them to be able to support you, and the community most appropriately.  This committee is also bound by privacy legislation.

We will request the provision of an emergency contact for us to use should there be serious concerns regarding your health or safety.

Protection of Personal Information:
We understand the importance of protecting your personal information.  In order to ensure that protection we have take the following steps:

1.    Paper information is either under supervision or secured in a locked or restricted
       area at all times.
2.    Electronic hardware is either under supervision or secured in a locked or restricted
       area at all times.  All computers are password protected, in addition access to our
       electronic medical record is also password protected.
3.    The Electronic Health Record system has additional security/privacy features.
4.    We do not transmit information via email without your expressed consent.
5.    Fax machines are used to transmit information to specialists and/or diagnostic
       departments in a timely fashion.
6.    Staff is trained to collect, use and disclose personal information only as necessary
       to fulfill their duties and in accordance with our privacy policy.

Retention & Destruction of Personal Information:
The HCC is required by law to keep your personal information for up to 10 years from your last date of service or until 10 years after the day on which you turned 18 years.  The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario recommends keeping information for 15 years.  The College makes this recommendation to ensure that physicians will be able to provide evidence should it be required in any future legal proceedings brought against them.  In some instances health care providers must retain certain files in case of legal proceedings for which there is no statute of limitations indefinitely. 

The HCC destroys paper records by shredding. We destroy electronic information by deleting it and when the hardware is discarded, we ensure the hard drive is physically destroyed.

Requests to Review and/or make corrections to your record:
With a few exceptions (as per professional college guidelines) you have the right to see what personal information we hold about you. In most instances you can ask to do this.  In some instances we may ask you to put your request in writing.  If we are unable to fulfill your request, we will notify you within 30 days or receipt of the request.

If you have any concerns regarding the accuracy of your records please speak with a nurse or your physician.  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. Regardless of any changes, additions or deletions made, the original version of the record must legally continue to be accessible.

Transfer of Medical/Counselling Records:
If you are no longer a patient of the Health & Counselling Centre and would like you medical and/or counseling records transferred to another care provider or a copy for your records you will be required to complete a request form. A HCC staff member will review the request and may contact you if more information is needed prior to sending the records. A fee is charged for such requests.

Questions or Concerns:
If you have questions or concerns regarding your privacy you may contact the director who is the information and security officer for the HCC.

Erin Kraftcheck
Medical Director
Health & Counselling Centre
DV 1123A
3359 Mississauga Rd
Mississauga, ON
L5L 1C6