Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA)
The Medical Officer of Health (MOH) is the Health Information Custodian for the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit, a Division of Norfolk County.
This means, under the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA), the MOH has the responsibility to ensure that personal health information is collected, used, stored and shared with full regard for the protection of privacy and the confidentiality of personal health information.
This obligation to protect the privacy of personal health information extends to persons who act as agents of the MOH.
- The MOH collects personal health information from clients and other authorized persons to promote and protect health, and to prevent disease. The kind of personal health information collected may include: name, address, date of birth and Ontario Health Card number; facts about health, health care and history related to exposures to disease; and information about payment for health care, when required for certain public health services.
- Personal health information may be collected through a face-to-face meeting with a staff person, over the phone, through written papers and/or electronic documents.
- All documentation of personal health information is recorded on paper and/or electronically and complies with internal policies and procedures.
Use / Disclosure …
- The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit is mandated by the Ontario government under the Health Protection and Promotion Act to provide disease prevention, health promotion and health protection programs and services to the residents of the Counties of Haldimand and Norfolk.
- The main use of personal health information collected by Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit is to plan, deliver and evaluate appropriate health care and services for individuals.
- When necessary, personal health information may be shared within the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit to provide care and investigate and manage potential risks to others or to the population at large.
- Non-identifying information related to clients’ care and services is used for administration, management, strategic planning, decision-making, research and allocation of resources.
- Under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit can disclose personal health information to other health units and to the provincial Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
- Personal health information may also be shared with health care providers to plan and deliver health care or investigate and manage potential health risks to others.
- All personal health information is kept private, unless the law requires disclosure or authorizes sharing of health information with others.
- The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit cannot, and will not, give out any personal health information without the consent of the individual involved.
- If consent is given to let a family member or legal representative have access to personal health information, these representatives may have access to those parts of the personal record that have been identified in the consent.
- Individuals have the right to withdraw or change the conditions of consent, subject to provisions set out in the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA).
- Personal health information is kept secure by the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit.
- All paper records are stored in locked files and/or secured areas (i.e. client records).
- All electronic personal health information that is transferred outside of the Norfolk County network is transferred on an encrypted device.
- Personal health information records are retained according to Norfolk County policies and procedures.
- Individuals who wish to access or correct their personal health information, or who have questions about how it is collected, maintained, used or disclosed, are encouraged to contact their health care provider in the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit. However, individuals may also make a written request to access or correct personal health information under PHIPA.
- The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit is committed to resolving all concerns or complaints and encourages individuals to first contact the team involved.
- An individual’s concerns or complaints about access or privacy practices within the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit may be directed to the manager of the individual’s health care provider or program.
- For general concerns or complaints about privacy practices, individuals are encouraged to contact the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit at 519-426-6170 Ext. 3218.
- Individuals may also lodge a complaint regarding access or privacy practices of the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit directly with the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) at 416-326-3333.
For additional information about confidentiality and personal health information speak to your public health professional or contact:
Katherine Bristol, Records Management / FOI Coordinator
at 519-426-5870 Ext. 1261