Personal Information Protection Policy
Dr. T.G. Elliott Inc.
April 20, 2015.
At Dr. T.G. Elliott Inc., we are committed to providing our patients with exceptional service. As providing this service involves the collection, use and disclosure of some personal information about our patients, protecting their personal information is one of our highest priorities.
While we have always respected our patients’ privacy and safeguarded their personal information, we have strengthened our commitment to protecting personal information as a result of British Columbia’s Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA). PIPA, which came into effect on January 1, 2004, sets out the ground rules for how B.C. businesses and not-for-profit organizations may collect, use and disclose personal information.
We will inform our patients of why and how we collect, use and disclose their personal information, obtain their consent where required, and only handle their personal information in a manner that a reasonable person would consider appropriate in the circumstances.
This Personal Information Protection Policy, in compliance with PIPA, outlines the principles and practices we will follow in protecting patients’ personal information. Our privacy commitment includes ensuring the accuracy, confidentiality, and security of our patients’ personal information and allowing our patients to request access to, and correction of, their personal information.
Scope of this Policy
This Personal Information Protection Policy applies to Dr. T.G. Elliott Inc.
This policy also applies to any service providers collecting, using or disclosing personal information on behalf of Dr. T.G. Elliott Inc.
Personal Information –means information about an identifiable individual such as name, age, Personal Health Number, marital status, income, and medical information. Personal information does not include contact information (described below).
Contact information – means information that would enable an individual to be contacted at a place of business and includes name, position name or title, business telephone number, business address, business email or business fax number. Contact information is not covered by this policy or PIPA.
Privacy Officer – means the individual designated responsibility for ensuring that Dr. T.G. Elliott Inc. complies with this policy and PIPA.
Policy 1 – Collecting Personal Information
1.1 Unless the purposes for collecting personal information are obvious and the patient voluntarily provides his or her personal information for those purposes, we will communicate the purposes for which personal information is being collected, either orally or in writing, before or at the time of collection.
1.2 We will only collect patient information that is necessary to fulfill the following purposes:
- To verify identity;
- To determine eligibility for subsidy on applicable services on an as-needed basis;
- To automatically fax prescriptions to a patient’s pharmacy;
- To provide medical services;
- To meet regulatory requirements;
Policy 2 – Consent
2.1 We will obtain patient consent to collect, use or disclose personal information (except where, as noted below, we are authorized to do so without consent).
2.2 Consent can be provided orally, in writing, by fax, electronically, or through an authorized representative or it can be implied where the purpose for collecting using or disclosing the personal information would be considered obvious and the patient voluntarily provides personal information for that purpose.
2.4 Subject to certain exceptions (e.g., the personal information is necessary to provide the service or product, or the withdrawal of consent would frustrate the performance of a legal obligation), patients can withhold or withdraw their consent for Dr. T.G. Elliott Inc. to use their personal information in certain ways. A patient’s decision to withhold or withdraw their consent to certain uses of personal information may restrict our ability to provide a particular service or product. If so, we will explain the situation to assist the patient in making the decision.
2.5 We may collect, use or disclose personal information without the patient’s knowledge or consent in the following limited circumstances:
- When the collection, use or disclosure of personal information is permitted or required by law;
- In an emergency that threatens an individual’s life, health, or personal security;
- When the personal information is available from a public source (e.g., a telephone directory);
- When we require legal advice from a lawyer;
- To protect ourselves from fraud;
- To investigate an anticipated breach of an agreement or a contravention of law.
Policy 3 – Using and Disclosing Personal Information
3.1 We will only use or disclose patient personal information where necessary to fulfill the purposes identified at the time of collection or for a purpose reasonably related to those purposes such as:
- To conduct patient surveys or collect feedback in order to enhance the provision of our services;
- To contact patients directly about products and services that may be of interest;
3.2 We will not use or disclose patient personal information for any additional purpose unless we obtain consent to do so.
3.3 We will not sell patient lists or personal information to other parties.
Policy 4 – Retaining Personal Information
4.1 If we use patient personal information to make a decision that directly affects the patient, we will retain that personal information for at least 16 years so that the patient has a reasonable opportunity to request access to it.
4.2 Subject to policy 4.1, we will retain patient personal information only as long as necessary to fulfill the identified purposes or a legal or business purpose.
Policy 5 – Ensuring Accuracy of Personal Information
5.1 We will make reasonable efforts to ensure that patient personal information is accurate and complete where it may be used to make a decision about the patient or disclosed to another organization.
5.2 Patients may request correction to their personal information in order to ensure its accuracy and completeness. A request to correct personal information must be made in writing and provide sufficient detail to identify the personal information and the correction being sought.
5.3 If the personal information is demonstrated to be inaccurate or incomplete, we will correct the information as required and send the corrected information to any organization to which we disclosed the personal information in the previous year. If the correction is not made, we will note the patient’s correction request in the file.
Policy 6 – Securing Personal Information
6.1 We are committed to ensuring the security of patient personal information in order to protect it from unauthorized access, collection, use, disclosure, copying, modification or disposal or similar risks.
6.2 The following security measures will be followed to ensure that patient personal information is appropriately protected:
- Physically secured offices ;
- Encrypted electronic data storage ;
- Firewalls and secured servers ;
- Access restricted only to employees requiring access to personal information for the purposes defined in this policy.
6.3 We will use appropriate security measures when destroying patients’ personal information such as ISO certified document destruction services and secure destruction of hard drives.
6.4 We will continually review and update our security policies and controls as technology changes to ensure ongoing personal information security.
Policy 7 – Providing Patients Access to Personal Information
7.1 Patients have a right to access their personal information.
7.2 A request to access personal information must be made in writing and provide sufficient detail to identify the personal information being sought.
7.3 Upon request, we will also tell patients how we use their personal information and to whom it has been disclosed if applicable.
7.4 We will make the requested information available within 30 business days, or provide written notice of an extension where additional time is required to fulfill the request.
7.5 A minimal fee may be charged for providing access to personal information. Where a fee may apply, we will inform the patient of the cost and request further direction from the patient on whether or not we should proceed with the request.
7.6 If a request is refused in full or in part, we will notify the patient in writing, providing the reasons for refusal and the recourse available to the patient.
Policy 8 – Questions and Complaints: The Role of the Privacy Officer or designated individual
8.1 The Privacy Officer is responsible for ensuring Dr. T.G. Elliott Inc.’s compliance with this policy and the Personal Information Protection Act.
8.2 Patients should direct any complaints, concerns or questions regarding Dr. T.G. Elliott’s Inc.’s compliance in writing to the Privacy Officer. If the Privacy Officer is unable to resolve the concern, the patient may also write to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of British Columbia.
Contact information for Dr. T.G. Elliott Inc.’s Privacy Officer:
Dr. Thomas G. Elliott
400 – 210 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC V5Y 3W2
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