Personal Health Information (Privacy) Policy

Dentistry on Queenston recognizes the importance of privacy and the sensitivity of personal information, in particular, personal health information. Protecting the privacy of personal information is an important component in the provision of quality dental services to our patients. We are committed to collecting, using and disclosing your personal information in a responsible fashion, and only to the extent necessary for the service we provide.

Dentistry on Queenston is responsible for the personal information we collect and hold. To ensure this accountability, we have developed the Privacy Policy which outlines how we manage your personal information and safeguard your privacy.

What is Personal Information?

Personal information is any information that identifies you, or by which your identity could be deduced. Personal information includes any health-related information.

Purpose for the Collection, Use and Disclosure of Your Personal Information

 

Generally speaking, if we do not collect and use your personal information, we cannot provide you with our services. We collect, use and disclose personal information for the following purposes:

  • To deliver quality dental services to you

  • To identify and to ensure continuous high quality service

  • To assess your health needs

  • To advise a dental specialist or your physician with respect to health-related matters, and to render a treatment recommendation

  • To enable us to contact and maintain communication with you, including, without limitation, to distribute health-care information and to book and confirm appointments

  • To communicate with health-care providers and organizations where required for your health care

  • To allow us to efficiently follow-up for treatment, care and billing

  • For teaching and demonstrating purposes on an anonymous basis (if possible)

  • For research, health surveillance and statistical analysis of data purposes

  • To determine whether you may be a good candidate for a particular research study

  • To complete and submit claims for payment to third parties (such as private health insurance plans) in order to be paid for the services rendered

  • To collect unpaid accounts and to process payments in general

  • To comply with legal and regulatory requirements, including the delivery of patient charts and records to the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario (RCDSO)

  • To permit potential purchasers or advisors to evaluate the office in preparation for a sale

  • To deliver your charts and records to our insurance carrier to enable the insurance to assess liability and quantify damages, if any

  • For administrative/management activities such as planning resource allocation, reporting or evaluation

  • To comply with all regulatory requirements and generally with the law

  • Such other purpose(s) that may be identified before or at the time the information is collected

We will only collect that information necessary for the purposes set out in this policy. To the extent that your personal information is to be used or disclosed for a purpose not previously identified, the new purpose will be identified prior to its use or disclosure. If you are unclear, our staff will be able to explain to you the purpose for which the information is being collected at the time of collection.

When you agree to dental care by Dentistry on Queenston, you will be deemed to understand and accept our collection, use and disclosure of your personal information for the specified purposes.

How is Personal Information Collected?

 

We collect information only by lawful and fair means, and not in an unreasonably intrusive way. Wherever possible, we collect your personal information directly from you at your first visit to the dental office in Hamilton. 

Consent

Our office will seek informed consent for the collection, use and/or disclosure of your personal information, except where it might be inappropriate to obtain your consent, and subject to some exceptions set out in law. You may provide your consent to us either orally or in writing. Your consent may also be implied through your conduct with us. 

 

In certain circumstances, as permitted or required by law, we may collect, use or disclose personal information without your knowledge or consent. These circumstances include (where applicable) where you are unconscious, too sick or not lucid; where collection or use is clearly in your interests and consent cannot be obtained in a timely fashion; to comply with a subpoena, warrant or court order, or as required or otherwise permitted by law.

 

Limited Collection, Use, Disclosure and Retention of Personal Information

The collection of personal information is limited to that which is necessary for the purposes identified in the Policy. Similarly, personal information is collected, except with your express consent, or as required by law.

 

We retain patient records in a way that protects your privacy. This includes electronic records and hardware. We use bonded contractors who must adhere to contractual privacy obligations. We retain your records and images as required by law and regulations.

Updating Your Information

Since we use your personal information to provide dental services to you, we will use our reasonable best efforts to ensure that the information is as accurate, complete and up-to-date as necessary for the purposes that it is to be used. If any of your personal information changes, please inform us immediately so that we can make any necessary changes.

 

Information Security

Our office takes all reasonable precautions to ensure that your personal information is kept safe from loss, theft, unauthorized access, modification, use, copying, disclosure or tampering. Your information is protected whether recorded on paper or electronically. The facility staff is also aware of the importance of maintaining the security and confidentiality of all personal information in our possession.

 

Communicating With You

 

We are sensitive to the privacy of your health information and this is reflected in how we communicate with both you and other involved in your case. We protect personal health information regardless of its format.

Telephone: Your preference with regards to phone messages will be taken into consideration.

Fax: Our fax machines are located in a secure area and we use pre-programmed numbers to send transmissions.

Post/Courier: When health information is transferred to another location, it is placed in a sealed envelope and directed to the attention of the authorized recipient.

 

Access to Your Personal Information

You may ask for access to any personal information we hold about you upon written request and with reasonable notice. We will also advise you whether or not we hold personal information about you, how the information has been used, and to whom it has been disclosed, upon written request and with reasonable notice (with only a few exceptions).

More detail requests may be subjected to a reasonable fee for photocopying, converting information to an alternate format (if applicable) and staff time. We will advise you of the approximate costs before processing your request. We will respond to your request within a reasonable period of time and we will try to be as specific as possible.

Your rights to access your personal information are not absolute. Access can be denied for several different reasons, including:

  • If doing so would likely reveal information about another individual, unless the other individual’s information is severable or the other individual third party has consented

  • If doing so could reasonably be expected to threaten the life or security of another individual, unless the third party information is severable

  • If the information is protected by solicitor-client privilege

  • If doing so would reveal confidential commercial information

  • If doing of access is required or authorized by law

If we deny your request for access to your personal information, we shall explain why.