PERSONAL HEALTH INFORMATION, WEBSITE PRIVACY AND ACCESS FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITY POLICIES
Personal Health Information 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.
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.
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.
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.
Dentistry on Queenston in Hamilton and its employees are committed to taking steps to preserve and safeguard your right to privacy. As part of this commitment, we want you to be fully aware of what happens to your personal information in our possession collected through this website. In addition, visit our Your Privacy page containing our policy on your personal health information.
We may receive and store certain types of information when you interact with our website. This may include information such as the type of internet browser or computer operating system you are using, the Internet protocol (IP) address, the domain name of the website from which you linked to the website, the date and time you visit the website and the pages you visit on the website.
In addition, when you view the website, we may store some information on your computer in the form of a “cookie”. Cookies are small pieces of data which are stored on your computer to allow your internet browser to remember something about a website, and for us to identify your computer and provide us with a record of your visits to our website. This statistical information helps us to understand how our website is used (e.g., which pages or sections are most popular and when are the peak activity times), which assists us in planning for future improvements to the site to better meet our visitors’ needs. At your option, you may turn off our cookies using the application features contained in your internet browser; however, doing so may prevent you from accessing all or parts of the website. We do not link your cookies to other personally identifiable information about you.
We do not collect personally identifiable information such as your name, email address, password, communications and payment details such as credit card or debit card information through our website.
We may offer you the opportunity to engage with us through third-party social networking websites, plug-ins and applications. Through these platforms, you may provide us with personal information or allow us to access information associated with your social media account. We may use this information to confirm your identity, respond to your posts or other inquiries and to personalize your experience on our website.
Third Party Links
Storage, Usage, Sharing and Disclosure of Your Personal Information
Dentistry on Queenston in Hamilton’s website is hosted on the Wix.com platform. Wix.com provides us with the online platform that allows us to sell our products and services to you. Your data may be stored through Wix.com’s data storage, databases and the general Wix.com applications. They store your data on secure servers behind a firewall.
How to Contact us About Privacy Concerns
Access for Persons With Disabilities Policy
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) was created with the goal of developing and enforcing standards to improve accessibility for people with disabilities across Ontario.
Dentistry on Queenston will endeavour to provide its dental services in a way that respects the independence and dignity of all persons and encourages integration and equality of opportunity. Dentistry on Queenston is committed to preventing, identifying, and removing barriers that impede the ability of persons with disabilities to access our dental services.
Disability is defined by the Ontario Human Rights Code as:
Any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing includes diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, a brain injury, any degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical co-ordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment, muteness or speech impediment, or physical reliance on a guide dog or other animal or on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device;
A condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability;
A learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language;
A mental disorder; or
An injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.
Assistive Devices include technical aids, communication devices, medical aids and other supports that are used by persons with disabilities to enable them to carry out the activities of daily living. Barrier means anything that prevents a person with a disability from fully participating in all aspects of society because of his or her disability, including a physical barrier, an architectural barrier, information or communications barriers, an attitudinal barrier, a technological barrier, a policy or practice. Persons with disabilities may use their personal assistive devices as required in accessing dental services provided by Dentistry on Queenston. It is the responsibility of the person using the assistive device to ensure that the assistive device is operated in a safe and controlled manner at all times. If Dentistry on Queenston determines that the assistive device may pose a health and safety risk to the person with a disability or to others, Dentistry on Queenston may prohibit the use of the personal assistive device, in which case we will make every effort to ensure that other measures are made available to enable the person with a disability to access our dental services.
A Service Animal is an animal used by a person with a disability for reasons relating to his or her disability. Persons with disabilities are permitted to be accompanied by their service animal when accessing dental services provided by Dentistry on Queenston that are open to the public. It is the responsibility of the person using the service animal to ensure that the service animal is kept in control at all times. If a service animal is excluded from the premises by law, Dentistry on Queenston will make every effort to ensure that other measures are made available to enable the person with a disability to access dental services provided by us.
A Support Person is a person who accompanies a person with a disability in order to help with communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs or with access to goods or services. A support person can be a paid professional, a volunteer, a friend or a family member. Persons with disabilities are permitted to be accompanied by their support person when accessing services provided by Dentistry on Queenston.
Where there is a temporary disruption to services, Dentistry on Queenston will take reasonable steps to notify persons with disabilities who might be affected by the disruption. In particular, we will identify the reason for the disruption, its anticipated length, and information about alternative services.
Dentistry on Queenston trains all employees, volunteers and others who deal with the public or third parties on Dentistry on Queenston’s behalf and all those who are involved in the development and approvals of customer service policies, practices and procedures. Training includes the following:
An overview of the AODA, 2005;
How to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities;
How to interact with people with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or a support person;
What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing Dentistry on Queenston’s services.