Hamilton Mental Health Outreach
Hamilton Mental Health Outreach is committed to protecting individual privacy and the confidentiality of the personal health information it holds.
Hamilton Mental Health Outreach (HMHO) is the health information custodian (“HIC”) and employees and volunteers are its agents for purposes of the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004.
YOUR HEALTH RECORD
Your health record includes information relevant to your health including your date of birth, contact information, health history, family health history, details of your physical and mental health, record of your visits, the care and support you received during those visits, results from tests and procedures, and information from other health care providers.
The information in your health record belongs to you, but the health record itself is the property of HMHO.
With limited exceptions, you have the right to access the health information we hold about you, whether in the health record or elsewhere. If you request a copy of your record, one will be provided to you at no cost. If you wish to view the original record, one of our staff members must be present, and a reasonable fee may be charged for this access. If you need a copy of your health record, please contact our Executive Director in writing at 987 King Street East, Suite 103, Hamilton, ON L8M 1C6 or ask your care provider who will explain the process. In rare situations, you may be denied access to some or all of your record (with any such denial being in accordance with applicable law).
We make every effort to ensure that all of your information is recorded accurately. Please let us know if there is something that is incorrect. You have a right to ask for a correction to your record if you disagree with what is recorded, and in most cases we will be able to make the requested correction, or otherwise we will ask you to prepare a statement of disagreement to be attached to the record.
We collect, use and disclose (meaning share) your health information to:
Treat and care for you
Deliver our programs
Plan, administer and manage our internal operations
Be paid or process, monitor, verify or reimburse claims for payment
Provide appointment reminders and cancellations
Conduct risk management, error management and quality improvement activities
Educate our staff and in some cases, students
Dispose of your information
Seek your consent (or consent of a substitute decision maker) where appropriate
Respond to or initiate proceedings
Conduct research (subject to certain rules)
Allow for the analysis, administration and management of the health system
Comply with legal and regulatory requirements
Fulfill other purposes permitted or required by law
Our collection, use and disclosure (sharing) of your personal health information is done in accordance with Ontario law.
You have a right to make choices and control how your health information at HMHO is collected, used, and disclosed, subject to a few exceptions.
For most health care purposes, your consent to use your health information is implied as a result of your consent to treatment, unless you tell us otherwise. We may also collect, use and share your health information in order to communicate or consult with other health care providers about your care unless you tell us you do not want us to do so.
You have the right to ask that we not share some or all of your health record with one or more of HMHO’s staff members or ask us not to share your health record with one or more of your external health care providers (such as a specialist). This is known as asking for a “lockbox”. If you would like to know more, please or ask us for a copy of our “Patient Lockbox Information Brochure: How to Restrict Access to your Health Record”.
There are other circumstances where we are not allowed to assume we have your consent to share information. For example, we must have your permission to give your health information to people who do not provide you with health care, including health professionals in the Organization not involved in your care, your insurance company or your employer. We may also need consent to communicate with any family members or friends with whom you would like us to share information about your health (unless one or more of these individuals is your substitute decision-maker).
When we require and ask for your consent, you may choose to say no. If you say yes, you may change your mind at any time. Once you say no, we will no longer share your information unless you say so. Your choice to say no may be subject to some restrictions under applicable law and reasonable notice.
However, there are cases where we may collect, use or disclose your health information without your consent, as permitted or required by law. For example, we do not require your consent to use your information for billing, risk management or error management, quality improvement purposes; or to disclose personal health information in a number of permitted or required circumstances, including to eliminate or reduce a significant risk of serious bodily harm; or to fulfill mandatory reporting obligations under other laws such as for child protection or safe operation of a motor vehicle.
FOR MORE INFORMATION OR COMPLAINTS
We encourage you to contact us with any questions or concerns you might have about our privacy practices. You can reach our Privacy Officer at:
Martin Farrugia, BA, BSW, MA, RSW
Executive Director and Privacy Officer
Hamilton Mental Health Outreach
987 King Street East, Suite 103, Hamilton, ON L8M 1C6
Telephone: 905-522-9767 x203
If, after contacting us, you feel that your concerns have not been addressed to your satisfaction, you have the right to complain to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. The Commissioner can be reached at:
Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario
2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400
Toronto, Ontario M4W 1A8
or visit the IPC website via www.ipc.on.ca