Personal health information is data that can be used to identify a person and details of their healthcare. This may include contact information (e.g., name, address, telephone number, e-mail address), personal characteristics (e.g., age, gender, cultural/ethnic background), and health details (e.g., presenting issues, health history, medical/mental health conditions, treatments being received).
In order to provide healthcare services, we collect some personal health information about you. We may also ask you to complete questionnaires or other self-report tests to enable a better understanding of your health-related function and treatment needs.
The primary purpose of collecting this information is so we may:
Third party payers, when applicable, may request specific information about your healthcare:
W offer e-mail communication as a method of contact between yourself and our clinic. We use e-mail to provide appointment confirmations and reminders, and to send invoices for services rendered. We may also use e-mail to communicate with you about appointment bookings and cancellations if we cannot reach you by telephone (or if you request we use e-mail as a primary method of contact).
E-mail is convenient and efficient; however, communicating by e-mail also encompasses risks that should also be considered.
E-mail is not recognized as a secure form of communication. Risks of transmitting your information by e-mail include, but are not limited to, the following:
We will use reasonable means to protect the security and confidentiality of e-mail information sent and received. However, because of the risks outlined above, we cannot guarantee the security and confidentiality of e-mail communication.
Consent to the use of e-mail indicates your agreement with the following conditions:
E-mail should not be used to discuss sensitive personal health information, such as that related to mental health, disability or substance use. Therefore, we will not discuss such matters over e-mail.
E-mail communication is voluntary. Please advise us if you do not wish to engage in e-mail communication, and we will remove your e-mail address from our system.
We offer virtual (video) and telephone-based options for assessment and treatment services. Your Clinician will discuss which mode of service is recommended based on your needs, and changes can be made throughout the course of your treatment with respect to the mode of therapy you both decide to use.
Virtual care is offered through Zoom. We highly recommend you test your video/audio settings the day before your session, and contact Zoom's tech support for assistance if needed. In the event of technical problems during your session, a back-up plan (e.g., a phone number where you can be reached) will be used to restart the session or to reschedule it. Your Clinician may elect to use a different videoconferencing platform; the benefits/risks of that platform will be discussed with you prior to beginning virtual sessions.
Telephone-based sessions will involve your clinician contacting you by phone at your scheduled appointment time. Please note that in some cases, the Caller ID may show up as “Unknown” or blocked. We ask you to ensure you are available and can answer the call at the scheduled appointment time.
Virtual and telephone-based sessions are convenient and may be used when in-person sessions are not possible. Engaging in treatment using virtual care or by telephone encompasses risks that should also be considered.
Consent to the use of virtual and telephone-based sessions indicates your agreement with the following conditions:
Use of virtual and telephone-based sessions is voluntary. Please advise us if you no longer wish to engage in tele-services and we will discuss alternate options with you at that time.
In accordance with the laws, professional standards, and ethical codes we follow, the information you share with Stacey.Therapy remains confidential. This means your information will not be disclosed to anyone without your consent, with the exception of the specific situations outlined below.
Your information may be released without your consent in the following situations:
If there is reason to believe that you are in danger of harming yourself or others in ways that may be life-threatening, Stacey.Therapy is ethically obliged to take action to ensure your safety and/or the safety of others. These steps may include contacting your identified emergency contact person, a family member or close other, seeking hospitalization, contacting the police, notifying others at risk, or some combination of these actions to ensure you and/or others are protected.
If there are reasonable grounds to suspect that a child under 16 years of age is, or may be, in need of protection, Stacey.tH must, by law, report this information to a children’s aid society. Examples of reportable situations include physical harm/abuse, sexual abuse, emotional harm (e.g., verbal abuse, humiliation, witnessing violence), or a pattern of neglect or failure to protect a child from harm.
Additionally, if there are reasonable grounds to suspect that a resident of a nursing, retirement or other long-term care home has suffered harm, or is at risk of harm due to improper or incompetent treatment or care, unlawful conduct, abuse or neglect, or possible misuse or misappropriation of the resident’s money or funding, The Therapy Centre is required to report this information to the Registrar of the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority, or long-term care home director.
If there are reasonable grounds to believe that another regulated health professional has sexually harassed or abused a client, The Therapy Centre must, by law, report this health professional’s name and information related to the sexual abuse to the appropriate regulatory body.
Our records can be subpoenaed by a court order and The Therapy Centre may be required to testify and give information obtained during the course of any assessment and treatment sessions. This information would never be provided voluntarily without your direct request or permission without the court order.
It is important to note that as registered healthcare professionals, we may also be required to make our files available for audit by our regulatory body (e.g., College of Psychologists of Ontario), third-party payer agencies (if applicable, e.g., Financial Services Commission of Ontario) or by the government. These audits are confidential, and a record of the audit will be inserted into your client file.
If the police present a Court Order, Search Warrant or Urgent Demand for records related to a missing person, The Therapy Centre is required to provide the information and/or records sought by police in order to assist with locating that missing person.
With a few exceptions, you have the right to access or amend your personal health information. This means that you may request to read clinical notes in your file, ask for corrections to be made to factual information, and for a copy of your health information.
In these cases, your clinician will review the clinical notes with you and can help you understand any information that is not clear (e.g., short-forms, technical terms, etc.). Copies of your file will take time to provide due to the busy nature of our clinic – we will provide an estimate of the timeframe and cost when your request is made.
If we cannot give you access, we will advise you in writing within 30 days if possible, and will outline the reason, as best we can, as to why we cannot give you access.
A record containing your personal health information and information about your therapy sessions and other materially relevant interactions are maintained in a secured place while you are engaged in The Therapy Centre’s services.
We are required to retain your personal health information for a period of 10 years after our last contact with you (for adults) or 10 years after you turn 18 years of age (for children), whichever is later. Any personal health information that is stored electronically is protected by appropriate security measures (e.g., PHIPA-compliant software that includes bank-level encryption). After 10 years, your personal information is destroyed in a secure manner that protects your privacy.
Your Clinician maintains responsibility for your client file. If your Clinician leaves The Therapy Centre, your file will stay with them and a copy will be retained by The Therapy Centre.
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