Summit Housing & Outreach Programs maintains privacy in compliance with the Personal Health Information Protection Act 2004 (PHIPA), which establishes rules for the collection, use and disclosure of Personal Health Information (written as ‘PHI’ in the remainder of this document) about individuals. As an individual who receives services from Summit, your (PHI) is collected and used in order to provide health care to you that suits your individual needs.
Why Do We Collect Personal Health Information?
• Provide healthcare programs and/or services to you
• Seek consent where appropriate
• Assist other health care providers in providing services to you
• Compile statistics, plan, evaluate and monitor our programs and services
• Manage risk and error & maintain or improve the quality of care
• Train staff and/or representatives to provide health care
• Conduct research which is subject to certain rules
• Comply with legal and regulatory requirements (e.g. College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers)
• Respond to or initiate proceedings
• Fulfill other purposes permitted or required by law
What PHI May Be Collected?
The following PHI may be collected from you, your family members, other health care service providers and provincial electronic healthcare record systems, such as: Integrated Assessment Record (IAR) and Health Partner Gateway (HPG), which forms part of your health record:
• Demographics (e.g. Date of birth, address, email, telephone number, etc.)
• Health history and status (e.g. medication information, diagnosis, doctors notes)
• Mental health history and status (e.g. psychiatric reports, needs assessments, forensic reports)
• Personal history
• Family history
Who Can Use and See Your Personal Health Information?
Summit staff work as part of a team within the agency and the community. When you seek support, we assume that we have your permission to collect, use and share your personal health information internally among staff involved in providing services to you. We may also give your personal health information to your other health care providers outside of Summit. Your PHI may also be shared with third parties that are not health care providers, which may require your express consent.
Expressed Consent to Give Out Your Information to Others
Sometimes we are not allowed to assume we have your permission to give personal health information about you to others and will ask you to sign a form allowing us consent to share your personal health information. You should let us know if you do not want us to use, share or give out some or all of your personal health information to people who provide you with health care.
When Your Consent is Not Required
We are allowed or may be required to use and/or give out some of your personal health information without consent in the following situations:
• when we suspect certain types of abuse
• to reduce a significant risk of serious bodily harm to a person or the public
• to give information to certain registries or planning bodies that use personal health information to improve health care services or system management, as long as strict privacy protections are in place
• to report certain information, such as a health condition that makes you unfit to drive or to report certain diseases to public health authorities
• for the purpose of a legal proceeding or complying with a court order, or other legal requirement
Who Can Make Consent Decisions For You?
We will presume that you are able to make your own decision about your personal health information unless it has been determined that you cannot.
Another person, called the “substitute decision-maker”, usually a family member, will be asked to make a decision for you. If you have a substitute decision-maker for treatment, that person will make decisions about your health information that is related to treatment and we will ask for your substitute decision-maker’s consent, before disclosing personal health information to other health providers.
Your PHI is Located in an Electronic Health Record System
Having your health information in an electronic health record system allows your support staff and health care providers to quickly and securely access your health history.
We use a secure electronic system (Integrated Assessment Record and Health Partner Gateway) to share your health information with other health service providers. This allows them to view the information they need to provide you with the services you need.
If you have agreed to share your PHI, the information in your assessment will be used to:
• Provide health support and services based on your needs
• Make sure your providers have the most up-to-date and complete record of your health history and needs
• Help us see where there might be gaps or overlaps so we can provide services where they are most needed
• Make sure everyone is getting the right support and services
We Respect Your Right To:
• Give, withhold, withdraw, and reinstate consent for the collection, use and disclosure of your PHI
• Access your PHI, for viewing or to make a copy
• Request correction to your PHI
• Inquire or complain about Summit Housing & Outreach Programs privacy practices
• Be told if your PHI is stolen, lost or improperly accessed
Withholding Your Consent
If you wish to withhold your consent to the sharing of your assessments in the electronic shared system, or if you have concerns regarding the privacy and security of your PHI, please speak with your worker.
Questions or Concerns
If you have any questions or concerns about how your PHI has been handled please contact the agency’s Privacy Officer:
(905) 847-3206 x 946
Sometimes we may be unable to resolve all of your concerns about how your personal health information has been handled. In that case, you may wish to contact the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario:
Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario
2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400
1 (800) 387-0073 or 1 (800) 387-0073
TTY (416) 325-7539