Your Personal Health Information: Privacy and Confidentiality
At Keystone, we will respect and protect your privacy
Allowing us to collect your Personal Health Information
Keeping your personal information private is important. We only collect this information from you, and with your consent, when you have said it’s okay to get it from someone else.
When we collect your information, it may include personal information that is not related to your health. Personal information may include your name, age, ethnicity, address, e-mail, or phone number etc.
You are free to take away your consent at any time about any part of your personal or health information, but this may make it harder for us to help you.
We only ask you for information that we think will help us to provide you with good services. It’s up to you whether you want to give us information or not.
We are required by law to make notes on our contacts with you. This can include things like an assessment, your counselling plan, consent forms, contact notes, letters, and e-mails.
All agents of Keystone, including staff, volunteers, Directors and accreditors are bound by an oath of confidentiality with respect to personal information obtained in the course of their work with the Agency. This oath is taken at the start of their involvement and continues indefinitely after they leave.
Collecting and Using Your Personal Health Information
We collect and use your personal information to figure out how we can best help you. It also helps us see if things are changing for you, to give information to other professionals (with your permission), and to make sure we’re doing our best to keep you safe. If we ever want to use your information for something new, we will ask you first.
If we think you are at risk of harming yourself, harming others, or being harmed, we will work with you to help make things safer.
Keystone staff know that your personal information is very private. They have been trained in how to use it and keep it safe.
Safeguards and Security
We keep your information safe by keeping your paper file locked up in a restricted area. Our computers are also in restricted areas and are password protected. If your information leaves our offices, it is protected by transferring it in sealed envelopes or boxes, sending it through a direct fax line, removing all identifying information, or through encryption. All personal information is stored in paper or electronic form.
Disclosing your Personal Health Information
Your personal information will never be given to anyone outside Keystone without your consent (or if you are incapable of making this decision, without your parent or guardian’s consent) except for three situations: 1) where there is a risk that you or someone else will suffer serious harm; 2) where there is a legal (for example, if there is a child abuse concern or court order) or administrative (for example, providing information for evaluation or funding of our programs) reasons (we will only release necessary information); 3) if you are under 16, your parent can request information without your consent, unless you have requested that your parent not be involved in your work with us or you have told us that you do not want your information released to your parent. For youth aged younger than 12, parents can access your information without your consent.
Keeping and Destroying your Personal Health Information
We keep your personal information after you complete services with us so we can answer questions you may have in the future. We also keep it so that we can answer questions from our funders or accreditors. However, we do not release your personal information to them if you do not agree to this.
We keep your personal information as long as required by law and in accordance with our policies. These time frames may vary, depending on the services.
We destroy paper files containing your personal information by shredding them. Electronic files are deleted.
Your Right to Access your Personal Health Information
You have the right to see any part of you personal information and to ask for copies of this information. There are some exceptions that may apply. In these cases we will let you know why.
If you would like to look at your personal information, or if you believe that some information in your file is not correct and you want it corrected, please make a written request to the Keystone Privacy Officer at the address below. We will respond to your request within 30 days.
If we do not agree with the correction you request, you may write a notice of disagreement, which we will put in your file.
If you would like to learn more about our privacy policies or if you have any questions or complaints regarding your personal health information, please contact our privacy officer by calling 519-371-4773 or by email.
THE INFORMATION AND PRIVACY COMMISSIONER OF ONTARIO
2 BLOOR STREET EAST, SUITE 1400 TORONTO, ON M4W 1A8
416-326-3333 OR 1-800-387-0073
THE INFORMATION AND PRIVACY COMMISSIONER OF CANADA
112 KENT STREET OTTAWA ON K1A 1H3
613-947-1698 OR 1-800-282-1376