Health Department Confidential Information Practices Statement
Privacy and Information Security
The Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA) sets out the rules for the collection, use and disclosure of confidential information 1.
Collection of Confidential Information
The Durham Region Health Department will collect confidential information about you directly from you or from the person acting on your behalf. The confidential information that is collected may include your name, date of birth, address, health history, records of visits and other visits with the Health Department and the programs and services that you received during those visits. All information collected by us is recorded on paper and/or electronically and kept confidential in accordance with internal policies and procedures.
Occasionally, the Health Department will collect confidential information about you from other sources where we have obtained your consent to do so or where the law permits.
Use of Confidential Information
The Health Department uses your confidential information, with your consent, for the purpose of:
- providing you with Health Department programs and services;
- obtaining payment for your care and treatment;
- planning, administering and managing our internal operations;
- conducting risk management and quality improvement activities;
- teaching employees and students;
- conducting research and compiling statistics;
- complying with any legal and regulatory requirements; and
- fulfilling other purposes as permitted or required by law.
Disclosure of Confidential Information
The Health Department will not disclose your confidential information without your consent, unless permitted or required by law. We may share your information without your consent, in accordance with PHIPA:
- with other health care professionals for the purpose of providing you health care, for example, other medical officers of health and/or their agents;
- with a person carrying out an inspection or investigation authorized by a warrant or by law;
- where it is necessary to eliminate or reduce significant risk;
- pursuant to a summon, subpoena or court order; and
- with a Children's Aid Society in accordance with the Child and Family Services Act.
You may request access to, and correction of, your confidential information contained in your Health Department records.
You may withhold or withdraw your consent, with some exceptions, for the collection, use and disclosure of your confidential information.
You may register a complaint or concern about our confidential information practices.
What the Health Department does to Protect Confidential Information
Physical, administrative, and technical processes are taken to protect your confidential information from theft, loss, and unauthorized access, copying, modification, use, disclosure, and disposal.
Routine audits are conducted to monitor and manage compliance with our privacy and security policies and procedures.
The Health Department ensures that all persons who perform services for us protect your privacy and only use or disclose your confidential information for the purpose you have consented to or that are permitted or required by law.
All employees and persons who work for or with the Health Department must complete our privacy education and training program, and must sign a confidentiality agreement.
How to Contact Us
The Commissioner & Medical Officer of Health (MOH) is the Health Information Custodian for the Durham Region Health Department.
The contact for the Health Department is the Manager, Health Information, Privacy & Security. For further information about our confidential information protection practices, or to raise a concern you have with these practices, please contact the Manager, Health Information, Privacy & Security at:
Manager, Health Information, Privacy & Security
605 Rossland Road East
Whitby, ON L1N 6A3
You also have the right to issue a complaint with the Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario if you think we have violated your privacy rights at:
Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario
Suite 1400, 2 Bloor Street East
Toronto, ON M4W 1A8
General Inquiry: 416-326-3333 Toll Free: 800-387-0073
Fax: 416-325-9195 TTY: 416-325-7539
1 The term "confidential information" refers to the personal and personal health information of Health Department clients and sensitive information of non-person clients.