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Privacy and Personal Health Information

Protecting your privacy is important to the Northumberland Hills Hospital (NHH). The hospital promises to ensure that your confidential information is kept secure and will only be used for the purposes set out below and in the NHH Commitment to Patients Regarding the Privacy of Personal Information posted in the hospital.

Privacy of Personal Health Info

Protecting your privacy is important to the Northumberland Hills Hospital (NHH). The hospital promises to ensure that your confidential information is kept secure and will only be used for the purposes set out below and in the NHH Commitment to Patients Regarding the Privacy of Personal Information posted in the hospital.

What kind of information does NHH collect?

NHH collects information that is essential to provision of quality patient care. Some examples of the types of information collected include, but are not limited to:

What does NHH use your personal health information for?

NHH uses your personal health information for treatment and care, and to comply with legal and regulatory requirements. The use of information is strictly regulated and controlled. These controls cover all uses, including those related to the administration of the health care system, teaching, research and fund-raising.

Can all NHH staff access my personal health information?

Your personal health information is only accessible to the care team members involved in, or supporting, your treatment. Hospital staff is bound by a strict confidentiality agreement that they must sign as a condition of their employment.

Do I have the right to access my own personal health information?

Yes. Please contact Health Information Services at 905-372-6811, ext. 4826. Fees may apply for this service. Download NHH's Authorization for Release of Personal Health Information form here.

Can I change the information on my health record?

You have the right to notify Health Information Services if you believe information in your Health Record is inaccurate. Please call the hospital's Privacy Officer (see below) for further information.

Can I view someone else's information?

You are only allowed to view your own health information. A legally designated Substitute Decision Maker (SDM) for an incapable patient is also allowed to view that patient's health information.

Do we share your personal health information with the Northumberland Hills Hospital Foundation?

Only your contact information (name and address) is shared with the Hospital's Foundation for fund-raising purposes. Your donations help us to secure the latest equipment to provide better quality care. You do have the right to remove your name from the Foundation's directory. Please call the hospital's Privacy Officer for further information about taking your name off this list.

Does NHH sell or share my personal health information to outside agencies?

NHH does NOT sell any information it collects to outside companies or agencies.

To better serve you, NHH does share a computerized patient information system with Campbellford Memorial Hospital and the Peterborough Regional Health Centre. Staff at these sites view information only for those patients for whom they provide care.

NHH is proud to participate in the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care's Wait Time Strategy. Part of this initiative is the Enterprise Master Patient Index, a provincial registry of patients treated. For further information, please contact the Privacy Officer.

NHH is also part of the TEN DI/PACS Diagnostic Imaging initiative. This initiative, while protecting patient privacy, supports sharing of diagnostic images in the provision of patient care.

Would NHH ask for my consent if my Personal Health Information were used for purposes other than the ones set out in the hospital's Commitment to Patient's regarding privacy?

NHH requires the expressed consent of patients before it collects, uses or shares personal health information for purposes not identified in the Privacy Commitment. However, such consent is not required if the collection, use or disclosure is mandated by legislation or a court order.

Does my personal health information leave NHH at any time?

In addition to the shared, computerized patient information systems referenced above, there are some instances when the law requires the hospital to send your information to outside organizations. These organizations include the Ministry of Health, the Canadian Institute for Health Information, Public Health and Cancer Care Ontario. NHH protects the confidentiality of patients when transmitting any personal information to these organizations. For other mandatory disclosures, please contact the Privacy Officer.

Does NHH use my personal health information for research?

Patients (or SDMs, if a patient is incapable) MUST give informed, voluntary consent if they are to be personally involved in any research study. A patient's expressed consent is NOT required for the use of his or her anonymous personal health information in a research study IF it is taken from their files or records. The Ethics Committee of the Northumberland Hills Hospital must approve any research conducted at the hospital that uses any patient information. It is the responsibility of the Ethics Committee to ensure that researchers conduct their studies ethically and protect the confidentiality of the data they use.

Who can I speak with if I have concerns regarding breach of privacy and confidentiality?

You can contact the Privacy Officer of the Northumberland Hills Hospital at (905) 377-7759 or by email.

You can also lodge a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner of Ontario by calling the Commissioner's office at (416) 326-3333 or by email.

Is there a time limit within which an individual may complain?

An individual must file a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner within one year from when he/she becomes aware of the problem. For complaints dealing with access or correction, he/she must file a complaint within six months.