Your Privacy and Personal Health Information
Protecting the Privacy of Your Information
Compass is committed to respecting, safeguarding and protecting your personal health information (PHI) and complying with the Personal Health Information Protection Act, (PHIPA) 2004, which requires that PHI be kept private and secure.
What is Personal Health Information (PHI)?
PHI is information pertaining to your health. It may include demographic information, facts and information about you or your child’s health history, including mental, social and service history, family/home environment, the provision of health care and your health card number.
Why do we Collect PHI?
- to provide the requested mental health assessment, programming and treatment services
- to prevent harm or respond to emergency situations
- to inform the allocation of resources and for reporting to the Ministry of Health; Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services; and the Ministry of the Attorney General
- to undergo an Accreditation process
- to measure the effectiveness of our services
While we take every precaution to ensure your confidentiality, we are required to release your information without your consent in the following circumstances:
- other Compass staff and consultants employed by Compass for consultation, supervision and quality assurance purposes
- when information is obtained about a child who may be in need of protection
- where you or your child are at risk of self-harm or at risk of harming others
- where the Centre is served with a subpoena
- when the Ministry of Children and Youth Services is investigating or auditing our records.
The Personal Health Information Protection Act, (PHIPA) 2004, requires us to obtain your expressed consent (verbal/written/signed) to disclose your health information to any outside agency. By accepting services at Compass you need to know that your information may be shared with professionals in your “Circle of Care”. The Circle of Care consists of your primary health care providers and may include family physicians, psychiatrists, paediatricians and other health specialists. The Circle of Care does not include Child Welfare agencies, Education, Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) or the Youth Justice System.
What if you change your mind? (Withdrawal of Consent)
You can withdraw or withhold your consent about your PHI at any time. You have the right to ask that we not share some or all of your health record with one or more of the Centre’s staff members involved in your care, or ask us not to share your health record with your external health care providers (such as a specialist). This is known as asking for a “lockbox”.
How long do we keep your information?
We take all necessary precautions to ensure that personal information is safeguarded and used only for the purpose(s) for which it was provided, whether it is stored in electronic or paper format. In all cases, information is protected from unauthorized access. Records are retained until the client turns 28 years old, at which time they will be shredded/destroyed.
You have the right to:
- request access to your personal health information
- request a correction to your personal health information
Concerns and complaints about Privacy
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the privacy and/or information practices at Compass, please contact our Privacy Office. We will answer all questions and will promptly investigate any concerns raised regarding this policy.
Although we will make every effort to resolve all privacy concerns, if you are not able to resolve a privacy issue directly with our agency, you may contact:
Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario
2 Bloor St. East, Suite 1400
Toronto ON M4W 1A8
Click here to access our complete Personal Health Information Practices Brochure.