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If you have any questions or concerns related to your privacy and CMHA WW, please contact our Chief Privacy Officer, Anna Tersigni at or 1-844-CMHA WW3 (2642-993) ext. 2011.

Understanding Your Personal Health Information and Privacy Rights

Who can use and see your information?

When you come to see us, we assume you consent to our collecting, using and sharing your health information to provide you with health care, unless you tell us otherwise.

In most cases, we only use and share your information with those who are providing you with health care, such as doctors, nurses, social workers and other team members. We may also provide your health information to Ontario Health to update your provincial electronic health record (EHR), in order to help facilitate and coordinate your care with other health care providers.

What is included in my personal health information?

Your personal health information may contain information about:

What are my privacy rights?

You have the right to:

How does CMHA WW use my information?

CMHA WW may collect, use or disclose your health information for the following reasons:

Can my personal health information be shared with third parties that are not health care providers?

Your health care provider requires your express consent to share your PHI with third parties. You can request copies of parts and/or all of your health record for purposes other than healthcare, such as your lawyer, or an application for short or long term disability.

How is my personal health information being protected?

CMHA WW complies with Ontario’s health privacy & security standards. CMHA WW has performed, and successfully met a healthcare industry Privacy Impact Assessment & Threat Risk Assessment, on our client health information system. Your PHI can only be used by authorized staff providing you with health care support and services.

Your care providers are required to have administrative, physical and technical safeguards to protect their physical records and their electronic networks from misuse, correction, copying, disclosure, destruction, monitoring and/or damage.

These safeguards include, security software and encryption protocols, firewalls, locks and other access controls, privacy impact assessments, privacy training for staff and students, and confidentiality agreements. Privacy and security safeguards are constantly under review and are enhanced where necessary to ensure the highest level of protection.

Are there times when my personal health information can be shared without my express consent?

Yes – there are times when your health care providers are required to share your personal health information without your express consent. For example, if you are at risk of harm to self or others, we may need to share need-to-know information to keep you safe. Your health care providers are also obligated by law to respond to a subpoena and/or search warrant.

Anonymous demographic and statistical data may also be used for the purposes of program and funding evaluation.

Can my family or other people make decisions for me?

We presume that you are able to make your own decisions about your health information. If we determine that you cannot, another person, usually a family member, will make decisions for you. The law tells us who to turn to first on a list of “substitute decision makers.” That person can make decisions about your health information that relates to that treatment.

Alternatively, you may decide, in advance, who can consent on your behalf when you are no longer capable to make these decisions. We may give your substitute decision maker information about you to help them make decisions on your behalf. They can also ask to see your records, and our staff will give them information about your health. We will ask you or the person who can consent on your behalf, before giving your health information to your other family members.

How is my privacy protected even when I receive my services through secure virtual care?

Secure virtual care includes telephone, email, text and videoconferencing (through OTN or Microsoft Teams). We will ask for your express, verbal consent to communicate using any of these platforms.

Reference: RHP F 007 Use of Virtual Technology to Facilitate Services–Client & Significant Other Guide

Why are my assessments shared in a centralized electronic health record?

Having your health information in an electronic format allows your authorized health care providers to access your health history quickly and securely, no matter where you receive care. Since the other health service providers involved in your care have a better picture of your assessments, they will be able to provide you with better care.

A centralized electronic sharing system is used to share your assessment data with community health service providers who need to review the assessment data in order to provide services to you. If you have concerns regarding the privacy and security of your personal health information, you may contact your health service provider’s Privacy Officer.

Is my personal health information ever sent using email?

Within a virtual care environment, it may be necessary to expedite your service to use email along with protected documents that include your personal health information, either to you or to other healthcare providers, within your circle of care. Your express verbal consent will be obtained to any other required non-circle of care providers (e.g., legal). All personal health information will be transmitted using our CMHA WW Emailing/text policy guidelines.

Reference: DSRHP P 104 Health Privacy Policy

DSRHP P 100 Email & Texting Policy

How do I provide Feedback/Complaint?

If we are unable to resolve all of your concerns about your health information, you may contact the Information Privacy Commissioner (IPC), which oversees compliance with Ontario’s health privacy law.

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