Collection, Use, and Disclosure of Health Information

Approving Authority

Dean Morrison

Reference

Life Support Mental Health Inc. (Life Support)

Classification

Health Information Act (HIA)

Date approved

March 2021

Date revised

Purpose

The collection, use and disclosure of Health Information by Custodians is governed by the provisions of the Health Information Act (HIA). Information Managers are required to submit a Privacy Impact Assessment to the OIPC for acceptance before implementing any proposed new practice or system. Subject to limited and specific exceptions in statues and regulations, patients have a right of access to information about themselves that is in the custody or control of Life Support. Patients may furthermore share that information with others as they choose. Life Support has an obligation under statutes and policies of regulating bodies to protect a person’s personal Health Information from accidental disclosure to others. This procedure establishes rules & processes for such protection.

At all times, Health Information is under the custody and control of the Custodian, notwithstanding that the Health Information may be in the possession of Life Support. The Custodian controls access to the Health Information unless the Custodian expressly grants access and use under an Agent Agreement.

Scope

This policy applies to:

    • Staff, including contractors providing services on behalf of Life Support; and
    • Records in any form created or received in the course of carrying out Life Support mandated functions and activities; and
    • All facilities and equipment required to collect, manipulate, transport, transmit or keep Health Information.

Policies and Procedures

General

    • Review and update this policy annually, and ensure staff are informed and trained on any policy updates.
    • Life Support will not collect, use or disclose individually identifying Health Information if aggregate or other non-identifying Health Information is adequate for the intended purpose.
    • When collecting, using or disclosing Health Information, Life Support will only collect, use or disclose the amount of Health Information that is essential to enable Life Support, or the recipient of the information, to carry out the intended purpose.

Collection and Use

    • Life Support is authorized by a Terms of Service Agreement with a Custodian to use Health Information under the Custodian’s management to provide services.
    • Before using or disclosing Health Information, Life Support will make reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate and complete.
    • Life Support will not use identifying Health Information to market any service for a commercial purpose without the consent of the customer and the individual who is the subject of that information.
    • Generally, Health Information is input into the MHC Portal (hosted on MedStack) either directly by the patient or in some circumstances by the Custodian.
    • Life Support affiliates shall only use Health Information as required to perform their assigned duties, and access to identifying Health Information will be restricted where possible.

Disclosure

Life Support shall disclose individually identifying Health Information only to the Health Information’s Custodian, to his or her authorized representative, or upon patient request and consent to a referred health practitioner.

    • Where required, Life Support will turn over requests to disclose individually identifying Health Information to the Custodian for follow-up. Examples include: o to another Custodian or affiliate if legally authorized.
      • to comply with a subpoena, warrant or court order.
      • if the disclosure is authorized or required by provincial or federal legislation (e.g., Public Health Act).

In addition to the above, individually identifying information about health service providers may be disclosed, without consent but as allowed for by law, to a health professional body that requests the information for the purpose of an investigation, a discipline proceeding, a practice review, or an inspection.