At Qualicum Physiotherapy Clinic we respect your privacy and take great care in protecting your personal information. We are committed to following all guidelines on client confidentiality, as set out by the College of Physiotherapists of BC and the Province of British Columbia. All information is securely kept, and documents are released only with your written consent. The following document is a requirement of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA). This Policy demonstrates our commitment to your privacy and is as follows:
Collection of Personal Health Information
With your consent we collect your personal health information directly from you, or from the person acting on your behalf. Examples of the type of personal health information that we collect may include, your name, date of birth, address, personal provincial health care number, health history and when applicable, personal extended health insurance billing information. We also keep detailed records of your treatments at our clinic. We may sometimes collect personal health information about you from other sources, if we have obtained your consent to do so, or if the law permits.
How We Use Your Personal Information
Our primary purpose for collecting personal information is to provide appropriate physiotherapy treatment.
Like most organizations, we also collect, use and disclose information for the purposes related to or secondary to our primary purposes. The most common examples of our related and secondary purposes are as follows:
- To invoice clients for goods and/or services that were not paid for at the time of treatment, or to collect unpaid accounts
- Our clinic reviews client and other files for the purpose of ensuring that we provide high quality services, including assessing the performance of our staff. In addition, external consultants (i.e., Auditors, lawyers, practice consultants, voluntary accreditation programs) may on our behalf do audits and continuing quality improvement reviews of our clinic, including reviewing client files and interviewing our staff.
- Physiotherapists in this province are regulated by the College of Physiotherapists of British Columbia who may inspect our records and interview our staff as part of their regulatory obligations in the public interest. In addition, like all organizations, various government agencies (i.e., Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, Information and Privacy Commissioner, Human Rights Commission, etc.) have the authority to review our files and interview our staff as part of their mandates.
- Third parties who pay the cost of patient treatment (i.e., WSBC, ICBC, private insurances) have your consent or legislative authority to direct us to collect and disclose to them certain information in order to demonstrate client entitlement to this funding.
- We provide ongoing services for most of our clients over a period of months or even years for which previous records are helpful. To that end, we retain our client information for a period of time which is determined by the College of Physiotherapists of British Columbia.
- Finally, if Qualicum Physiotherapy Clinic or its assets were to be sold, the purchaser would want to conduct a "due diligence" review of the Clinic's records to ensure that it is a viable business that has been honestly portrayed to the purchaser. This due diligence may involve some review of our accounting and service files. The purchaser would not be allowed to remove or record any personal information. Before being provided access to the files, the purchaser must provide a written promise to keep all personal information confidential.
Protecting Personal Information
We understand the importance of protecting personal information. For that reason, we have taken the following steps:
- Paper information is either under supervision or secured in a locked or restricted area
- Electronic hardware is either under supervision or secured in a locked or restricted area at all times. In addition, passwords are used on all computers.
- Paper information is transmitted through sealed, addressed envelopes or boxes by reputable companies (i.e., Canada Post, registered couriers)
- Electronic information transmitted either through a direct line or is anonymized or encrypted.
- External consultants and agencies with access to personal information must enter into privacy agreements with us
Retention and Destruction of Personal Information
We need to retain personal information for some time to ensure that we can answer any questions you might have about the services provided and for our own accountability to external regulatory bodies. However, we do not want to keep personal information too long in order to protect your privacy.
If, at any time, you ask, we will remove such contact information right away.
We destroy paper files containing personal information by shredding. We destroy electronic information by deleting it and, when the hardware is discarded, we ensure that the hard drive is physically destroyed.
You Can Look at Your Information
With only a few exceptions, you have the right to see what personal information we hold about you. Often all you have to do is ask. We will need to confirm your identity before proceeding and, you will not be granted access to our systems. However, we will print a copy of your information for you. We will, at your request, review the information with you to help you understand (i.e., short forms, technical language, etc.). We reserve the right to charge a nominal fee for such requests.
If there is a problem we may ask you to put your request in writing. If we cannot give you access, we will tell you within 30 days and give you the reason(s) we cannot give you access.
If you believe there is a mistake in the information, you have the right to ask for it to be corrected. This applies to factual information and not to any professional opinions we may have formed. We may ask you to provide documentation that our files are wrong. Where we agree that we have made a mistake, we will make the correction and notify anyone to whom we sent this information. If we do not agree that we have made a mistake, we will still agree to include in our file a brief statement from you on the point and we will forward that statement to anyone else who receive the earlier information.
Do You Have a Question or Concern
If you have any questions, please contact our Office Manager, who will attempt to answer any questions or concerns you might have.
If you have a concern about the professionalism or competence of our services or the mental or physical capacity of any of our professional team, we would ask you to discuss those concerns with Cory Pahl, owner of the practice. However, if we cannot satisfy you concerns, you are entitled to complain to our regulatory body:College of Physiotherapists of British Columbia
Suite 1420, 1200 West 73rd Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6P 6G5
Telephone: 604 730 9193
Toll-free Telephone (Canada): 877 576 6744
Fax: 604 730 9273
This policy is made under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. For more general inquiries, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada oversees the administration of the privacy legislation in the private sector. The Commissioner also acts as a kind of ombudsman for privacy disputes. The Privacy Commissioner can be reached at:
112 Kent Street, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 1H3
Phone (613) 995-8210 - or toll free - 1-800-282-1376
Fax (613) 947-6850