The Privacy Information Officer in our office is Marcia Rutledge.
Clients who have a complaint should write a letter to the privacy information officer with their complaint and all of the details surrounding this complaint. After the privacy information officer has had a chance to look over the letter and ask any necessary questions of those involved she will contact the client in a timely manner to resolve the concern.
Privacy of personal information is important, especially when providing quality oral health care to our clients. We understand the importance of protecting your personal information and keeping it safe. We are committed to collecting using and disclosing your personal information responsibly. We also follow all necessary regulations, guidelines, policies, etc to keep your information safe.
The act of gathering, acquiring or obtaining personal information from any source, including third party sources by any means.
College and/or CDHO:
College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario
A voluntary agreement with what is being done or is being proposed to be done. Consent can either be expressed or implied. Express consent may be given explicitly, either orally or written.
Making personal information available to others besides the BBDHC staff.
A member of the College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario.
Office and/or Clinic:
BBDHC when referencing access to the information, to the privacy information officer and BBDHC.
An individual about whom BBDHC collects personal information in order to carry out assessments, dental hygiene diagnosis, planning, implementation, and evaluations including but not limited to controlled acts.
Information about a client this is recorded in any form, and this includes but is not limited to: the client’s name, address, telephone number, social insurance number, fax number, e-mail address, gender, marital status, children, date of birth, medical records, health records, history, occupation, insurance company, insurance coverage, place of work, employer.
BBDHC is responsible for information in our possession or custody, including information that has been transferred to a third party for processing. We will use contractual or other means to provide a comparable level of protection while the information is being accessed and/or processed by the third party.
BBDHC will implement policies and practices to give effect to the principles, including implementation policies to protect personal information, establishing procedures to receive and respond to complaints and inquiries, training staff about privacy policies and practices, and developing information to explain privacy policies and procedures.
Identifying purposes for collecting information
The purpose for which personal information is collected in this office will be identified before or at the time the information is collected.
BBDHC collects personal information for the following reasons:
- to deliver safe and efficient client care
- to identify and ensure continuous high quality service
- to assess your health needs
- to plan your oral health care treatment
- to implement your oral health care
- to evaluate your oral health care
- to advise you of treatment options
- to enable us to contact you
- to establish and maintain communication with you
- to offer and provide treatment, care and services in relationship to the oral and maxillo-facial complex and dental hygiene care generally
- to communicate with other treating health care providers, including specialists, general dentists, physicians, etc.
- to allow us to maintain communication and contact with you to distribute health care information and to book and confirm appointments
- to allow us to efficiently follow-up for dental hygiene treatments, care and billing
- to complete and submit dental claims for third party payment
- to comply with legal and regulatory requirements, including the delivery and/or review of clients charts and records to the college in a timely fashion for regulatory and monitoring purposes
- to permit potential purchasers, practice brokers or advisers to evaluate BBDHCs’ practice…
- to allow potential purchasers, practice brokers or advisers to conduct an audit in preparation for a practice sale
- to deliver your charts and records to the BBDHC insurance company to assess liability and quantify damages, if necessary
- to invoice for goods and services
- to process payments
- to collect unpaid accounts
- to assist this office to comply with all regulatory requirements
- to comply generally with the law
*If personal information has been collected and is to be used or disclosed for a purpose not previously disclosed, the new purpose will be identified prior to its use or disclosure. Your consent is required before the information can be used or disclosed for that purpose. (Example: if a dental hygienist decided to write a text book and wanted to use information gathered that dental hygienist would have to contact any clients whom she would be using their information (anonymously of course) to ensure that they give consent to their information being used for a purpose other than those that are listed above.)
BBDHC staff who are collecting the personal information will be able to explain to you the purpose for which the information is being collected.
When you sign the client consent form, you will be deemed to understand and accept the BBDHC collection, use and disclosure of your information for the specified purpose.
BBDHC will seek informed consent for the collection, use, and/or disclosure of personal information, except where it might be inappropriate to obtain your consent and subject to some exceptions set out in law.
Exceptions to the requirements of informed consent include but are not limited to health care planning and delivery, risk management, delivery to the college, serious safety issues and delivery to referral to another healthcare professional.
Consent is required for the collection of personal information and subsequent use of disclosure of that information.
For the principles of consent to be satisfied, BBDHC has undertaken reasonable efforts to ensure that you are advised of the purposes for which information is being used, and that you understand those purposes. Once consent is obtained, we do not need to seek your consent again, unless the use, purpose or disclosure changes.
Existing protocols for electronic submission of dental hygiene claims require a signature on file. Specific consent may be required for additional requests and insurers. This will be collected at the time, or in conjunction with, predeterminations for services, providing the scope of information released is disclosed. If there is any doubt, the information shall be released directly to you for review and submission.
Consent for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information may be given in a number of ways including:
- signed medical/personal/dental history forms
- signed introductory questionnaire
- taken verbally over the telephone and then charted
- written correspondence
- implied consent in the seeking of dental hygiene care, as to using the information for the provision of health care and communication with other health care providers
*You may decline consent upon your wish.
BBDHC can disclose the personal information we have without your consent for reasons including but not limited to the following:
- for the purpose of planning or delivery programs
- risk management
- educating practitioners
- to other practitioners or facilities for the provision of health care when it is not reasonably possible to consent in a timely manner
- to confirm the presence, location and general health status of a client in a facility so long as the client has not objected when offered an opportunity to do so
- with respect to a deceased individual for the purpose of identifying him/her, notifying family and friends of the death, and to permit relatives to make relevant decisions about their own health
- for audit purposes
- to address a significant risk of bodily harm to another person or group
- to potential and actual successors of the custodian, although potential successors must provide a written confidentiality assurance and reasonable effort must be made to notify affected individuals of any actual transfer of records to a successor
- to assess capacity under the health care consent act, and the substitute decision act
- to a health regulatory college
- in order to co-operate with a statutorily authorized inspection, investigation or similar proceeding
- in some research situations
- for some health planning and management purposes
- to assist in the monitoring of public health funding
- to a health data institution under various rules and restrictions
- if permitted by law, not just if required by law
Limiting collection of personal information
Limited use, disclosure, and retention
Personal information shall not be used or disclosed for purposes other than those for which the information is collected, except with our express consent, or as required by law. BBDHC has protocols in place for the retention of personal information. Retention of information is defined and referenced by the CDHO. In destroying personal information, BBDHC has developed guidelines to ensure secure destruction in accordance with the CDHO regulations.
Accuracy of personal information
BBDHC will work at ensuring that your personal information is accurate, complete and as up-to-date as possible for the purposes that it is to be used. The extent to which your personal information shall be accurate, complete, and up-to-date will depend upon the use of the information, taking into account the interest of you, the client.
Information shall be sufficiently accurate, complete and up-to-date to minimize the possibility that inappropriate information is used to make a decision about you as our client.
Safeguards for personal information
BBDHC has taken appropriate measures to safeguard your personal information from unauthorized access, disclosure, use or tampering. Safeguards are in place to protect your personal information against loss or theft, as well as unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, use or modification. Your information is protected, whether recorded on paper or electronically. The staff at BBDHC are aware of the importance of maintaining the confidentiality of personal information. The staff take care in the destruction of personal information to prevent unauthorized access to the information even during disposal and destruction.
Openness about privacy
BBDHC will make readily available to you specific information about our office policies and practices relating to the management of personal information.
This information includes:
- a client information sheet that outlines the name of the privacy information officer who is accountable for our office privacy policies
- a copy of how BBDHC collects, uses and discloses your personal information sheet to be singed and kept in your chart
Client access to personal information
Upon written request, and with reasonable notice, you shall be informed of the existence, use and disclosure of your personal information, and shall be given access to that information. This will be arranged with the privacy information officer. Furthermore on written request, and with reasonable notice, our office will advise you whether or not we hold personal information about you. Our office will allow you to access this information with certain restrictions to be named on an individual basis.
Grounds for refusing such a request include but are not limited to the following:
- if it is quality of care information or information generated for the colleges quality assurance program
- information was collected or created for a proceeding or during an inspection or investigation
- there is a risk of serious harm to the treatment or recovery of the individual or of serious bodily harm to another person
- access would reveal the identity of a confidential source of information
- a legal privilege restricting disclosure applies
*In these circumstances the part of the record to which the exception applies will be severed and access can be provided to the rest of the record.
Upon written request, and with reasonable notice, our office shall provide you with an accounting of how your personal information has been used, including third party disclosures. In providing this information we will attempt to be as specific as possible. When it is not possible to provide a list of the organizations or individuals to which there has been disclosure about you, we will provide you with a list of such organizations for individuals to which we may have disclosed information about you to. Disclosure of probabilities in these cases would satisfy the requirements.
We will assist you in making a reasonable request if necessary. We will provide access informally if possible. Our office will, where reasonable practical, explain terms, codes, and abbreviations. We will respond to your request within a reasonable period of time, and at minimal or no cost to you. The request for information will be provided or made available in a form that is generally understandable.
*If we must refuse your request for access, we will provide you with the reason for the refusal and notify you of your right to complain to the necessary authorities.
We will refuse frivolous, vexatious and bad faith requests for access. We must be satisfied as to your identity before access will be granted.
The dental hygienist(s) will comply with the CDHO rules and regulations on access to records.
You are able to challenge compliance with these principles with the privacy information officer who is accountable within BBDHC for the compliance to this policy. BBDHC has in place procedures to receive and respond to your complaints or inquiries. The privacy information officer in our office will investigate each and every complaint made to the office in writing. If a complaint is found to be justified, the privacy information officer will take appropriate measures, including if necessary, amending the office policies and practices.