What is Personal Health Information?
The practice of psychotherapy in Ontario is regulated under the provincial Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA). All identifiable information collected by a psychotherapist about an individual while engaging in psychotherapy services is considered “personal health information” under the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA, 2004). This includes your name and contact information, the name and contact information for a minor child, as well as any information collected and/or recorded in the course of providing services to you or your minor child.
Collection of Your Personal Health Information: We collect your personal health information directly from you or the parents/caregivers for a minor child, except: (a) when you have provided consent to obtain such information from others (i.e. reports, assessments or other relevant services); and (b) when the law requires or allows us to collect information without your consent (i.e. urgent situations, when information is needed to prevent potential harm).
We collect only information from you that we believe is needed: (a) to provide you with the psychotherapy services you have requested; (b) to maintain contact with you for service-related purposes; and (c) to prevent harm (i.e. an emergency contact).
By law and in accordance with professional standards, we are required to keep a record of services and contacts with you or your minor child. Your record includes information you provided to us or authorized us to receive. This may include results of assessments, consent forms, session notes, billing information, contact logs, and correspondence that we have sent or received related to your service. The physical records are the property of the practice. However, you have rights regarding access to your record and disclosure of information from your record (see below).
In this office, information is recorded in both written and electronic form. In electronic form this office uses OWL Practice (www.owlpractice.ca) a Canadian fully-encrypted service that is private, confidential and meets all of Canada’s privacy laws (PHIPA).
Use of Your Personal Health Information: is to provide psychotherapy and/or counselling and/or consultation services to you or your minor child. This includes carrying out all of the functions reasonably necessary to provide those services.
Paper and electronic information are secured in a locked or restricted area at all times, and passwords are used on computers. Electronic information is transmitted through the service of OnCall Health (www.oncallhealth.ca), a Canadian fully-encrypted service that is private, confidential and meets all of Canada’s privacy laws (PHIPA). Faxing is sometimes used to send or receive confidential client information.
The College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO), the organization that regulates psychotherapists in Ontario (in the public interest), may at times access and inspect client records as part of an external audit. All professional persons involved in these activities are required by law to maintain confidentiality of any accessed information.
Disclosure of Your Personal Health Information: With only a few exceptions, your personal health information will not be disclosed to persons outside this practice without your knowledge and expressed, written consent. The exceptions known as limits of confidentiality are: (a) when allowed by law (i.e. clear and imminent risk of serious bodily harm to someone; professional or legal consultation); and (b) when required by law (i.e. mandatory reporting of a child who might be in need of protection; mandatory reporting of a regulated health professional who has sexually abused a client; a court order to release information from a record).
Please note that the law requires any disclosure of your personal health information to be limited to information that is reasonably necessary for the purpose of the disclosure and not to include private information provided by a third party. Professional ethical standards require that any information that might cause serious harm to someone not be disclosed, unless required by law. When consenting to the disclosure of your personal health information, you may restrict us from sharing all or any part of your information or that of your minor child. However, if in your therapist’s opinion the information is reasonably necessary for another health service provider to provide appropriate services, we are required by law to inform the other provider that you have refused consent.
Right of Access to Your Personal Health Information: With only a few exceptions, you have the right to access any record of your personal health information and to request copies of the information (we reserve the right to charge a nominal fee for record copying). If the physical record contains personal health information about another individual, that individual’s information must be redacted (removed) from the record before you may access the record. Other exceptions include information provided in confidence by a third party, and information that could result in serious harm to someone’s treatment or recovery, or in serious bodily harm to someone. If you believe that information in your record is not accurate, you have the right to request a correction. This applies to factual information and not to the professional opinion of your therapist. Your request to correct the record must be written and will require 30 days to review. Where we agree there is an error, your therapist will make the necessary correction and notify all persons to whom the information may have been sent. If there is not an agreement to correct the record as requested, you may file a notice of disagreement into your record and your therapist will forward that notice to all persons to whom the information has been sent.
Retention and Destruction of Personal Health Information: We must retain personal health 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 regulatory bodies. The College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario requires that client records be kept for at least 10 years past the date of last contact for adults, and 10 years past the date at which the client would turn 18 years of age. We destroy paper records containing personal information through shredding, we remove electronic information through deletion, and we physically destroy the hard drive of discarded hardware.
Do you have a Question or Concern?
Further details of the applicable laws, regulations and ethical standards may be found at the websites of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (www.health.gov.on.ca) and the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (www.crpo.ca).
We will speak to you directly to answer any questions you might have regarding this Privacy Statement.
General inquiries or Complaints may also be addressed to:
The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario
2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400
Toronto, Ontario M4W 1A8
Phone: 416-326-3333, 1-800-387-0073
If you have concerns about the professionalism or competence of our services, we would be pleased to discuss those concerns with you. If we cannot satisfy your concerns, you are entitled to complain to our provincial regulatory body:
The College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario
375 University Avenue, Suite 803
Toronto, Ontario M5G 2J5
Phone: 416-479-4330, 1-844-712-1364
Your privacy is critically important to us.
Julie Clarke Counselling and Psychotherapy is located at:
P.O. Box 1465
Like most website operators, Julie Clarke Counselling and Psychotherapy collects non-personally-identifying information of the sort that web browsers and servers typically make available, such as the browser type, language preference, referring site, and the date and time of each visitor request. Julie Clarke Counselling and Psychotherapy’s purpose in collecting non-personally identifying information is to better understand how Julie Clarke Counselling and Psychotherapy’s visitors use its website. Julie Clarke Counselling and Psychotherapy is the sole viewer of this data.
Julie Clarke Counselling and Psychotherapy also collects potentially personally-identifying information like Internet Protocol (IP) addresses for logged in users and for users leaving comments on https://julieclarketherapy.com blog posts. Julie Clarke Counselling and Psychotherapy only discloses logged in user and commenter IP addresses under the same circumstances that it uses and discloses personally-identifying information as described below.
Gathering of Personally-Identifying Information
Certain visitors to Julie Clarke Counselling and Psychotherapy’s websites choose to interact with Julie Clarke Counselling and Psychotherapy in ways that require Julie Clarke Counselling and Psychotherapy to gather personally-identifying information. The amount and type of information that Julie Clarke Counselling and Psychotherapy gathers depends on the nature of the interaction. For example, we ask visitors who sign up for a blog at https://julieclarketherapy.com to provide a username and email address.
The security of your Personal Information is important to us, but remember that no method of transmission over the Internet, or method of electronic storage is 100% secure. While we strive to use commercially acceptable means to protect your Personal Information, we cannot guarantee its absolute security.
Links To External Sites
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