Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA)
At the Peel District School Board, we are committed to respecting and protecting your privacy. This statement outlines our policies and procedures with respect to collecting, using and disclosing your personal health information. It also provides information about how you can access records of your personal health information and how you can request correction of recorded information.
Personal Health Information
The practice of psychology and speech-language pathology in Ontario is regulated under the provincial Regulated Health Professions Act. Social workers follow the code of conduct of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. As such, all identifiable information collected by professional staff about an individual in the course of practicing psychology or speech-language pathology or social work, is considered personal health information under the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004. This includes your name and contact information and any information collected / recorded in the course of providing services to you.
Collection of Your Personal Health Information
We will collect personal health information directly from you except when you have provided consent to obtain such information from others (e.g., reports of previous assessments or of other services), or where the law requires or allows us to collect information without your consent (e.g., in an urgent situation, when information is needed to prevent potential harm).
We collect only information from you that we believe is needed: a) to provide the student with the services you have requested and / or for which you have been referred; b) to maintain contact with you for service-related or future consent purposes; c) to prevent or offset harm (e.g., asking for an emergency contact). If we collect information from you for any other purpose (e.g., research), it will be done only with your informed consent.
By law and in accordance with professional standards, we are required to keep a record of our services to and contacts with the student. The record includes information you provide to us or authorize us to receive, results of any assessments, the student's service plan, consent forms, contact notes, progress summaries and correspondence that we have sent or received related to the student's service. The records are the property of the Peel District School Board. However, you have rights regarding access to the student record and regarding disclosure of information from the record. In the Peel District School Board, information may be recorded in both written and electronic form.
Use of Your Personal Health Information
The primary use of personal health information is to provide services to the student. Professional staff members are allowed to access only information they have a “need-to-know.”
All professional staff are trained in the need for privacy and confidentiality. They also are trained in our privacy policies and procedures, including prevention of record loss and unauthorized access. Staff with a personal relationship to a family are required to declare this and to remove themselves from access to that student's record unless there is an emergency or unless there is express consent for access.
Your student's record occasionally may be accessed for licensing or quality assurance purposes. However, we do not allow removal of any identifiable client information for these purposes. All persons involved in these activities are required by law to maintain the confidentiality of any accessed information.
Disclosure of Your Personal Health Information
With only a few exceptions, the student's personal health information will not be disclosed to persons outside this organization without your knowledge and express consent. The exceptions are: a) some circumstances in which disclosure is allowed by law (e.g., when there is a clear and imminent risk of serious bodily harm to someone, including the possibility of self-harm; when disclosure is needed to receive professional or legal consultation); and b) when disclosure is required by law (e.g., 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).
The above exceptions are called “limits of confidentiality”. If there are other limits of confidentiality in your situation, staff will identify and discuss these with you before proceeding with your service.
The law requires any disclosure of the student's 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 additionally require that any information that might cause serious harm to someone not be disclosed, unless the law requires disclosure.
When consenting to the disclosure of the student's personal health information, you may restrict us from sharing all or any part of your personal information. However, if in our opinion the information is reasonably necessary for another health service provider to provide appropriate service, we are required by law to inform the other provider that you have refused consent to provide some needed information.
Right of Access to Students' Personal Health Information Record
With some exceptions, the custodial parent / guardian or the student has the right to access any record of the student's personal health information and to request copies of the information. If the record contains personal health information about another individual, that individual’s information must be able to be severed from the record before you may access it. Other exceptions include access to raw data from psychological assessments.
Students may view their personal health information and may express consent for review by a third party, including the custodial parent / guardian.
If you believe that information in the student's record is not accurate, you may make a written request to correct the record and, if there is not an agreement to correct the record as requested, you may file a notice of disagreement into the record.
This privacy statement has been developed in accordance with the law of Ontario as well as with professional regulations and ethical standards. Further details of the applicable laws, regulations, and standards may be found at the websites of:
Ministry of Health and Long Term Care
College of Psychologists of Ontario
College of Audiologists & Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario
Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers
Your staff member will speak to you directly to answer any questions you might have regarding this Privacy Statement.
If you would like more detailed information at any time, would like to access or ask for a correction of your record, have a concern about privacy or have a complaint about the way your privacy has been handled, please contact our Freedom of Information / Privacy Coordinator at 905-890‑1010 (or 1-800-668-1146) ext. 2019.
Complaints may also be addressed to:
Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario
2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400
Toronto, ON M4W 1A8
416-326-3333 (or 1-800-387-0073)