We respect your confidentiality and privacy

Your health information is safeguarded through the provisions of Alberta's Health Information Act. Your privacy and confidentiality are a priority for us, and we only collect the necessary minimum amount of personal health information for specified purposes. Your physician and their team collect your health information in compliance with section 20 of the HIA. The primary reasons for this collection are fore providing health services, determining eligibility for health services, processing payments for health services, conducting research,  providing health services provider education, and or internal management purposes to improve patient care.

Your personal health information will primarily be obtained directly from you, with only limited exceptions where indirect collection is permitted under the Health Information Act (HIA). The use and disclosure of your information will be restricted to the specific responsibilities of each team member, and unauthorized collection, usage or disclosure of your information by team members is not permitted. Any new projects to collect personal health information or any unauthorized use or disclosure should be approved by a physician, the Family Health Team, or the Privacy Officer.

Requesting Information Related to a Child
A parent may not always have the right to access information about their child. In situations of parental separation or if the child is a mature minor, it can be challenging to determine the right to receive information. To request information about a child, you must submit a formal request along with a photo ID and relevant legal documents that prove your custody status, such as a court order, parenting order, guardianship document, or consent from the primary parent/guardian. If the child is a mature minor and has requested not to share their personal health information, it will not be released to a parent or guardian, except under specific circumstances. 

Requesting Information Related to an Incapacitated Individual
To act on behalf of an incapacitated individual, you must demonstrate that you have legal authority. This may involve providing documentation such as a guardianship order, trustee order, or personal directive in accordance with Section 104 of the Health Information Act of Alberta.

Requesting Information Related to a Spouse, Partner, Relative or Friend
We require written consent from a patient before releasing their personal health information to a third party who is not a healthcare provider for health care purposes. For instance, this includes entities such as employers, landlords, schools, insurance companies, or family members, unless they are authorized as a substitute decision maker.

Requesting Information Related to a Deceased Individual
The Health Information Act continues to protect the privacy of deceased individuals, and their medical history and records cannot be disclosed to family members without specific authorization. Only in certain cases is the disclosure of information mandatory. If you need information about a deceased individual for estate administration or insurance purposes, you will need to submit a signed request along with your photo ID and proof of being an executor. Any information released will be limited to what is strictly necessary to fulfill your request. If the deceased had previously requested that their health information not be shared, this request will be considered when deciding how much information can be disclosed.

Withholding or Withdrawal of Consent
Patients have the right to choose not to grant consent, known as "withholding consent." If consent has been granted, patients may revoke it at any time by submitting a written request for "withdrawal of consent." Please note that a withdrawal of consent cannot undo past disclosures.

Health Record Retention
Health records are kept as mandated by legislation and professional standards, as well as for our own purposes in collecting personal health information. The Canadian Medical Protective Association and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta suggest maintaining records for at least 10 years from the date of the last entry or, for minors, 10 years from when they reach the age of majority (18 years old). Certain circumstances may necessitate retaining records beyond this minimum time frame. Personal health information that is no longer needed for the specified purposes will be securely and safely deleted, erased, or anonymized.

Accuracy of Personal Health Information
We strive to maintain the accuracy of the information in your health records by regularly reviewing and updating it as needed. In case there are any inaccuracies, you can request to have it corrected by filling out the Request to Amend Health Information form and submitting it to us.

Safeguards for Personal Health Information
We have implemented measures to protect the personal health information we hold, including:
Physical protection (such as limited access to offices, alarm systems, and secure storage of portable devices);
Organizational security (with access to information only granted to those who need it, and regularly confirming patient contact information); and
Technological security (such as password protection, encryption, firewalls, anti-malware scans, and audits).
All parties who collect, use, or disclose personal health information on our behalf must be aware of the importance of confidentiality and will be required to sign confidentiality agreements, receive privacy training, and have a contract that ensures this.
We take care when disposing of personal health information to prevent unauthorized access.

 Patients Right to Access their Personal Health Information
Patients can request to see their personal health records. We'll respond to these requests within a reasonable timeframe and cost to the patient.

Please be advised that in certain circumstances, it may not be possible for us to grant full access to all personal health information we possess for a patient. These exceptions are in accordance with the law and could include situations where access could reasonably lead to a significant risk of harm, or the information is protected by legal privilege.