About Medical Confidence
Medical Confidence Inc. (“Medical Confidence”) is a Canadian organization whose mission is to empower consumers of the Canadian healthcare system. We help individuals understand their health-related circumstances and access the ideal physician specialist(s) so that they become engaged in their treatment and have the best possible outcome.
Medical Confidence takes every possible precaution to ensure that the Personal Health Information (PHI) collected from individuals who access our services is protected, kept secure and managed in accordance with the terms of this policy.
In our work to empower healthcare consumers, Medical Confidence collects, uses and discloses PHI in partnership with appropriate healthcare professionals. At Medical Confidence we are committed to meeting the highest standard of ethics with respect to maintaining the privacy and confidentiality of the PHI we collect, use and disclose. We meet or exceed all legal requirements, including Ontario’s Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA) and Canada’s Personal Information and Protection of Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).
Every employee, volunteer, healthcare provider, contractor and authorized agent of Medical Confidence must adhere to our PHI management and privacy policies at all times.
Medical Confidence has appointed Angela Johnson, the company’s President, as the contact person for all privacy-related matters. Angela can be reached at (289) 201-1583 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. In keeping with the requirements of PHIPA and PIPEDA, for the purposes of protecting the privacy and confidentiality of PHI, our Privacy Statement is available to the public and posted on our Website. www.medicalconfidence.com/Privacy-Policy/
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Personal Health Information (PHI)?
PHI includes an individual’s identifying information (name, contact details, etc.) along with any and all information about an individual’s health or healthcare history.
What PHI does Medical Confidence collect?
Medical Confidence collects and stores various types of PHI. Typically we collect this information from individuals (patients) themselves and/or the individual’s Primary Care Practitioner. This information is used to identify the ideal physician specialist(s) the individual should see and/or point the individual towards the optimal resource(s) within the Canadian healthcare system.
Medical Confidence will only collect PHI that is essential for the task at hand (i.e., identifying the ideal MedConfidence Specialist who can best treat and meet the needs of the individual in question). The information we collect includes an individual’s name, date of birth, preferred language spoken (English/French), emergency contact information, current treating specialist and primary care practitioner’s name and contact details.
Health-related information we collect includes an individual’s family medical history, past and current conditions, symptoms, provincial health card number, any known allergies, body mass index, blood type, blood pressure, activities of daily living (e.g., food habits, exercise frequency, alcohol frequency, smoking frequency, etc.), current medications and dosages and diagnostic testing/imaging results.
PHI is collected from individuals accessing our services, their treating medical practitioner(s) and/or any other individual(s) authorized to act on that individual’s behalf.
In the event we are contracted by and providing services directly to an individual (as opposed to through an organization), Medical Confidence collects all appropriate payment-related information. This information is not stored on our website but redirected to a secured site and is solely for the purpose of processing the individual client’s request.
De-identified information may be used for statistical purposes to help us improve our business practices and optimize our products and service delivery.
When does Medical Confidence share PHI?
We will share an individual’s PHI (once we have obtained that individual’s consent) with the physician specialist (or a member of his/her staff) to whom that individual is being referred for healthcare services. This information is typically shared by way of telephone discussion or electronic communications (i.e., fax or email).
We may also be required by law or a Court Order to share certain PHI.
We will only share PHI with other professionals, agencies and providers who are involved in the care and treatment of an individual client if the individual or his/her substitute decision-maker provides consent for us to do so.
Medical Confidence does not share or sell PHI to third parties.
How does Medical Confidence ensure the safety and security of PHI?
Medical Confidence recognizes the importance of safeguarding PHI and will take all steps that are reasonable in the circumstances to ensure it is protected against theft, loss or unauthorized use or disclosure. We will also ensure that the records containing this information are protected against unauthorized copying, modification or disposal.
To ensure the safe storage of PHI, we have taken steps to meet the need for physical security, technological security and administrative controls. The measures we have taken for the physical security of the PHI records we maintain include restricting office access to unauthorized individuals and maintaining all records in a secure location.
The PHI records we maintain are kept in electronic format. Such records are protected through technological security measures we have taken including the use of passwords, firewalls, anti-virus software and encryption of all mobile electronic devices and of all information transmitted electronically.
What does Medical Confidence do in the event of a Privacy Breach?
In the event that an individual’s PHI has been stolen, lost or accessed by an unauthorized person, our first priority is to identify and contain the breach, and then to take steps to correct it. Where the information was provided to us by a health information custodian, we will immediately notify the custodian of the breach. Where the information was provided to us directly by an individual, we will notify said individual of the situation at the first reasonable opportunity.
How long does Medical Confidence retain PHI?
Our policy is to retain personal health information records for ten (10) years after the referral facilitated by Medical Confidence is made or after use of the information has been completed. However, Medical Confidence will maintain records in accordance with any minimum retention period that is established by law.
How does Medical Confidence dispose of PHI?
When PHI records are to be destroyed, Medical Confidence will use safeguards to ensure secure destruction, including entering into a written agreement with any agent retained to dispose of PHI records, which will set out the requirements for secure disposal and require the agent to confirm in writing that secure disposal has occurred.
What if an individual needs access to his/her PHI?
Where Medical Confidence receives PHI from physicians and uses such information on behalf of physicians to facilitate referral of a patient (individual) to a specialist, we will direct the individual wishing to access his/her PHI to his/her physician. Where the information is not available from the individual’s physician, or where the individual provides Medical Confidence with information directly, we will make the information available to the individual. With certain limited exceptions, individuals have a general right to access and may request a copy of all PHI about them kept by Medical Confidence.
All requests for PHI must be made in writing. Upon receipt of the request we will provide information requested or reasons why we are unable to do so. A request for PHI may be denied where:
- the information does not exist or cannot be found;
- the denial of access is required or authorized by law; or
- the request is frivolous, vexatious or made in bad faith.
We may charge a fee for this service and if so, we will provide notice in advance of processing the request.
All requests for access to PHI will be responded to in a reasonable time frame.
How are corrections to PHI made?
If an individual believes his/her PHI is not accurate or complete, s/he may make a written request to Medical Confidence to have the information corrected.
Medical Confidence will correct PHI where it is demonstrated that the information in the individual’s record is, in fact, inaccurate or incomplete and necessary information is provided to correct the record.
Medical Confidence may refuse to correct PHI if the information in question pertains to a professional opinion or an observation made by a healthcare provider. In these circumstances, where a correction request is denied, individuals may append a short statement of disagreement to their record.
What if an individual has questions or concerns?
Medical Confidence reviews policies and procedures on an ongoing basis and may revise these from time to time. If these revisions significantly change how we collect, use or disclose previously collected PHI, we will inform appropriate individuals/clients and obtain consents where required.
All privacy-related questions or concerns pertaining to Medical Confidence should be directed to Angela Johnson.
Additional information regarding Privacy in Ontario is available by contacting:
Information & Privacy Commissioner/Ontario
80 Bloor Street West, Suite 1700
Toronto, ON M5S 2V1
Last modified on the 12th day of November, 2015.