Optometry Clinic Privacy Policy

Privacy of personal information and personal health information is an important principle to the UW Optometry Clinic. We are committed to collecting, using, and disclosing personal information responsibly and only to the extent necessary for the services and products that we provide. This site provides a summary of our privacy policy. This policy is a requirement of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Personal Health Information Protection Act.
 

What is personal Information and personal health information?

Personal information is information about an identifiable individual that relates to his or her personal characteristics, health, or activities and views. Personal information, unlike business information, is protected by privacy legislation.

Personal health information means identifying information about an individual where the information relates to physical or mental health, health history, provision of care, payments or eligibility for care or coverage, and health number.

Who has access to my personal information?

The University of Waterloo (UW) Optometry Clinic includes our faculty optometrists, staff, and students who are trained and authorized to use your personal information. Other consultants and agencies such as computer consultants, accountants, lawyers, credit card companies, collection agencies, and university employees may, in the course of their duties, have limited access to your personal information. We have ensured that they follow appropriate privacy principles.

Various government agencies and regulatory bodies have the authority to review our files and interview our staff as a part of their mandates. In the course of performing their duties, they may have limited access to your personal information.

To provide you with some services, we may need to communicate some of your personal information to other regulated health practitioners, technicians, or laboratories. It would be rare for us to communicate your personal information without your implied consent, but this might occur in an emergency.

Why do you collect Personal Health Information?

The UW Optometry Clinic collects, uses and discloses personal information in order to provide eye care services to you, to support the administration of eye care services, to conduct research and collect statistics, to comply with legal and regulatory requirements and for teaching purposes.

How do you use Personal Information

  • To provide you with appropriate eye care and advice on treatment options
  • To provide ongoing eye care and identify changes over time
  • To advise you that your eye care needs should be reviewed
  • To invoice third parties such as OHIP and private insurance on your behalf
  • To provide notice of special events or new services or products
  • To comply with legal or regulatory requirements
  • To train optometry undergraduate and graduate students (your identity is not revealed in these situations).
  • To conduct clinical research (your identity is not revealed in these situations).

How we protect your personal information

The UW Optometry Clinic understands the importance of protecting your personal information. Some of the steps we have taken to protect it include:

  • Employee training is provided
  • Privacy agreements are established with outside suppliers, agencies, or consultants
  • Information is under supervision or secured in a restricted area
  • Paper information is transmitted through sealed, addressed envelopes
  • Electronic information is transmitted through a direct line or is encrypted
  • Paper information is destroyed by shredding
  • Hardware containing electronic information is physically destroyed

How long do you retain my personal information?

We retain your personal information to provide ongoing eye care and to answer any questions you may have about services. By law, your records must be kept for a minimum of 10 years; in reality, your records are likely to be kept indefinitely.

Do I have access to my information?

You have the right to see your personal information. We will assist you in identifying what personal information we have and in understanding that information. You also have the right to ask for incorrect factual information to be corrected.

Can I revoke consent?

You have the right to withdraw consent at any time, except in specific instances where the law requires the information to be disclosed. We will discontinue the use or disclosure of your personal information after receiving your written revocation of your consent.

Contacts

This brochure outlines the main provisions of our privacy policy. The Optometry Clinic’s privacy policy conforms to UW’s information management policy. This policy can be accessed electronically (for information only), and authoritative copies are held by the UW Secretariat and Office of General Counsel.

Please direct your inquiries to:

UW Privacy Officer


Email

519-888-4567 extension 36101

Location: Needles Hall

Optometry Clinic Privacy Officer


Inta Bregzis, Policy & Development Officer

University of Waterloo, School of Optometry

Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1

Email

519-888-4567 extension 31106

Location: Optometry Clinic, Room 160

If you wish to make a formal complaint about our privacy practices, you may make it in writing to our Privacy Officer, who will acknowledge receipt of your complaint, ensure that it is investigated promptly, and provide you with a formal decision in writing.

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) and the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) are complex Acts and provide some additional exceptions to the privacy principles that are too detailed to set out here or in our privacy policy.

For more general inquiries, the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario oversees Ontario’s privacy legislation. The Commissioner’s office also assists Ontarians with complaints or privacy-related disputes. That office can be reached at:

Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario

2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400

Toronto, ON M4W 1A8

email: info@ipc.ca

416-326-3333

Toll Free: 1-800-387-0073

TDD/TTY: 416-325-7539

Fax: 416-325-9195

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