Personal Health Information and Privacy
The New Brunswick Personal Health Information Privacy and Access Act (PHIPAA) protects the privacy of your personal health information, including information about you maintained by Horizon Health Network.Under this Act, you have certain rights and choices regarding how this information is used and disclosed. As a custodian of your personal health information, Horizon Health Network is required to comply with this legislation
Our organization includes the following health care services:
- Public Health
- Addictions and Mental Health Centres
- Community Health Centres / Clinics
- Extra Mural Program
The following document outlines the approach adopted by Horizon Health Network to protect your privacy. Everyone working within Horizon Health Network must adhere to the terms stated herein.
How do we collect your personal Information?
We collect personal health information about you directly from you or from the person acting on your behalf. The personal information we collect includes:
- demographic data such as name, address, phone number, date of birth, and marital status
- your Medicare number
- the names of those individuals who may make decisions on your behalf.
- information about your physical and mental health
- information about your personal insurance and health care benefits
- your religious belief or associations
- information about your occupational health
- financial information relating to payments or eligibility for health care
Occasionally, we collect personal health information about you from other sources if we have obtained your consent to do so or if the law permits. For example we may collect personal information from another health network, a nursing home, Department of Social Development, Veterans Affairs Canada, or the New Brunswick Prescription Drug Program.
We only collect the information that is required to provide care, manage the health care system, and communicate with you. We do not collect any other information, or allow information to be used for other purposes, without your verbal or written consent, except where authorized to do so by law.
Who can see and use your personal health information?
We must document the services and care we provide to you and share your personal information with other health care professionals involved in your care including physicians and specialists, nurses, pharmacists, medical laboratory technicians, dietitians, physiotherapists and occupational therapists, etc.
We may also collect, use and give out your personal health information to others, as reasonably necessary without your prior consent in order to:
- obtain payment for your health care and hospital services;
- plan, manage and administer health care programs and services, or to fulfill reporting obligations to certain authorized organizations for use in the planning and management of the health care system;
- facilitate organ and tissue donation;
- conduct quality control studies and peer reviews;
- conduct research studies and trials (your name and identifying information would not be provided);
- fulfill other purposes as permitted or required by law.
We must obtain your written consent before using or disclosing your information for purposes other than providing care. Some examples are:
- disclosing your information to media or third parties;
- using your information in research projects (where your identifying information must be provided);
- giving insurance companies or legal counsels access to your health record or other information on your health condition;
- asking your support for fundraising initiatives;
- contacting you to inform you of health-related benefits, services, or education classes that may be of interest to you.
There are some situations where we are legally required to disclose your personal information without your consent. These situations include but are not limited to:
- billing provincial health plans;
- reporting infectious diseases;
- reducing potential physical or mental harm to an individual or the public;
- responding to a court order;
- providing information for an inquiry for internal purposes, a professional disciplinary body, or a regulating body.
Other Important Information
Safeguards are in place to protect the security of your information. These safeguards include a combination of physical, technological and administrative security measures that are appropriate to the sensitivity of the information. These safeguards are aimed at protecting personal information against loss or theft, as well as unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, use or modification.
We retain patient / client records as required by law and professional regulations. When information is no longer required, it is destroyed in a secure manner, according to set procedures that govern the storage and destruction of personal information.