Your personal health information, whether stored on paper or electronically, is kept safe and secure. Policies, procedures and technical safeguards protect how your information is collected, stored and used.
Your health-care team accesses your health record on a need-to-know basis and views only the information required to plan for and provide you with appropriate care. Others, such as lawyers or insurance companies, need your written consent before it is possible to access your information.
In some situations, such as a
gunshot or stab wound, or a child in need of protection, the law requires information to be disclosed, with or without patient consent.
When personal health information is used for research purposes, the request must first receive approval from a recognized research ethics board. As well, summarized information that cannot identify individuals is used to create statistics for quality assurance, utilization measurement and performance monitoring.
Health records are periodically reviewed to evaluate the quality of care provided to you. Anyone reviewing records must follow the same privacy laws and rules required of all health-care providers.