Personal Information: Generally
Personal information must be kept safe and secure from inappropriate disclosure or use, in accordance with British Columbia’s Personal Information and Protection Act (“PIPA”).
Personal information means information about an identifiable individual and includes employee personal information, including but not limited to: an individual’s age, date of birth, health information, including medical records including medical or dental health history, family health or dental health history, physical condition, and dental treatments, and financial information (collectively known as “Personal Information”).
Personal information does not include contact information or publicly available information such as information in public directories, websites or other publications where the individual can refuse to be listed, and certain public registries and court records.
Personal Information: Collection, Use, and Disclosure
Additional purposes for which your information may be collected and/or disclosed is as follows:
- to provide denture, dental, health care, or health services;
- to determine or verify the eligibility of an individual to receive health services;
- to conduct or cooperate with investigations, disciplinary proceedings, practice reviews, or inspections relating to the members of a health profession or health discipline;
- to deliver safe and efficient patient care;
- to open and update patient files;
- to identify and to ensure continuous high-quality service;
- to assess patient health needs;
- to advise patients of treatment options;
- to enable the Clinic to contact and communicate with patients, including for the purposes of distributing health care information, booking and confirming appointments, and sending informational material about the Clinic;
- to offer and provide treatment, care, and services in relationship to oral and denture care generally;
for teaching and demonstrating purposes on an anonymous basis;
for invoicing purposes;
- to follow up for treatment, care, and billing;
- to manage patient and clients’ accounts, including invoicing, processing credit card payments, and collecting unpaid accounts;
- to complete and submit dental and health services claims to third party benefit providers or insurers for third-party adjudication and payment;
- to communicate with insurance companies and to otherwise process requests by you;
- to communicate with other treating health care providers, including dental specialists and dentists about the patient;
- to disclose or collect information from dental specialists, dentists, or health care providers, such as physicians, where the Clinic is seeking or the patient has requested a second opinion, or the patient has been referred by that dental specialist, dentist, or health care provider for treatment;
- to obtain laboratory or related services on the patient’s behalf, including from denture laboratories or other service providers or Clinic affiliates, such as the Dental Corporation of Canada Inc., Perfit, or other agents who provide dental laboratory, radiological, or other diagnostic information, and the operation of dental operatories and dental equipment to the Clinic;
- to comply with agreements or undertakings entered into voluntarily by the Clinic or a service provider or affiliate of the clinic or with the College of Denturists of B.C. for regulatory and monitoring purposes;
- to provide for health services provider education;
- to deliver your charts and records to third party benefit providers or insurers to enable them to assess liability and quantify damages;
- for internal management purposes, including planning, resource allocation, policy development, quality improvement, monitoring, audit, evaluation, reporting, obtaining, or processing payment for health services and human resource management;
- to comply with or as required by federal or provincial law or by regulatory bodies such as the College of Denturists of B.C.; and
- to comply generally with privacy laws, including any required collection, use, or disclosure under the E-Health (Personal Health Information Access and Protection of Privacy) Act or the Ministry of Health Act, and all other applicable regulatory requirements.
The Clinic requires either the express consent or implied consent from our patients before it may collect, use, or disclose personal health information. When the Clinic collects, uses, and discloses a patient’s personal health information for health care purposes, PIPA generally permits the Clinic to rely upon your implicit consent. Implied consent enables the Clinic to conclude from surrounding circumstances that a patient has agreed to the collection, use, or disclosure of Personal Information.
However, if the patient is not deemed to consent to the collection, use, or disclosure of Personal Information under PIPA, the Clinic may be required to obtain the patient’s express consent. PIPA also provides instances where the Clinic may collect, use, or disclose a patient’s personal health information without consent.
In order for the principles of Consent to be satisfied, the Clinic will disclose to you verbally or in writing the purposes for the collection of the Personal Information.
Your consent for the collection, use, and disclosure of Personal Information may be given in a number of ways, such as:
- signed medical history form;
- signed introductory questionnaire;
- taken verbally over the telephone and then charted; or
- written correspondence.
You may withdraw your consent upon reasonable notice to the Clinic.
The Clinic will use or disclose Personal Information only for the purposes set out in this Policy, unless an individual consents to a new use, or the use or disclosure is authorized by PIPA. Clinic staff are aware of the importance of maintaining the confidentiality of your Personal Information and we have taken reasonable measures to safeguard your Personal Information. The Clinic has security processes and procedures in place to keep Personal Information safe, including but not limited to:
- restricting access to and locking filing cabinets;
- electronic security measures such as password protection and the use of secure information databases; and,
- limiting access to personal information to a selected group of individuals.
The Clinic is responsible for information in our possession or custody, including information that has been transferred to a third party for processing.
If the Clinic is ever to consider selling all or part of its dental practice, qualified potential purchasers may be granted access as part of the due diligence process to patient information in order to verify information important to the potential sale. If this occurs, the Clinic will take steps to ensure that the prospective purchaser appropriately safeguards all Personal Information.
Limiting Use, Disclosure, and Retention
Personal Information shall not be used or disclosed for purposes other than those for which the information is collected, except with your Consent, or as permitted by law. The Clinic may disclose certain Personal Information in accordance with PIPA and other privacy laws in British Columbia.
The Clinic and its affiliates may perform activities outside of Canada through third party agents. You acknowledge and agree that, as a result, your Personal Information may be processed, used, stored or accessed in other countries and may be subject to the laws of those countries. For example, Personal Information may be disclosed in response to valid demands or requests from government authorities, courts, or law enforcement in other countries.
The Clinic will use contractual or other means to provide a comparable level of protection while the information is being accessed and/or processed by any such third party. The Clinic has protocols in place for the retention of Personal Information. Retention of information records is defined and referenced in College’s Bylaws on Registrant Records (Part 7).
In destroying Personal Information, our Office has developed guidelines to ensure secure destruction in accordance with the College’s Guidelines on Dental Recordkeeping.
As discussed in this Code, Personal Information may be transferred and stored outside of Canada. We encourage you to contact the Privacy Officer should you require further information.
Patient Access to Personal Information
Upon written request and with reasonable notice, you shall be informed of the existence, use, and disclosure of your Personal Information, and shall be given access to it.
Upon written request and with reasonable notice, our Office shall provide you with an accounting of how your Personal Information has been used, including third-party disclosures. In providing this information, we will attempt to be as specific as possible.
When it is not possible to provide a list of the organizations or individuals to which there has been disclosure about you, we will provide you with a list of such organizations or individuals to which we may have disclosed information about you. Disclosure of probabilities in these cases would satisfy this requirement.
We will respond to your request within a reasonable period of time, and at minimal or no cost to you. The request for information will be provided or made available in a form that is generally understandable.
Canada’s anti-spam legislation entitled, An Act to promote the efficiency and adaptability of the Canadian economy by regulating certain activities that discourage reliance on electronic means of carrying out commercial activities, and to amend the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Act, the Competition Act, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and the Telecommunications Act, SC 2010, c 23, came into effect on July 1, 2014 (the “Anti-Spam Law”). Canada’s Anti-Spam Law regulates how businesses and individuals communicate electronically.
When the Clinic communicates with you, we may communicate via electronic means, such as email. The Clinic strives to ensure that our communications do not contain any spam. “Spam” refers to any unsolicited Commercial Electronic Messages (or CEMs) that have been sent without consent. In that light, the Clinic requires all CEMs from our Office to be in compliance with PIPA and the Anti-Spam Law. If and when the Clinic communicates with you using CEMs, you can opt out of receiving such messages by following the “Unsubscribe” link included at the bottom of such messages or by contacting Regan Truscott, Office Manager.
Any questions or concerns with respect to CEMs from our Office may be addressed to Regan Truscott. In the event that our Office inadvertently sends out a CEM without consent, the Clinic commits to investigating every such instance and assisting the employee(s) or manager(s) involved with renewing their understanding and awareness of our compliance responsibilities.
You have the right to complain to British Columbia’s Information and Privacy Commissioner if you think we have violated your rights. The Commissioner can be reached at:
Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia
PO Box 9038 Stn. Prov. Govt.
Victoria B.C. V8W 9A4