Halifax Optometry Clinic Inc. operating as Insight Optometry Group.
Protecting the privacy of your personal information is important to us.We are committed to collecting, using and disclosing personal information responsibly and only to the extent necessary for the optometric services that we provide.
We are committed to being open and transparent about how we handle your personal information. This document describes our privacy policies.
What is Personal Information?Personal information is information about an identifiable individual. Personal information includes information that relates to any personal characteristics (e.g. gender, age, income, home address or phone number, ethnic background, family status), health (e.g. health history, health conditions, health services received by them) or activities and views (e.g. religion, politics, opinions expressed by an individual, an opinion or evaluation of an individual).
Personal information does not include your business address and telephone number, which is not protected by privacy legislation.
Who We AreHalifax Optometry Clinic Inc. operating as Insight Optometry Group includes any optometrist or health care professional, all employees, staff and student trainees authorized to collect, use or disclose personal information.
We use a number of consultants and agencies that may, in the course of their work for us may, where necessary, have limited access to personal information we hold. These include, but are not limited to; ophthalmologists to whom we refer, third party insurers, contact lens companies, lens manufacturing companies, opticians, computer consultants, office security and maintenance, bookkeepers and accountants, temporary workers to cover holidays, credit card companies, collection agencies, website managers and lawyers.
We restrict their access to any personal information we hold as much as is reasonably possible. We also have their assurance that they follow appropriate privacy principles.
Collecting Personal Information: Primary Purposes About PatientsHalifax Optometry Clinic Inc. operating as Insight Optometry Group collects, uses and discloses personal information in order to serve our patients. For patients, the primary purpose for collecting personal information is to provide optometric services. For example, we collect information about your health history, including family history, physical condition and function and social situation as necessary to help us assess your eye care needs and to advise you of options and then to provide the eye care you choose to have.
We may communicate this information to other regulated health practitioners, technicians or individuals authorized to work in our practice as part of your continuing care. A second primary purpose is to obtain a baseline of health and social information so that in providing ongoing health services we can identify changes that are occurring over time. It would be rare for us to collect information without the patient’s written, oral or implied consent, but this could occur in an emergency (e.g. the patient cannot communicate) or where we believe you would consent if asked and it is impractical to obtain consent (e.g. a family member passing a message on from our patient where we have no reason to believe that the message is not genuine).
Our WebsiteOn our website we only collect, with the exception of cookies, the personal information you provide and only use that information for the purpose for which it was provided (e.g. to respond to your email message, to order eye glasses or contact lenses, to requires an eye examination appointment). “Cookies” are only used to help you navigate our website and are not used for personal monitoring purposes.
About Contract Staff, Volunteers and StudentsFor people who are contracted to do work for us (e.g. temporary workers), our primary purpose for collecting your personal information is to ensure we can contact you in the future (e.g. for new assignments) and for necessary work-related communication (e.g. sending our paycheques, year-end tax receipts).
Examples of the type of personal information we collect for those purposes include home addresses and telephone numbers. It is rare for us to collect such information without prior consent, but it might happen in the case of a health emergency (e.g. a SARS outbreak) or to investigate a possible breach of law (e.g. if a theft were to occur in the office). If you as a contract staff person, volunteer or student, wish a letter of reference or an evaluation, we will collect information and your work-related performance and provide a report as authorized by you.
Collecting Personal Information: Related and Secondary PurposesLike most organizations, we also collect, use and disclose information for purposes related to or secondary to our primary purposes.
The most common examples of our related and secondary purposes are as follows:
Protecting Personal InformationWe understand the importance of protecting personal information.
For that reason we have taken the following steps:
Retention and Destruction of Personal informationWe need to retain personal information for some time to ensure that we can answer any questions you might have about the services we provided to you and for our own accountability to external regulatory bodies. In compliance with the requirements of other legislation, we keep our patient files and records for a minimum of ten (10) years. We keep any personal information relating to our general correspondence (i.e. with people who are not patients), newsletters, seminars and marketing activities for about 24 months after the newsletter ceases publication or a seminar or marketing activity are over.
You can ask us, in writing, to restrict our uses and disclosures of personal information at any time. We will also discontinue to use or to disclose your personal information after a written revocation of your implied or informed consent is received, unless we have already acted in reliance upon this consent. We destroy paper files containing personal information by shredding. We destroy electronic information by deleting it and, when the hardware is discarded, we ensure that information on the hard drive is destroyed. Alternatively, we may send some or the entire patient file to our patient.
You Can Look At Your InformationWith rare exceptions, you have the right to see what personal information we hold about you. All you have to do is ask. We can help you identify what records we might have about you. We will also try to help you understand any information you do not understand (e.g. short forms, technical language, et cetera).
We will need to confirm your identity, if we do not know you, before providing you with this access.
We reserve the right to charge a nominal fee for such requests. We may ask you to put your request in writing. If we cannot give you access, we will notify you within thirty (30) days if at all possible and provide the reason, as best we can, as to why we cannot give you access. If you believe there is a mistake in the information we have about you, you have the right to ask for it to be corrected. This applies to factual information and not to any professional opinions we may have formed. We may ask you to provide documentation that our files are incorrect. Where a mistake has been made, we will make the correction and notify anyone to whom we sent this information. If we do not agree that a mistake has been made, we will include in our file a brief statement from you on the point and we will forward that statement to anyone else who received the earlier information.
Do You Have A Question?Our Privacy Officer, Ms Sandra Bonn, can be reached at: 1591 Brunswick St., Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3J 2G1 or by calling (902) 422-4444. She will attempt to answer any questions or concerns you might have. If you wish to make a formal complaint about our privacy practices or the application of those practices, you may make it in writing to our Privacy Officer. He/She will acknowledge receipt of your complaint, ensure that it is investigated promptly and that you are provided with a formal decision and reasons in writing.
This policy is made pursuant to Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. That is a complex Act and provides some additional exceptions to the privacy principles that are too detailed to set out here. There are some rare exceptions to the commitments set out above. The Privacy Commissioner of Canada oversees the administration of the privacy legislation in the private sector. The Commissioner also acts as a kind of ombudsman for privacy disputes. The Information and Privacy Commissioner can be reached at: 112 Kent Street, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 1H3 Phone (613) 995-8210 / Toll-Free 1-800-282-1376 Fax (613) 947-6850 / TTY (613) 992-9190 , web site www.privcom.gc.ca