What is personal information?
Personal information is identifying information about an individual. This includes information that relates to personal characteristics, health or activities and views. Personal information is different from business information, which is not protected by privacy legislation.
We obtain the client’s (or decision maker’s) consent prior to collecting any personal information. There may be an exception in an emergency (ex, the client is unconscious).
Why do we collect personal information?
As a physiotherapy clinic we collect, use and disclose personal information in order to provide the best service to our clients. We use this information for primary and secondary purposes.
• Provide the best possible physiotherapy treatment
• Assess your personal health needs
• To invoice clients for services provided and collect unpaid accounts
• For follow up of care (ie, to check-in and see how a client is doing post-discharge)
• To remind clients of upcoming appointments
• To collect and disclose information to third party payers (ie, ICBC, MSP, WSBC) in order to demonstrate client entitlement to funding (these payers often have your previous consent or legislative authority to collect this information)
• To retain our client information for 16 years as required by the College of Physiotherapists of BC
• To use past records in the event that a client returns for future treatment and the past information may be of benefit to their current treatment
• To audit our quality of service
• The college of Physiotherapists of BC (CPTBC) or other regulatory bodies may audit our charts and have the legal authority to do so. These organizations are bound by strict privacy regulations.
• We are obligated to release records where required by law (ex: in a lawsuit)
• We also use a number of consultants and agencies that may, in the course of their duties, have limited access to personal information we hold. These include bookkeepers, accountants and lawyers, among others. We restrict their access to any personal information we hold as much as is reasonably possible. Their businesses are also obligated by privacy laws and principles.
• You have the option, when becoming a client of Stride Mobile Physiotherapy, to sign up for marketing emails and email reminders of booked and cancelled appointments. This is strictly voluntary and can be revoked at any time.
Contract Staff, Volunteers and Students.
For people who are contracted to do work for us, our primary purpose for collecting personal information is for necessary work-related communication (ie, paying invoices or offering future contracts). If contract staff, volunteers or students wish a letter of reference or an evaluation, we will collect information about their work related performance and provide a report as authorized by them.
Protecting Personal Information.
Stride Mobile Physiotherapy understands the importance of protecting our client’s privacy and, for that reason, we take the following steps:
• All unnecessary information is shredded (paper) or deleted (electronic) so it cannot be seen or duplicated.
• All paper files are kept under lock and key.
• All electronic information is kept on password protected devices, in password protected applications (online banking sites, email servers, Quickbooks) and on the Jane application (which has its own privacy policies and hosts services in Canada). Each employee has their own password protected accounts.
• All emails and faxes are sent and received to accounts owned by Stride Mobile Physiotherapy. These accounts are not used for any personal correspondence and are password protected.
• Paper information is transmitted through sealed, addressed envelopes or boxes by reputable companies.
• External consultants and agencies with access to personal information must enter into privacy agreements with us.
You have access to your information.
You have the right to see what personal information we hold about you. We ask that you put your request in writing and we may take up to 30 days to provide you with the information, or give you a legitimate reason why we were unable to grant you access. We will try to help you understand any information that is not clear to you (ie, short forms, technical language). We will need you to confirm your identity before providing you with this access. We reserve the right to charge a nominal fee for such requests. If you believe there has been a mistake in the collected information, you have a 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 wrong. Where we agree what we have made a mistake, we will make the correction and notify anyone to whom we sent this information. If we do not agree that we have made a mistake, we will still agree to include in our file a brief statement from you on the point and we will forward this statement to anyone else who received the information.
For information on BC Privacy Legislation, please see the link below: