Learn about how Guelph-Wellington Paramedic Service collects, uses, and discloses your personal health information.
Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004
Guelph-Wellington Paramedic Service provides urgent medical care and transportation services to sick or injured individuals and also operates a Community Paramedicine Program that provides services to support individuals to live well in their own homes.
As an ambulance service operating under the Ambulance Act, R.S.O. 1990, Guelph-Wellington Paramedic Service is a “health information custodian” subject to the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA) which governs the collection, use, and disclosure of personal health information.
PHIPA establishes rules regarding your personal health information and provides you with certain rights.
Collection, use, and disclosure of your personal health information
Guelph-Wellington Paramedic Service collects, uses, and discloses the following personal health information to provide you with health care services and programs:
- date of birth
- Ontario health card number
- current and past health history, including use of medications
- facts about the situation/incident to which paramedics are responding
- details of the health care or service being provided
In most cases, paramedics will collect information directly from you. Paramedics may also collect your personal health information indirectly from other sources to help provide you with appropriate and timely care. For example:
- if police or fire services arrive at an incident scene first, paramedics may collect information from them to better understand the situation
- if you are unconscious or unable to provide information, paramedics may collect information indirectly from individuals such as friends or witnesses that are able to provide details related to your condition
- if you are a participant in the Community Paramedicine Program, information about you may be collected from your family members or other health care providers to better understand your needs
Paramedics may also collect personal health information about you from other sources with your consent or as permitted or required by law. For example, shared electronic systems or provincial data repositories.
Guelph-Wellington Paramedic Service uses and discloses your personal health information for the following purposes:
- provide you with care and service by paramedics and the health care system
- process payments for your treatment and care
- comply with legal and regulatory requirements
Non-identifying information relating to your care and service is used for
- strategic planning
- decision making
- compiling statistics
- quality of care reviews
- regulatory compliance requirements
Guelph-Wellington Paramedic Service may receive your personal health information from and/or share your personal health information with other health care providers to allow continuity of patient care. For example, we might share information with your doctor or hospital care teams. This is known as the “circle of care” and you can find out more about Circle of Care Sharing Personal Health Information from the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.
Your personal health information is private. Unless we are required to disclose your personal health information for law enforcement purposes or are specifically authorized to share your personal health information with others, we cannot and will not give out any of your personal health information without your consent.
Access and Consent
When you request or agree to receive services from Guelph-Wellington Paramedic Service you provide implied consent to collect, use, and disclose your personal health information for the purposes described above.
You have the right to withhold or withdraw your consent at any time by providing notice to the privacy contact listed below. Withdrawing consent means your personal health information will not be further used or disclosed, but it cannot be applied retroactively.
You also have the right to access and request corrections to your personal health information subject to limited exceptions as set out in PHIPA. Requests can be made by submitting an Access to Information request.
You can find out more about your health privacy rights from the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.
How your personal health information is protected
Protecting your personal health information is important to Guelph-Wellington Paramedic Service. We are committed to maintaining the accuracy, confidentiality, and security of your personal health information and have measures in place to protect against loss, theft, and unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. This includes:
- making staff aware of their responsibility to protect privacy through training and corporate policies and procedures
- restricting access to personal health information to authorized staff on a need-to-know basis – only those who are directly involved in your care and service or those who have a legal right to see your records are permitted access to your personal health information
- physical security controls such as swipe card access, locked file cabinets, etc.
- technical security controls such as complex passwords, multi-factor authentication, firewalls, etc.
- logging and auditing staff access to personal health information in electronic systems
- requiring vendors and third-party service providers that we work with to protect the privacy of your personal health information and only use if for authorized purposes
- implementing a privacy breach protocol to ensure that privacy breaches are contained, investigated and remediated and affected individuals are notified
Contact information for questions or complaints
If you would like to know more about how your personal health information is managed, have questions about how to access or correct your personal health information, or have concerns or complaints, please contact:
Information and Access Coordinator
City Clerk’s Office
1 Carden Street
Guelph, ON N1H 3A1
Telephone: 519-822-1260 extension 2349
Email: [email protected]
Alternatively, you have the right to contact the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario if you would like to make a complaint about our information practices or believe we have violated your personal health rights.
Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario
2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400
Toronto, ON M4W 1A8
Email: [email protected]