Your privacy is extremely important. Mutual trust and respect is one of the most fundamental requirements of any registered massage therapy practice. As a health care provider I must collect a certain amount of personal information from you in order to treat you safely. It is extremely important that this information be collected responsibly and that it only be disclosed to other individuals under appropriate circumstances. This document details your rights and how I protect your personal information.
What is personal information?
Personal information is information about identifiable individuals. Personal information includes information that relates to:
- an individual’s personal characteristics (e.g., gender, age, home address or telephone number);
- health (e.g., health history, health conditions, health services received by them);
- activities and views (e.g., opinions expressed by an individual, an opinion or evaluation of an individual).
Who can see your health information?
When you come to see me for massage therapy I am the only one that has access to your massage therapy files.
Should you like information to be shared between the health practitioners involved in your care I will provide you with forms to fill out requesting information or releasing information as necessary.
Others agencies or companies may need to see part of your health care information, such as your employer or your insurance company. However, I cannot share information with these companies without your express permission.
You may also have family or friends to whom you would like me to give more detailed information about your health. You can let me know if I can discuss your health with family and friends. I must have your consent in order to do so.
When Your Consent is Not Required
If I am referring to another health care practitioner about your case there is implied consent in that I may give basic information to the practitioner.
I am allowed or may be required to use and/or give out some of your personal health information without consent in the following situations:
- to report certain information, such as to report certain diseases to public health authorities
- to reduce a significant risk of serious bodily harm to a person or the public
- to improve or maintain the quality of care or any related program or service
- to transfer or sell the professional practice to another person and to allow that person to assess the practice, so long as he or she signs an agreement to keep the information confidential and secure
- for administration or enforcement of laws about the practices of health care providers, such as when my regulatory College (the CMTO) does a peer assessment with me
- for the purpose of a legal proceeding or complying with a court order, or other legal requirement
I understand the importance of protecting your personal information. For that reason, I have taken the following steps:
- Paper information is either under supervision or secured in a locked cabinet.
- Computers and backups are under supervision or secure in a locked or restricted area at all times. In addition, passwords are used on computers, and screens are locked when they are not in use.
- Electronic information is transmitted either through a direct line, or has identifiers removed, or is encrypted.
Retention of Personal Information
I am required to retain personal information for some time to ensure that I can answer any question you may have about the services provided and for my own accountability to the Collect of Massage Therapists (CMTO).
I retain client files for 10 years, as required by the CMTO. For children being treated files are maintained for 10 years after their 18th birthday.
I destroy paper files containing personal information by shredding. I destroy electronic information by deleting it and, when the hardware is discarded, physically destroying the hard drive.
Viewing your own Personal Information
You have the right to see your own file and to change demographic information if it is necessary. I do require at least 7 days notice if you wish to see your file. I will provide print outs upon request and I reserve the right to charge a fee to cover my costs in this instance.
If you have any questions please ask me to clarify either in person or you can submit your question in writing.