Confidentiality and Privacy

Confidentiality is a set of rules that limit access or places certain restrictions on specific types of information.

This document provides an overview of the Step By Step Confidentiality and Privacy Policy.

Collection of Personal Health Information

The primary purpose of collecting personal health information is to provide effective psychological services to our clients.  Any information that is provided to me about your child or your family is considered confidential and personal information.  Confidential personal information will be treated in accordance with the guidelines set out by the College of Psychologists and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

I understand that in order to provide psychological services Step By Step and Dr. Elizabeth Benedetto will collect personal information. Confidential personal information may include mine or my child’s gender, age, phone number, home address, family history, medical information, developmental issues and social-emotional history.  Usually this type of information would be collected directly from the client and/or his/her guardian.  Exceptions include: consent has been given to gather information from a third party (i.e., previous assessment report) or the law allows us to collect information without your consent in an urgent situation when information is needed to prevent immediate harm.  This differs from business information such as an individual’s business number or address, which is not protected by privacy legislation.

Only with explicit written consent from the individual of legal age or the parent of a minor may this information be shared with other individuals (e.g., psycho-educational assessment results).  I understand that I have the right to review and the right to copy my personal information barring a few rare exceptions. The exception is my obligation to protect copyrighted and sensitive information. If you believe there is a mistake in your file that applies to factual knowledge, you have the right to ask for a correction.

Not unlike all other businesses, the secondary purpose of the collection of personal information is to invoice clients for services and to collect unpaid accounts.

Storage and Protection of Confidential Information

Step By Step: Psychology takes the following steps to ensure the privacy of my personal information:

  • Any paperwork that is generated in the process of delivery of service is secured and locked or in a restricted area when not in use.

  • Electronic hardware is under supervision or locked or kept in a restricted area.

  • Paper information is delivered via Canada Post (sealed, addressed envelopes)

  • Confidential information is not shared electronically.

  • Passwords are used on all documents and computers.

  • Any transported files are carried under supervision or stored in a locked area.

I understand that a clinical file will be kept in hard copy and some parts in an electronic format and that these files must be kept in a secure location for a minimum of 10 years, after the last date of contact, or for 10 years after the youngest child’s eighteenth birthday.  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 the hard drive is physically destroyed.

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