Below are some of the more commonly asked questions about Privacy at LHSC.
How does the hospital protect my information?
A few of the ways LHSC strives to protect your personal health information include:
- Educating our staff, physicians, volunteers and students on the importance of respecting your privacy rights and about their obligations to maintain confidentiality.
- Requiring that all staff wear photo identification at all times while on hospital property to protect against unauthorized individuals accessing information.
- Applying additional security measures to all electronic health records. For example user-specific log in names and passwords, encryption requirements, firewall and antivirus software.
- Locked doors.
- Security personnel.
- Monitoring and auditing of health records to ensure their access and use is appropriate.
Does the hospital share my information with anyone?
LHSC shares some or all of your information with:
- Health-care providers at other hospitals, nursing homes or other health-care agencies who need information for your ongoing care in the community.
- Agencies that fund the hospital, such as OHIP, extended health insurance companies, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, Ministry of Health.
- Other agencies to whom we are required by law to provide information, such as public health surveillance purposes.
- LHSC is partnered with organizations in Southwestern Ontario in a shared electronic patient record system in shared diagnostic imaging (X-ray) systems and provincially in a shared Electronic Patient Record. These partnerships help those who are involved in your health care regardless of where you seek treatment. Contact the LHSC privacy office for more information.
Can my family see my health information?
Although you have the right to access your health record, this right does not automatically extend to family members and/or friends. If you provide written authorization for a friend or family member to see your record, then the friend/family member may access the part(s) that you have consented to let them see.
What if I am unable to give consent to release my health information?
Like consenting to treatment, if you are unable to give consent for access, use and/or disclosure of your health information, the consent decision falls to the appointed substitute decision maker, such as a spouse, parent or guardian.
Can all hospital staff access my health information?
The only persons whom the hospital authorizes to access a patient record are the staff and physicians involved in a patient's care, or staff who need information from a patient record to conduct the business of the hospital, such as the Finance Department staff that sends a bill to a patient's extended health insurance company.
All staff and hospital affiliates are bound by hospital policies and practices related to privacy and confidentiality. These policies aim to ensure that staff only access information on a “need-to-know” basis. Regulated Health Professionals are also bound by privacy and confidentiality requirements from their professional Colleges.
Can my family physician access my health information?
LHSC sends information to your family physician that is listed in your health record, such as inpatient discharge summaries, Urgent Care records. This is done to facilitate your continuing care and more. LHSC will provide additional information to your family physician if requested and unless you tell us otherwise.
What if I have questions or concerns about my privacy?
Please contact the LHSC Privacy Office if you have any questions or concerns.