F.A.Q. About Your Health Information


How is Your Information Used?

The information we collect from you is used:
       To provide you with quality health care and follow up care in the community;
       To carry out quality assurance to make us better;
       For patient satisfaction surveys to see how we are doing; and
       To comply with legal and regulatory requirements.
       For research to make the Listowel Wingham Hospitals Alliance staff the best
       we can be and to help develop new treatments and technologies for the future
       For education to keep current health care practitioners up to date and to train
       new health care practitioners for the future.

If your information is to be used for any other purpose, your specific permission would
be required first.


What Information does the hospital collect?

To provide you with quality health care, we collect both personal and health information from you. Your legal name, date of birth, address, health card number and extended health insurance numbers are examples of personal information. Your health history, the records of your visits to the hospital and what health care we provide to you during  those visits are examples of your health information.


How does the hospital protect my information?

A few ways that LWHA strives to protect both your personal information and your personal health information are by:

       Teaching all staff about confidentiality. All staff, physicians, volunteers, etc must
       sign a confidentiality agreement as a condition of their relationship with the
       hospital.

        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 names and passwords, firewall and antivirus software.

        Locked doors.


Does the hospital share my information with anyone?

LWHA shares some or all of your information with:

        Health care providers at other hospitals, nursing homes or other health care
       agencies who become part of your health care team. Information is shared for
       the purpose of your continuing care in the community.

       Agencies, for example OHIP, extended health insurance companies, Workplace
       Safety and Insurance Board and Ministry of Health.

       Other agencies as required by law, for example, Public Health Surveillance.


Where is my health information stored and how long?

Hospitals are required to keep health records for at least 10 years past the date of the last admission. In some cases, for example health records for children and records maintained for the purpose of research, health records are kept much longer. Most health records are maintained in Health Records Department but some services, including Diagnostic Imaging and Laboratory, maintain their own specific records.


How do I access or request a copy of my health information?

Ask your health care provider for information about your diagnosis and treatment while you are a patient at the hospital. To obtain a copy of, or view your health record, please contact the Health Records Department.

You have the right to access your personal health record and LWHA has an obligation to make it available to you with limited exceptions. If releasing your information would put yourself or a third-party at risk, the hospital may choose not to disclose some or all of that 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 consent to let a friend or family member see your record, then the friend/family members may access part(s) that you have consented to let them see.


What if I am unable to give consent to release my health information?


If you are unable to give consent for a friend or family member to access your health information due to reasons such as incapable or unconsciousness, the consent decision falls to the appointed substitute decision maker, such as a spouse, parent or guardian.


Will my family and friends be able to call to get information about me over the phone?

When you are admitted to hospital, we ask that you name one person as a main contact. That person will be contacted by the hospital staff as necessary to report on your condition, treatment, etc. It is the contact person’s responsibility to share this  information with family and friends at your request. For all other requests, only a minimum amount of information will be given over the phone.


Can all hospital staff access my health information?

Only staff involved in your care may access your health information. All hospital staff are bound by a strict confidentiality policy, which is a condition of employment. This policy seeks to ensure that staff only access information on a need-to-know basis. Health professionals are also bound by confidentiality requirements from their professional colleges.


Can my family physician access my health information:

The hospital releases information to family physicians to facilitate your continuing care with your consent.


What if I have concerns about who has accessed my health information or other Privacy concerns?

Please contact the Privacy Office (see below) if you have concerns about unauthorized access to your health information, or about any other concerns you have about Privacy issues. We will ensure that your concerns are investigated promptly and a response is provided to you in a timely manner.


Contact Information:

Phone:        Wingham site        519-357-3711x6254
                   Listowel site         519-291-3125x6254
Email:          privacy@lwha.ca

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