PRIVACY POLICY

       At Monarch Therapy + Wellness Centre, we uphold confidentiality and the protection of personal health information in a very serious and careful manner. It is important to acknowledge that the disclosure and collection of personal information is not only dealt with responsibly, but also only collected as required in alignment with the services you have consented to receive. We aim to be transparent and open with clients in regards to our privacy policies and practices, and we are committed to ensuring that the collection, use and disclosure of your personal health information is dealt with responsibly and privately. 

What is Considered Personal Health Information?

We operate in accordance with the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA), the primary legislation that governs the handling of personal information by all regulated health professionals within the province of Ontario.

 

Personal Health Information includes any information about an individual that is collected in the course of providing health care services. This can include information about the following: 

  • Personal characteristics (e.g., name, contact information, date of birth, and also information about other characteristics such as gender, language, religion, education, occupation, opinions/views etc.)

  • Personal health care (e.g., diagnosis, assessment results, treatment planning, health history, ongoing progress notes, recommendations)

  • Billing and payment for health services (e.g., credit card information and/or requests for information from insurance providers).

 

The practice of psychology in Ontario is regulated under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 (RHPA). In accordance with this act, all identifiable information collected by registered psychologists, psychologists in supervised practice, and other mental health professionals or intake coordinators at the clinic, in the course of practicing psychology is considered to be personal health information under PHIPA.

Collection and Use of Information

At Monarch Therapy + Wellness Centre, we ensure that the collection, use and disclosure of personal health information is only gathered to the extent necessary to provide you with the services you are consenting to receive. The collection of personal health information is used to help assess and address what your needs are, to advise you of options for treatment, to monitor your progress, to become a part of your circle of care, and to provide you with the psychological treatment that you have consented to receive. This information exists only within your health record/client file and is only to be accessed by your treating clinic therapist (and supervising clinic director if applicable or clinic staff if necessary), unless there is a request or requirement for further disclosure (see below).

In lawful accordance with the standards of conduct outlined by the College of Psychologists of Ontario, we are required to keep a record of services provided to each client who receives psychological services at Monarch Therapy + Wellness Centre. This record includes personal information you provide or authorize us to receive, results of any assessments, consent forms, contact notes, progress summaries, billing information, referral information, and copies of any correspondence that we have sent or received related to psychological services provided to you.

In addition, we collect and use limited personal health information in order to facilitate the running of our practice, specifically to communicate the needs of our clients to our staff (e.g., for purposes of scheduling and billing or supervision) and to process payments for services provided. We restrict the access to personal information that is provided to external staff as much as reasonably possible, and in doing so, we also require that they adhere to our strict privacy and ethical policies to ensure the safety of your information.

Privacy Protection Plan for Personal Health Information

At Monarch Therapy + Wellness Centre, we are committed to the protection of your personal health information and have created the necessary safeguard practices to ensure against theft, loss, unauthorized use, disclosure, modification or disposal of your information. These include the following steps:

  • All paper files and records containing personal health information are closely monitored when in use and are stored in locked filing cabinets when not in use

  • All electronic hardware is similarly closely monitored, and strong passwords and/or encryption are used on all computers and mobile devices (e.g., laptops, smart phones, and USB keys).

  • We have internal policies to ensure that no personal health information is left on a screen unattended when staff leave their computers or mobile devices.

  • Our website is SSL encrypted and hosted on a secure server

  • Electronic health records/client files are maintained using Owl Practice, a secure and PHIPA-compliant Canadian provider.

  • Virtual/remote psychological services are offered via secure video through the following platforms: Zoom (professional presentations) and Owl Practice, unless stated otherwise and agreed upon with a client, and the client is made aware of exceptions and liabilities with such exceptions (phone call vs video session).

  • Any transfer of sensitive electronic information will be through encrypted email.

  • Any transfer of sensitive paper information will be through sealed envelopes, marked private and confidential, sent by reputable companies with stringent privacy policies.

  • All clinicians and staff at Monarch Therapy + Wellness Centre are familiar with this Privacy Policy, have been trained in the appropriate collection, use, destruction and disclosure of personal health information, and are only granted access to that information which they require in order to fulfill the duties of their role(s).

  • All clinicians and staff are aware of the need for sensitivity in handling personal health information in contexts where there is risk that this information may be inadvertently seen or overheard, and are aware that the Information Officer, Dr. Marilisa Morea, must be notified immediately of any potential breaches.

  • All external consultants (e.g., IT providers, bookkeepers, credit card companies, consultants, associates) who may have access to personal health information in the context of their involvement with Monarch Therapy + Wellness Centre must have privacy and security agreements with us.

Disclosure of Personal Health Information

At Monarch Therapy + Wellness Centre, we ensure that the collection, use and disclosure of personal health information is only gathered to the extent necessary to provide you with the services you are consenting to receive. The collection of personal health information is used to help assess and address what your needs are, to advise you of options for treatment, to monitor your progress, to become a part of your circle of care, and to provide you with the psychological treatment that you have consented to receive. This information exists only within your health record/client file and is only to be accessed by your treating clinic therapist (and supervising clinic director if applicable or clinic staff if necessary), unless there is a request or requirement for further disclosure (see below).

In lawful accordance with the standards of conduct outlined by the College of Psychologists of Ontario, we are required to keep a record of services provided to each client who receives psychological services at Monarch Therapy + Wellness Centre. This record includes personal information you provide or authorize us to receive, results of any assessments, consent forms, contact notes, progress summaries, billing information, referral information, and copies of any correspondence that we have sent or received related to psychological services provided to you.

In addition, we collect and use limited personal health information in order to facilitate the running of our practice, specifically to communicate the needs of our clients to our staff (e.g., for purposes of scheduling and billing or supervision) and to process payments for services provided. We restrict the access to personal information that is provided to external staff as much as reasonably possible, and in doing so, we also require that they adhere to our strict privacy and ethical policies to ensure the safety of your information.