Personal health information is "identifying information" collected about an individual. It is information about an individual's health or health care history in relation to:
The Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA) is Ontario's health-specific privacy legislation. PHIPA will governs the manner in which personal health information may be collected, used and disclosed within the health care system. It also regulates individuals and organizations that receive personal information from health care professionals.
UHN uses your information for the delivery of direct patient care, administration of the health care system, research, teaching, statistics, fundraising and to meet legal and regulatory requirements.
UHN cannot adequately deliver care without the necessary information. The
As a teaching institution, UHN uses health information for the purposes of research and teaching. UHN personnel may only collect and use the minimum amount of information necessary to fulfil the requirements for an approved study or purpose.
UHN is required to report certain pieces of information to the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (billing information), the Canadian Institute for Health Information (coded discharge abstracts), Health Canada (public health surveillance) and Cancer Care Ontario (pathology reports). This is done to ensure the health care system is running optimally and to conduct statistical comparisons of population health characteristics over a broad geographical range.
The collection, uses, disclosures and retentions described above are required as an ongoing component of UHN’s ability to provide health care to the population it serves, while working to enhance the health status of Canadians.
From time to time, you may be contacted by one of the
UHN foundations. The foundations are dedicated to raising funds for research, medical education and the improvement of patient care. If you do not want to be contacted for fundraising, contact the
UHN Privacy Office or the appropriate UHN foundation.
UHN is required and permitted under the law to share your personal health information with other organizations such as Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), Toronto Public Health and Cancer Care Ontario.
Information may also be shared with clinicians outside of UHN (and staff who support these clinicians) who are directly involved in caring for our patients. UHN places appropriate safeguards on the transmission of all information disclosed to other organizations and seeks to ensure that health information protection measures are in place and in accordance with the PHIPA. Information may be sent to external care providers in many ways, including through electronic systems.
UHN only discloses your personal health information in accordance with the law and/or with patient consent.
If you want to access your personal health information, your options include:
You should speak with your health care provider about any information that you want to know and they can assist you on how to get access to your health information.
If you choose to sign up for a myUHN account, only you will have access to your health information on the website. myUHN Patient Portal is a secure website that uses encryption technology (like banking websites) and has strict password and security question rules. No one else can sign into your account unless you choose to share your password and security question answers with others.
Your health care team already has access to your health information through the electronic systems at UHN, not through your portal account. If you would like more information about myUHN Patient Portal call myUHN Support at 416 340 3777.
Your family/friend can only see your see your personal health information with your consent or if they are an appointed Substitute Decision Maker (SDM).
If you are unable to give consent for a friend or family member to access your chart due to reasons of competency or consciousness, the consent decision falls to the appointed substitute decision maker, such as a parent or guardian. This person is bound by law to act on your behalf and must make decisions based on their belief of what you would wish done if you were able to decide.
Only UHN staff involved in your care may access your patient record. All UHN staff are bound by a strict confidentiality agreement, which is signed as a condition of employment. This agreement seeks to ensure staff only access information on a need-to-know basis.
UHN releases relevant PHI to your family physician and also will notify them if you have been admitted to UHN for care.
There are 3 components to protecting patient information at UHN:
UHN staff have no way to verify the identity of the caller. Therefore, in order to protect patient privacy, only a minimal amount of information is given out over the phone. This includes:
An individual who feels his/her privacy rights under PHIPA have been violated has the right to submit a written complaint to UHN's Privacy Office. All privacy complaints will be treated in a confidential manner.
An individual may also submit a written complaint to the Information Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.
Information and Privacy Commissioner / Ontario2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400
Toronto, OntarioCanada M4W 1A81-416-326-3333 1-800-387-0073www.ipc.on.ca