Privacy Statement & Policies

Our Privacy Policies comply with the provisions of Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

We and our staff:

* protect the confidentiality of any health information we access in the course of providing you with care,
* collect, use and disclose health information only for the purposes of providing you with care,
* adhere to the privacy and security policies and procedures of this office
* attend privacy and security training sessions.

Record retention and disposal
Retention of records
We retain patient records as required by law and regulations. For example, after the last entry has been made in the patient record, we are required to keep it for a further 10 years.
Disposal of records
We destroy our records in a way that protects patient privacy in accordance with regulations. We use a supervised shredding method of destruction.

Patient access to records and copies

Patient requests for access to the medical record can be made verbally or in writing. After receiving the request, we will provide you with an estimate that reflects the cost of photocopying and staff time. The physician will review the record with those staff entrusted with this task. We will only refuse access to medical records in extremely limited circumstances. For example, when the information could reasonably be expected to seriously endanger the mental or physical health or safety of the individual making the request or another person. Or if disclosure of the information would reveal personal health information about another person who has not consented to the disclosure. In this case, we will do our best to separate out this information and disclose only what we can. If you only wish to view the original record, one of our staff must be present to maintain the integrity of the record.

Communications policy (telephone, fax, e-mail, courier) We are sensitive to the privacy of your health information and this is reflected in how we communicate with both you and others involved in your care. We protect personal health information regardless of the
its format.

Telephone: Your preference with regards to phone messages will be taken into consideration. Unless you indicate otherwise, we will only leave our name and phone number on any message for you.
Fax: Our fax machines are located in a secure area. All transmissions are sent with a cover sheet that indicates the information is confidential. We take reasonable steps to ensure that health information is received only by a secure fax machine.
E-mail: Any confidential information that we send via email over public or external networks is encrypted. We employ a firewall and virus scanning software to mitigate against unauthorized modification, loss, access or disclosure.
Post/Courier: When health information is transferred to another location, it is placed in a sealed envelope, marked as confidential, and directed to the attention of the authorized recipient.

A patient who believes that this office has not replied to their access request or handled their health information in a reasonable manner is urged to address their concerns first with their doctor. A patient might also choose to make a complaint to the Ontario Medical Association and the Ontario Privacy Commissioner.

High Volume Policy

We can not predict the number of patients who will register for care or the nature of the illness or injury that will require treatment. Our wait times will fluctuate day-to-day depending on these factors.

We are committed to providing all patients with timely, quality health care from the time we open until we close our doors. We are also committed to providing our Staff and Physicians with a dynamic work environment with manageable, sustainable workplace expectations.

This means, at times, due to high patient volumes, we may have to stop registering patients at our reception window. This decision will be made, each day, by the on-duty Physician based on the number of patients already registered for care and the estimated time it will take to treat each patients illness or injury. We appreciate your understanding in these matters.

Medical Prescription Renewal Policy

We require medication bottles or detailed pharmacy printout for medication renewals.

The Physicians working in our Clinics will not prescribe Narcotics, Controlled Substances or Psychiatric medications.

In keeping with proper and safe practice, it is in the patient’s best interest to obtain these medications from their regular Pain Management Specialist or Psychiatrist.

We appreciate your understanding and patience in these matters.

In What Order Will You Be Seen?

All patients will be placed in the waiting line according to the exact time of their registration in person or on-line.

IF YOU CHOOSE TO LEAVE, THE CLINIC, AFTER YOUR IN-PERSON REGISTRATION YOU WILL NOT LOSE YOUR PLACE IN LINE. YOU ARE REQUIRED TO COME BACK AT LEAST 1 HOUR BEFORE THE CLINIC CLOSES.

Please let the Receptionist know you are leaving and inform them when you return to the office.

Patients may be called out of time registration order for the following reasons:

1. The Patient requires only an injection.
2. In the on-duty Physicians opinion, a patient’s injury, illness or test results requires immediate attention.

We appreciate your understanding and patience in these matters.

OHIP Card - Policies & Procedures

You are required by the Ministry of Health to present your OHIP Health Card at every visit.

If you are an Ontario Resident, who is eligible for OHIP, and do not have a valid OHIP card at the time of your visit to our Clinic, we would be happy to help to you as follows:

1. We will collect a $40.00 Deposit for the visit.
2. When you have a valid health card or documentation from the Ministry of Health, return to our office with this information within 6 months of your visit date.
3. We will take that information and submit the claim to OHIP.
4. Once we have confirmation of payment for the visit by OHIP, (This process can take 2 to 6 months because of billing cycles with OHIP) you will be reimbursed, by cheque in the mail,  $31.00 within 30 days. ($40.00 Deposit less a $9.00 Administration Processing Fee)

We appreciate your understanding and patience in these matters.

If you need to replace a lost, stolen or expired Health Card please go to:

Ministry of Health – Niagara Region
301 St. Paul St. Mezzanine Level, St Catharines
(905) 704-4090

OR

Your Local Ontario Ministry License Office

Take with you;
1.Proof of Citizenship- Birth Certificate, Passport
2. Document with name and current address. Ie: Drivers License

Internet Information Links

PCN Physicians and Staff are committed to the on-going education of the patients who access care at our Clinics.

The following Web Links are provided to enhance your understanding of health care, to educate you about wellness issues, and to inform you about illness and injury management concerns.

Asthma Society of Canada: www.asthma.ca
Eat Right Ontario: www.eatrightontario.ca
Cancer Society: www.cancer.ca
Diabetes Association: www.diabetes.ca
Heart & Stroke Foundation: www.heartandstroke.ca
Lung Association: www.lung.ca

MD Travel Health: www.mdtravelhealth.com
Travel Health – CDC: wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel
Travel Health – Health Canada: www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/tmp-pmv/index-eng.php

Health Canada: www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Public Health Agency of Canada: www.phac-aspc.gc.ca
Canadian Health Statistics: www.statcan.ca
Canadian Immunization Information: www.immunize.cpha.ca

Ontario Ministry of Health: www.health.gov.on.ca
Healthy Ontario: www.healthyontario.com

Web site link disclaimer: Primary Care Niagara Clinics – PCN – Fort Erie, PCN – Welland, Physicians and staff who work at PCN Clinics do not directly endorse or benefit from the information on the above mentioned web sites. Patients are fully responsible to verify and confirm the correctness of any information contain on the above web sites. No patient should modify, alter or begin any change in health care management without first directly consulting with us or their Primary Care Physician.