Privacy of personal information is important to Access Options. We are committed to collecting, using and disclosing personal information responsibly and only to the extent necessary for the goods and services we provide. We make every effort to be open and transparent as to how we handle personal information. All service providers who come into contact with your personal information are aware of the sensitive nature of the information that you have disclosed to them.
Primary purposes for collecting your personal information
Access Options’ primary purpose for collecting personal information is to allow us to contact our clients and provide our clients with the highest quality services to maximize their independence, safety and accessibility. We collect information including name, contact information, gender, age. OHIP number (if required for funding applications), occupation, marital status, income, medical diagnoses, medical history, and other health and social services in place. Our assessments gather information which may include physical and cognitive abilities, mobility and functional status, details about the home environment and client goals.
Secondary purposes for collecting your personal information
Access Options also collects, uses and discloses information for purposes related secondarily to our primary purposes. The most common examples of our secondary purposes are:
- To invoice for services to to collect unpaid accounts
- To answer client questions about recommendations after the conclusion of our service
- Occupational Therapists are regulated by the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario (COTO). COTO may inspect our records and interview our service providers as part of regulatory activities or audits in the public interest.
- As professionals, we will report serious misconduct, incompetence of incapacity of other practitioners whether they belong to other organizations or Access Options.
- Access Options will also report information suggesting serious illegal behaviour to the authorities
- Like all organizations, various government agencies (e.g. Canada Customs and Revenue Agency Information and Privacy Commissioner, Human Rights Commission, etc.) have the authority to review our files and interview our service providers as part of their mandates. In these circumstances we may consult with professionals (e.g. lawyers, accountants) who will investigate the matter and report back to us.
Protecting your personal information
We have taken the following steps to protect your personal information:
- We do not disclose your personal information to the general public
- We do not disclose your personal information to anyone, including family members without your expressed consent
- We obtain written consent whenever possible in order to collect information from our clients
- We inform the client of the purposes for which information will be collected and used and to whom it will be disclosed at the time of obtaining consent for collection of personal information
- Paper information is secured in a locked area and if transmission is required it is through sealed, addressed envelopes
- Documents will be secured electronically and will be encrypted using industry accepted standards
Retention and destruction of your personal information
Access Options keeps our client files for ten years as per our service providers’ regulatory college guidelines. We destroy paper files containing personal information by shredding and we destroy electronic information by deleting it..
You can access your information
With few exceptions, you have the right to see the personal information that Access Options holds about you. We can help you to identify and understand information in your file. Access Options will need to confirm your identity, if we do not know you, before providing this access. We may ask you to put your request in writing. If we are unable to give you access, we will inform you within 30 days if possible, and tell you the reason as best we can, as to why we cannot give you access.
If you believe there is a mistake in the information, you have the right to ask for it to be corrected. This applies to factual information and not to any professional opinions our service providers have formed. We may ask you to provide documentation that our information is incorrect. Where we agree that we have made an error, we will make the correction and notify anyone to whom we sent this information. If we do not agree that we have made a mistake, we will still agree to include in our file, a brief statement from you on the point and we will forward that statement to anyone who received the earlier information.
Questions about your personal information
Please feel free to contact our Information Officer, Karen Gibson at Access Options 613-454-5496 or firstname.lastname@example.org should you have any questions or concerns.
If you would like to make a formal complaint about our privacy practices, you may make it in writing to our Information Officer. She will acknowledge receipt of your complaint, ensure that it is investigated promptly and that you are provided with a formal decision and reasons in writing.