Confidentiality is respected at all times. No information will be communicated, directly or indirectly, to a third party without your informed and written consent. Exceptions to confidentiality include the legal and/or ethical obligations to:
- Inform a potential victim of violence of a client’s intention to harm
- Inform an appropriate family member, health care professional, or police if necessary of a client’s intention to end his or her life
- Release a client’s file if there is a court order to do so
- Inform the Children’s Aid Society if there is suspicion of a child being at risk or in need of protection due to neglect, or physical, sexual, or emotional abuse
- Report a health professional who has sexually abused a client.
In order for Lisa Wilvert to provide counselling and psychotherapy services, Lisa Wilvert will collect some personal information. On occasion, office staff may need to access some personal information and that this access is limited. Lisa Wilvert clients have the right to review and the right to a copy of their personal information, barring a few rare exceptions. A clinical file will be kept both electronically and/or in hard copy and this file must be retained in a secure location for a minimum of 10 years, after the last date of contact, or 10 years after the youngest child’s eighteenth birthday.
No personal information will be communicated, directly or indirectly, to a third party without your informed and written consent.
Lisa Wilvert understands the importance of protecting personal information. For that reason, Lisa Wilvert has taken a number of steps.
Lisa Wilvert needs to retain personal information for some time to ensure that we can answer any questions you might have about the services provided and for my own accountability to external regulatory bodies. However, Lisa Wilvert does not want to keep personal information too long in order to protect your privacy.
What is Personal Information?
Personal information refers to information about an identifiable individual and includes information that relates to an individual's personal characteristics (e.g., name, date of birth, home address and telephone number), their health (e.g., presenting problem, health history, health services received by the individual, social situation) or their activities and views (e.g., opinions expressed by an individual). Personal information is not the same as business information (e.g., an individual's business address and telephone number), which is not protected by privacy legislation.
Identifying Purposes: (The primary purposes for collecting personal information.)
Personal information is collected in order to best serve the needs of Lisa Wilvert’s clients.
Background and other personal information on clients is collected in the form of session notes and questionnaires for the purpose of helping Lisa Wilvert to understand the client’s situation and to facilitate following sessions.
A secondary use of personal information is for the purpose of receipting.
Personal information is collected also for the purpose of notifying clients in regard to booking, appointment reminder and cancelling and to inform clients of new services and information.
Consent: The knowledge and consent of the individual are required for the collection, use or disclosure of personal Information.
Lisa Wilvert ensures that information collected or discussed is kept confidential. That is, Lisa Wilvert will not reveal the contents of a session, or even whether a person attended (a) session(s), unless given written permission to do so. Nevertheless, confidentiality is limited by law and to ensure client safety, in the following areas:
If a client discloses that he or she is in imminent danger of doing serious harm to his or her self or another person, Lisa Wilvert is legally mandated to intervene. This intervention may include, but is not limited to, calling a member of the client’s family, the police, and/or the potential victim.
If the client discloses that a person under the age of 16 is being physically, sexually or emotionally abused by the client or by another person, Lisa Wilvert must notify the Children's Aid Society and/or the police.
If Lisa Wilvert and her records are subpoenaed by the court for any reason, she will have to comply with their subpoena.
If the client reveals that they have been abused by another health service professional (e.g. a physician, psychologist, nurse, chiropractor, dentist, etc), Lisa Wilvert is required by law to notify that professional's regulating body (e.g. College of Physicians and Surgeons, etc.).
These limits to confidentiality are legally mandated and that the purpose of these limits is to ensure client safety and that of other people.
Limiting Collection: The collection of personal information shall be limited to that which is necessary for the purpose identified by Lisa Wilvert. Information shall be collected by fair and lawful means.
Limiting Use, Disclosure and Retention: Personal information shall not be used or disclosed for any reason other than those for which it was collected, except with the consent of the individual or as required by law. Personal information shall be retained only as long as necessary for fulfilment of those purposes.
Accuracy: Personal information shall be as accurate, complete and up to date as is necessary for the purpose for which it is to be used.
Safeguards: Personal information shall be protected by security safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity of the information.
Paper files (session notes, contact files) when not under Lisa Wilvert’s supervision are kept secure in a locked filing cabinet.
Electronically stored files (Session and receipt files) are stored on an electronic key and kept in a locked cabinet except when in use by Lisa Wilvert. E-mail correspondence is used for initial contact and appointment scheduling purposes only. Messages received and sent are deleted.
Lisa Wilvert shall employ care in the disposal and destruction of personal information to prevent unauthorised parties from gaining access to personal information.
Openness: Lisa Wilvert shall make readily available to individuals specific information about her policies and practises relating to the management of personal information.
Individual Access: Upon request, Lisa Wilvert shall inform the individual of the existence, use, and disclosure of his or her personal information and will be given access to that information. An individual shall be able to challenge the accuracy and completeness of the information and have it amended as appropriate.
Challenging Compliance: An individual shall be able to address a challenge concerning compliance with the above principles to Lisa Wilvert, the designated Privacy Officer.
The Privacy Officer, Lisa Wilvert, is responsible for ensuring Lisa Wilvert is in compliance with this policy and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).
Clients should direct any complaints, concerns or questions regarding compliance in writing to Lisa Wilvert, Privacy Officer.
Reviewed February 2016