- Personal information means information about an identifiable individual.
- Personal health information is identifiable information about an individual which relates to: physical or mental health of the individual, including family health history; providing of health care to the individual, including the identification of a person as a provider of health care to the individual; payments or eligibility for health care in respect of the individual; donation by the individual of any body part or bodily substance or which is derived from the testing or examination of any such body part or bodily substance; the individual’s health number; or identification of an individual’s substitute decision-maker. Personal health information includes other identifying information that is contained in a record that contains personal health information.
Unless an exception to consent applies, Appletree only collects, uses or discloses your personal information and personal health information with your consent, which may be express or implied as required by applicable law. You may withdraw your consent at any time, subject to legal and contractual restrictions.
Virtual Care Services
Collection and Use of Personal Information and Personal Health Information
Information we automatically collect:
We obtain certain information about your use of our website. Specific types of usage information that may be collected automatically include: information about how, when and where you use our website; the hardware and software you use to interact with our website; your device identifier; your mobile network information; the settings you use on our website; your network location; your IP address; and information about the webpages you visited prior to coming to our website.
Our website uses Google Analytics. Google Analytics allows us to analyze and enhance user experience by better understanding how you interact with our website. For more information on how Google Analytics collects and processes information, as well as how you can control the information sent to Google, please review Google’s site “How Google uses data when you use our partners’ sites or apps” located at www.google.com/policies/privacy/partners/.
Information you explicitly provide:
We also collect personal information and personal health information about you either from you directly or from a person acting on your behalf. The information that we collect may include your name, date of birth, address, personal and family health history, health card information, payment information, health insurance information, records of your visits to our Appletree Medical Centres, and the care that you received.
We may use your personal information and personal health information in order to deliver virtual care, administrate virtual care services, receive payment for your treatment and virtual care, research, compile statistics, fundraise, meet legal requirements, and fulfill other purposes permitted or required by law. Your personal health information may be disclosed to physicians, health care professionals, and staff directly involved in your health care. We are also required to disclose patient information to several organizations, such as the Ministry of Health.
Appletree and/or agents acting on its behalf may use personal information and personal health information to generate de-identified and/or aggregated information so that it does not contain any information that either alone or with other information could identify an individual. Appletree may use such de-identified and/or aggregated information for research purposes, for activities to improve the quality of care, or to evaluate our services. Appletree also has entered an agreement to sell such de-identified and/or aggregated data sets to a third-party data science company for use by the company to generate insights into: treating and preventing illness; the analysis of costs, benefits, and financial management of healthcare (i.e. health economics); and the evaluation of the safety of drugs and devices in patients (i.e. post-marketing surveillance).
Sharing of Personal Information and Personal Health Information
Under certain circumstances, Appletree will disclose your personal information or personal health information:
- When you have expressly consented to the disclosure;
- Where your consent is implied, including where we disclose your personal health information to another health information custodian for the purposes of providing health care or assisting in providing health care to you;
- Where necessary to establish or collect payment;
- When we are required or authorized by law to do so without your consent.
Appletree engages certain third-party service providers and/or agents to provide administrative services to us, for example, computer (information technology services), as well as call centre services. To the extent that these service providers have access to your personal information, they are obligated by us to provide an equivalent level of protection for your personal information to the level of protection that we provide.
Physical safeguards, such as facility access controls, workstation security, and mobile device security requirements, are in place in order to protect personal information and personal health information.
Our patient information system uses passwords and a firewall to protect the system from inappropriate accesses and from Internet users. The security capabilities of the patient information system are also upgraded on an ongoing basis. In addition, the Virtual Care account and Appletree Patient Portal accounts are password-protected, and confidential personal information available through these accounts is secured through encryption technologies.
If your personal health information is stolen, lost, or accessed by unauthorized persons, we will notify you at the first reasonable opportunity.
We caution that no method of transmission over the Internet, or method of electronic storage, is 100% secure. Therefore, we cannot guarantee its absolute security.
Retention of Personal Information and Personal Health Information
Appletree will retain your personal information and personal health information only for so long as is necessary to fulfill the purpose for which it was collected and to meet our legal and contractual obligations. We retain personal health information for at least the minimum retention period required by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. Where personal information is no longer needed, it will be securely destroyed or permanently anonymized or de-identified.
All personal information and personal health information is stored and retained within Canada at a highly secure data centre maintained by Rogers Communications.
Links to Other Websites
Access and Correction
You have the right to access and correct your personal information under our control. Please email our Appletree Privacy Custodian at firstname.lastname@example.org to request access to or change your personal information and/or preferences. We will correct or delete any personal information we have about you, unless we are required to keep it by law.
Questions and Concerns
If you have any questions or concerns regarding our information and privacy protection practices, or if you feel that your privacy rights have been violated, please contact our Appletree Privacy Custodian at email@example.com or at the following address:
Appletree Privacy Custodian
Attn: Dr. Thom Tyson
2575B Baseline Rd.
Ottawa, ON K2H 7B3
If you feel your privacy rights under PHIPA have been violated, you may also submit a written complaint to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario at the following address:
Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario
2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400
Toronto, ON M4W 1A8
1 (800) 387-0073 (within Ontario)