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Freedom of Information

Deep River and District Hospital (DRDH) is committed to protecting the privacy, confidentiality and security of all personal health information that has been entrusted to us. DRDH provides this protection, in part, by complying with Ontario's Personal Health Information Protection Act, enacted on November 1, 2004 and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 1990.


On January 1, 2012, Ontario hospitals become subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). The purpose of FIPPA is to provide the general public with a right of access to information held by institutions, while protecting the privacy of individuals whose personal information is held by institutions.


Access to personal health information, such as in a patient's medical chart, is not available under FIPPA. The Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) applies to a patient's medical information and the hospital protects medical information in accordance with PHIPA.


You are able to access or correct your own personal health information by contacting the Health Records department.


Accessing a Health Record

Collection, use, access and/or disclosure of personal health information is governed by Ontario law (Personal Health Information Protection Act 2004). You have a right, by law, to access your own hospital health record either by viewing or requesting a copy.


Requesting a copy of your own health record

You can obtain a copy of your own hospital health record by submitting a written request to the Health Records department.


Viewing your health record

A person can review their own health record at the health care facility where they were treated, by submitting a written request to the Health Records department.


Obtaining a copy of your health record or the health record of another individual

Consent for the collection, use and/or disclosure of personal health information is obtained from the patient, regardless of age, if the patient is capable of understanding the information presented to them and the impact of consenting or declining. If the patient is not capable, consent is obtained from the Substitute Decision Maker (SDM) who may be:

  • The individual's (patient's) guardian of the person or guardian of property
  • The individual's attorney for personal care or attorney for property
  • The individual's representative appointed by the Consent and Capacity Board
  • The individual's spouse or partner
  • A child or parent of the individual
  • A parent of the individual with only a right of access
  • A brother or sister; or
  • Any other relative.

 

In the case of a conflict, the capable patient's decision prevails with respect to consent for the collection, use and/or disclosure of their personal health information.


Obtaining a copy of the health record of a deceased individual

If you are requesting a copy of the hospital record of a patient that is deceased, you must submit proof of your legal signing authority as well as a written request, to the Health Records department.


You must provide either:

  • a copy of the deceased person's Will naming you as the Executor or,
  • in the absence of a Will, a letter notarized by a lawyer to confirm your legal signing authority.

Obtaining a copy of your health record for a third party

You can request that a copy of your hospital health record be released to a lawyer, insurance company, or any other third party specified by you, by submitting a written request to the Health Records department.


Obtaining a copy of the health record for other health care providers

When requested, copies of your health record may be released to health care providers outside the hospital to ensure the best continuing care for you. Your attending physician at the hospital may also share reports or summaries of your treatment at the hospital with other physicians and health care providers involved in your care to ensure they are aware of treatments or medications that may affect your ongoing care.


How do I correct my own personal information?

Please contact the Health Records Department.


Directory of Records

The purpose of the Directory of Records is to assist members of the public in exercising their rights of access under the Freedom of Information & Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) by listing and describing the records in the custody or control of the Hospital.

  • General record - Any record not considered to be a personal information bank or a public record.
  • Personal Information Bank - A collection of personal information (but not personal health information) that is organized and can be retrieved by an individual’s name or some other personal identifier.

The Directory contains a list of categories of General Records and Personal Information Banks (PIBs) held by the hospital. These inventories are updated annually.

The Directory does not contain the actual records and it is necessary to make a FIPPA Access Request to the organization’s FIPPA Coordinator.


Directory of Records

 

Freedom of Information

As of January 1, 2012, hospitals are designated as institutions under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). After that date, the public has the right to make a request for access to a wide range of records which came into the custody or control of the hospitals on or after January 1, 2007. There are certain exclusions and exemptions from the right of access.


What is the purpose of FIPPA?

FIPPA has two main purposes: granting access to information and protecting the privacy of individuals.


Access: The purpose of FIPPA is to provide a right of access to information in the custody or under the control of institutions in accordance with the principles that:

  • Information held by the government and the broader public sector should be available to the public;
  • Limitations on the right of access should be narrow and specific; and,
  • Decisions on the disclosure of information should be reviewed independently of the hospital's control of the information.


Privacy: FIPPA protects the privacy of individuals with respect to personal information about themselves held by institutions and provides individuals with a right of access to the information. These concepts are similar to those the hospital already employs with respect to personal health information under the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004


What kind of information can be accessed under FIPPA?

FIPPA provides access to information that is recorded, or that can be made into a record, whether in print, audio or electronic form that came into the custody or control of the Hospital on or after January 1, 2007.


What records are not covered by the Act?

Personal Health Information is subject to the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) legislation and is excluded from FOI legislation. In addition, records subject to the Quality of Care Information Protection Act (QCIPA) are excluded.


Other exclusions include:

  • Administrative records of a regulated health professional, re: personal practice
  • Records re: operations of a hospital foundation
  • Records re: charitable donations made to the hospital
  • Records re: the provision of abortion services
  • Records re: certain labour relations, employment matters
  • Records re: certain appointment, privileging matters
  • Certain records respecting or associated with research (including clinical trials)
  • Certain records of teaching materials
  • Certain records re: ecclesiastical matters

What is a Freedom of Information (FOI) access request?

A FOI (or access to information) request is an official written request for information form an organization covered by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA)


Who can make a FIPPA request?

Anyone can make a FIPPA request. The requester does not have to live in Ontario—or even in Canada. The requester does not need to be a Canadian citizen.

  • General Records Request - Any person can request access to general records. A person includes individuals and organizations, such as corporations, partnerships and sole proprietorships.
  • Request for One’s own information - Only an individual (or his/her personal representative) can make a personal information request for access to his/her own personal information.

How to Make a FOI Request

All FIPPA requests must be submitted in writing and accompanied by a fee of $5.00 to the Freedom of Information Coordinator.


Do I always need to make a formal FOI access request in order to obtain hospital information?

Some hospital records may already be available to you without making a request in writing under FIPPA. Browse the hospital website or contact the Freedom of Information Office if you have a question about whether the information may be available without submitting a formal FOI Access Request


How to Make a Freedom of Information Access Request

Informal Process to Obtain Information

DRDH routinely provides information to the public and some records may already be available to you without making a request in writing under FIPPA. In keeping with past practice, informal requests for information are welcomed.


Browse our website or contact the Freedom of Information Office if you have a question about information that may be available without submitting a formal FOI Access Request.


Formal Process

Please be as specific as possible in describing the records that you would like to access. The more specific your request, the more quickly and accurately it can be answered.


Once the FOI Office has received the completed form and fee, you will be contacted to review your request for access and clarify the request as needed.


In most cases, you will receive a written response to your FOI access request within 30 days after the form and fee are received. In some cases, it may take longer to receive a response depending on the size and complexity of the request. Documents or information contained within a record may be redacted according to certain exclusions and exemptions under the Act.

 

If you have any questions about the access request or correction process, please contact the Privacy Officer.


Fee for making a FOI access request

A fee of $5 must accompany the Freedom of Information Access/Correction Request form. Please include a cheque or money order payable to DRDH. Please do not put cash in the mail.


Additional fees apply to access requests as dictated by the legislation and are the responsibility of the requestor. The Requestor will be contacted if the request exceeds $100.00 to confirm the requestor's wish to proceed with the request. The requestor may be required to pay half of the anticipated cost prior to the FOI office proceeding. For more information about the fees and to review the fee schedule.


FOI Request Form

Send your request to

Privacy Officer

Deep River and District Hospital

117 Banting Road

Deep River ON K0J 1P0

OR

assistance@drdh.org


Appeal process

You have the right to appeal any Hospital decision regarding access of correction to the Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner within 30 days. Your appeal should be sent to:

Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner

2 Bloor Street East

Suite 1400

Toronto, Ontario M4W 1A8

 

Your appeal letter should include the following:

  • Your name, address and telephone number
  • Your request number assigned to your request by DRDH
  • A copy of your original request for information to DRDH
  • The reason for your appeal.

The appeal must be accompanied by the appropriate fee. Fees vary according to the nature of the request being appealed as follows:

  • $25, if the person appealing has made a request for access to general records under subsection 24 (1) of the Act.
  • $10, if the person appealing has made a request for access to personal information under subsection 48 (1) of the Act.


If you have any additional questions about the access or appeal process, please contact the DRDH Privacy Officer.