We are committed to collecting, using and disclosing personal information responsibly and only to the extent necessary for the optometric services that we provide.
We are committed to being open and transparent about how we handle your personal information. This document describes our privacy policies.
Personal information is information about an identifiable individual. Personal information includes information that relates to any personal characteristics (e.g. gender, age, income, home address or phone number, ethnic background, family status), health (e.g. health history, health conditions, health services received by them) or activities and views (e.g. religion, politics, opinions expressed by an individual, an opinion or evaluation of an individual).
Personal information does not include your business address and telephone number, which is not protected by privacy legislation.
Vision West Doctors of Optometry includes any optometrist or health care professional, all employees, staff and student trainees authorized to collect, use or disclose personal information.
We use a number of consultants and agencies that may, in the course of their work for us may, where necessary, have limited access to personal information we hold. These include, but are not limited to; ophthalmologists to whom we refer, third party insurers, contact lens companies, lens manufacturing companies, opticians, computer consultants, office security and maintenance, bookkeepers and accountants, temporary workers to cover holidays, credit card companies, collection agencies, website managers and lawyers.
We restrict their access to any personal information we hold as much as is reasonably possible. We also have their assurance that they follow appropriate privacy principles.
Vision West Doctors of Optometry, uses and discloses personal information in order to serve our patients. For patients, the primary purpose for collecting personal information is to provide optometric services. For example, we collect information about your health history, including family history, physical condition and function and social situation as necessary to help us assess your eye care needs and to advise you of options and then to provide the eye care you choose to have.
We may communicate this information to other regulated health practitioners, technicians or individuals authorized to work in our practice as part of your continuing care. A second primary purpose is to obtain a baseline of health and social information so that in providing ongoing health services we can identify changes that are occurring over time. It would be rare for us to collect information without the patient’s written, oral or implied consent, but this could occur in an emergency (e.g. the patient cannot communicate) or where we believe you would consent if asked and it is impractical to obtain consent (e.g. a family member passing a message on from our patient where we have no reason to believe that the message is not genuine).
For people who are contracted to do work for us (e.g. temporary workers), our primary purpose for collecting your personal information is to ensure we can contact you in the future (e.g. for new assignments) and for necessary work-related communication (e.g. sending our paycheques, year-end tax receipts).
Examples of the type of personal information we collect for those purposes include home addresses and telephone numbers. It is rare for us to collect such information without prior consent, but it might happen in the case of a health emergency or to investigate a possible breach of law (e.g. if a theft were to occur in the office). If you as a contract staff person, volunteer or student, wish a letter of reference or an evaluation, we will collect information and your work-related performance and provide a report as authorized by you.
Like most organizations, we also collect, use and disclose information for purposes related to or secondary to our primary purposes.
The most common examples of our related and secondary purposes are as follows:
Protecting Personal Information
We understand the importance of protecting personal information. For that reason we have taken the following steps:
Retention and Destruction of Personal information
We need to retain personal information for some time to ensure that we can answer any questions you might have about the services we provided to you and for our own accountability to external regulatory bodies. In compliance with the requirements of other legislation, we keep our patient files and records for a minimum of ten (10) years. We keep any personal information relating to our general correspondence (i.e. with people who are not patients), newsletters, seminars and marketing activities for about 24 months after the newsletter ceases publication or a seminar or marketing activity are over.
You can ask us, in writing, to restrict our uses and disclosures of personal information at any time. We will also discontinue to use or to disclose your personal information after a written revocation of your implied or informed consent is received, unless we have already acted in reliance upon this consent. We destroy paper files containing personal information by shredding. We destroy electronic information by deleting it and, when the hardware is discarded, we ensure that information on the hard drive is destroyed. Alternatively, we may send some or the entire patient file to our patient.
With rare exceptions, you have the right to see what personal information we hold about you. All you have to do is ask. We can help you identify what records we might have about you. We will also try to help you understand any information you do not understand (e.g. short forms, technical language, et cetera).
We will need to confirm your identity, if we do not know you, before providing you with this access.
We reserve the right to charge a nominal fee for such requests. We may ask you to put your request in writing. If we cannot give you access, we will notify you within thirty (30) days if at all possible and provide the reason, as best we can, as to why we cannot give you access. If you believe there is a mistake in the information we have about you, you have the right to ask for it to be corrected. This applies to factual information and not to any professional opinions we may have formed. We may ask you to provide documentation that our files are incorrect. Where a mistake has been made, we will make the correction and notify anyone to whom we sent this information. If we do not agree that a mistake has been made, we will include in our file a brief statement from you on the point and we will forward that statement to anyone else who received the earlier information.
If you have a question, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you wish to make a formal complaint about our privacy practices or the application of those practices, you may make it in writing to our Privacy Officer. He/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.
This policy is made pursuant to Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. That is a complex Act and provides some additional exceptions to the privacy principles that are too detailed to set out here. There are some rare exceptions to the commitments set out above. The Privacy Commissioner of Canada oversees the administration of the privacy legislation in the private sector. The Commissioner also acts as a kind of ombudsman for privacy disputes. The Information and Privacy Commissioner can be reached at: 112 Kent Street, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 1H3 Phone (613) 995-8210 / Toll-Free 1-800-282-1376 Fax (613) 947-6850 / TTY (613) 992-9190 , web site www.privcom.gc.ca
This website utilizes industry standard analytics packages which gathers limited information on visitors to our website automatically, and stores this anonymous information in server log files. This information may include IP addresses, browser type, basic IP information, referring pages, operating system used and date/time stamps. This information does not identify individual users; it is used only for site administration, as well as for analysis of website usage and trends. Additionally, cookies may be used to provide easier and faster access to website features such as logins and/or repeat visits. Cookies are very small text files that are stored on personal computers for reference purposes. We do not link the information we store in cookies to any personally indentifiable information you have submitted while on our site. We use both session ID cookies and persistent cookies. A session cookie expires when your browser is closed, and a persistent cookie may stay on your hard drive for an extended period. Session cookies make it easier for you to navigate our site; persistent cookies can perform such activities as storing your password for forums or blogs so you do not have to sign in every time you visit those areas, and/or may be used to enable us to track and target the interests of our users so as to enhance the overall experience of using our site. We have no access to or administration abilities over any cookies that are used by any advertisers on our site.
Registration is not required in order to use or access this website. However, this site may make forums, blogs, message boards or similar available to its users. You may be required to register for these features, particularly if you wish to leave comments or provide articles. If you do register, and in the process provide us with personally identifiable information, rest assured that any such information you provide will not be shared with any third-party organization except with your express consent. Please note that if you post comments or articles to any forum, blog or message board on this site, any personally identifiable information you provide in those comments or articles may be read, collated and used by anyone viewing them. As such, we are not responsible for personally identifiable information you may choose to make available through these channels. We also provide visitors to our website the opportunity to opt-in to receive communications from us. In this case, we ask the visitor for his or her email address and name. These communications will include our regular newsletter, product promotions and any other information that we feel may be pertinent to the visitor. You may opt out of receiving any, or all, of these communications by contacting us on the Contact page. Again, if you provide us with your email address and/or name for the purposes of receiving communications from us, this information will not be shared with any third-party organization except with your express consent.
If your personally identifiable information changes, or if you no longer wish us to possess your information, you may request correction, updating, or deletion of your information by contacting us on the Contact page.
We follow accepted industry standards to protect any personal information you have provided to us. However, please be aware that no method of electronic storage can ever be 100% secure. Therefore â€“ as is the case with any organization – we are not in a position to guarantee the absolute security of your information. You may submit any questions you may have about our security procedures by contacting us at.
We reserve the right to disclose your personally identifiable information as required by law and when we believe that disclosure is necessary to protect our rights and/or to comply with a judicial proceeding, court order or legal process served on our website.