The privacy of our patient’s personal information is an important principle to VQ Optometry. We are committed to collecting, use, disclose, and protect a patient’s health information in a confidential, secure and appropriate manner.
Our eye care clinic collects, protects, uses, discloses, allows access, corrects, amends and disposes of health information in accordance with the Health Information Act (HIA).
Personal Information Collection and Use
Personal information collected from patients of this practice shall be limited to that required to:
a. evaluate your eye health and vision status,
b. determine and recommend appropriate treatment or referral,
c. communicate with you about the services we provide and advise about your eye care needs,
d. advise you to make routine appointments and remind you of scheduled appointments.
e. provide you with eye-care, health or other product or treatment information.
f. communicate with others (e.g. other health care providers, insurers, lawyers, health plan administrators) about your eye health, vision status and payment and collections,
g. process payment and pursue collection of accounts receivable for services and products received from our office.
In the course of providing services to you, your personal information may be disclosed
where required or allowed by law and may also be disclosed to:
- Other health care providers
- Insurers or other third party payers you have identified
- Regulatory authorities, where such information may assist in the investigation of a complaint or a review of standards of care
- Government authorities (eg. CCRA, Privacy Commissioner, Human Rights Commission, etc.) who have it in their mandate to access your file
- Our practice’s lawyers, accountants, information managers or other consultants contracted to provide advice or counsel regarding the administration or management of the practice
- On termination of sale of the practice, to a purchasing optometrist or file storage facility that agrees to serve as trustee of you personal information and to only access this information for the purpose of confirming their custody of your file, unless you initiate contact as a patient
The disclosure of personal information shall be limited to that which is necessary for the purpose for which it is disclosed. All the above noted external parties have the same legal responsibility as this practice to protect all personal information collected in the course of their activities.
Access and Destruction of Personal Health Information
You have the right to access to a your personal health information in accordance with the HIA at any reasonable time (e.g. during regular office hours). All access requests are dealt with by our Privacy Officer, Dr. Gabrielle Ma.
We will make all reasonable attempts to respond to all formal, written access requests from patients within 30 days of receiving the request in accordance with the HIA. Informal, unwritten access requests are discussed with the patient and recorded on the patient chart.
Health Information Correction
It is our duty to ensure that health information is accurate and complete. As such, our clinic responds to correction and amendment request in accordance with the HIA. All patients have the right to request a correction or amendment to their health information. We will make all reasonable attempts to respond to all written correction and amendment requests from patients within 30 days of receiving the request.
A request does not guarantee a correction or amendment. Corrections and amendments apply to factual information and not professional opinions that may have been recorded. All corrections and amendments are recorded on the patient file. If our office does not agree with the correction or amendment, we will include a brief statement on the patient file recording both opinions.
Health Information Disposal
Our clinic disposes of health information in accordance with the HIA. Reasonable safeguards will be taken whenever paper and electronic records are destroyed or deleted. Every reasonable effort will be made to ensure that no record remains after destruction.
As per the Alberta College of Optometrists Guidelines to the ACO Standards of Practice, health information will be kept for a minimum of ten (10) years after the patient’s last eye examination or two (2) years after the death of the patient.
Insurance Claims and Electronic Transmission
Personal information that we collect and communicate may be used by your insurer and/or plan administrator for the purposes of assessing your claim and administering group benefits plan coverage. This may include payment of valid claims to you or to your healthcare provider or other designated person. Your insurer / plan administrator and the clinic may exchange personal information about claims with you and a person acting on your behalf when necessary to confirm eligibility and to manage the claims.
If You Have A Question
More general inquiries should be directed to: