South Shore Health's confidentiality policy is designed to protect the privacy of patients, residents, clients and employees. The policy, which pertains to records and personal, medical and any other information relating to the business of the organization, applies to everyone involved in the organization including staff, physicians, volunteers, clergy and students.
South Shore Health values your privacy and understands that your health information is personal and must be protected. You have the right to understand how and why we collect, use and share your personal health information.
The information below is intended to help you understand how your personal health information is collected, used and shared within South Shore Health under the new Personal Health Information Act.
What is the Personal Health Information Act? (View Video about PHIA)
The Personal Health Information Act (PHIA) is Nova Scotia's new provincial health information privacy and access legislation. It is intended to provide clear and consistent rules for the management of personal health information
across the health system. PHIA balances your right to have your privacy protected with the needs of the health sector – including South Shore Health – to collect, use and disclose (share) it in order to provide appropriate care and service to you.
What is Personal Health Information?
Personal health information includes information needed to identify you such as your name, address, date of birth, your health card number as well as information about your physical and mental health, and financial information related to your eligibility for health care services.
Who can use and see my personal health information?
Your personal health information is used by health care professionals for your care and treatment. We may collect, use and give out your personal health information to others, when necessary to:
- help make decisions about your care
- to communicate or consult with other providers involved in your health care
- get payment for your health care and hospital services, including from private insurance
- do health planning and approved research and teaching
- report as required or permitted by law
Can I request a copy of my personal health information?
Yes – You have the right to view or request a copy of your personal health information. There are some exceptions to what you can access, including information that was collected during an investigation or information that includes the personal information of another person.
We will charge you a fee to view or to receive a copy of your personal health information. View fee schedule.
Can I request that something in my personal health information be corrected?
Yes - You can request a correction if you believe your information is not accurate, complete, or up-to-date. There are exceptions to your right to a correction, including when the information you request to be corrected is part of a professional opinion of a health practitioner.
Do I have the right to limit or withdraw consent to the collection, use, or disclosure of my personal health information?
Yes - We are required to:
- Advise you of any consequences of your request (e.g. one of your health professionals may not be confident that they have sufficient information to provide care to you)
- Advise anyone to whom your personal health information is disclosed that the information is not complete
- Advise you that we cannot comply with your request when the information is required by law.
Will I be informed if my personal health information is stolen, lost or improperly accessed?
Yes - If your personal health information has been improperly accessed and we believe that this may cause you harm or embarrassment, we are required to notify you. If we don't notify you, we are required to notify the Privacy Review Officer.
How do I contact the PHIA Privacy Officer for South Shore Health?
What if I am not happy with the way you handled my complaint?
You may request a review by the Provincial Privacy Officer. The Privacy Review Officer for PHIA can be reached at:
Privacy Review Officer
P.O. Box 181
Halifax Nova Scotia B3J 2M4