What is Personal Information
Personal information is any information that can be used to distinguish, identify, or contact a specific individual. This information can include an individual’s opinions or beliefs, as well as facts about, or related to, the individual.
“Identifying information” includes information that identifies an individual or for which it is reasonably foreseeable that it could be used, either alone or with other information, to identify an individual.
Personal health information is “identifying information” about an individual, whether oral or recorded if the information:
- relates to the individual’s physical or mental condition, including family medical history,
- relates to the provision of health care to the individual,
- is a plan of service for the individual,
- relates to payments, or eligibility for health care or for coverage for health care,
- relates to the donation of any body part or bodily substance or is derived from the testing or examination of any such body part or bodily substance,
- is the individual’s health number or
- identifies a health care provider or a substitute decision-maker for the individual.
Personal health information includes identifying information that is not personal health information but that is contained in a record that contains personal health information.
Exceptions: Business contact information and certain publicly available information, such as names, addresses, and telephone numbers as published in telephone directories, are not considered personal information. Where patients use their home contact information as business contact information, our office considers that the contact information provided is business contact information, and is not therefore subject to protection as personal information. Any data collected in which all personal identifiers have been removed, such that the information could not reasonably be used to identify the individual, is not considered Personal Information. Personal health information does not include identifying information about an employee or agent of the custodian that is not maintained primarily for the provision of health care. For example, a doctor’s note to support an absence from work in the personnel file of a secretary employed by a custodian is not personal health information. Information in the public domain is not subject to privacy legislation and as such is not included in this policy.
How Our Office Collects, Uses, and Discloses Patients’ Personal Information
At Beachstone Dental, privacy of your personal information is an important part of our office providing you with quality dental care. We understand the importance of protecting your personal information. We are committed to collecting, using, and disclosing your personal information responsibly. We value the trust of those whom we deal with and recognize maintaining this trust requires transparency and accountability around how we handle the personal information. It is important for us to provide this service to our patients.
To help you understand how we are doing that, we have outlined here how our office is collecting, maintaining, and using personal information:
Our office frequently gathers and uses personal information over the course of our interactions with you. Anyone from whom we collect such information should expect that it will be carefully protected and that any use of, or other dealing with, this information is subject to consent. Our office understands the importance of protecting your personal information and our privacy practices are designed to achieve this.
In this office, Dr. Ganapathy Prasad Manjunath, DDS (Dr. Prasad) acts as the Privacy Information Officer. Our staff members receive an orientation and ongoing training regarding the information safeguards required for the use and protection of your personal information and their importance. Please do not hesitate to discuss our policies with Dr. Prasad or any member of our office staff. You can reach our office or Dr. Manjunath by telephone at (519) 398-0826 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org should you have any questions or concerns. We always appreciate your feedback.
Only the necessary information is collected about you.
- We only share your information with your consent.
- Storage, retention, and destruction of your personal information comply with existing legislation and privacy protection protocols.
- Our privacy protocols comply with privacy legislation, standards of our regulatory body, the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario, and the law.
There are a few categories of information we normally collect in oral or recorded form. The first is personal information such as name, address, other contact information, date of birth, government-issued identification, health card information, insurance information, and financial/billing information, which may include credit card numbers and other such information. To the extent we collect credit card information, it is done in compliance with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS).
We also collect and generate personal health information, including categories such as:
- Medical history
- Dental history
- Results of diagnosis and testing
- Study models, odontograms, and impressions
- Treatment recommendations, treatment plans, and progress notes
- Records of consent conversations and when appropriate, signed consent forms
- Records of dental visits, recall exams, and appointment scheduling
- Referral/Specialists reports and recommendations
Our office ensures that your personal information is protected by employing multi-layer security systems, ensuring that physical files are under lock and key and digital files are encrypted. The office reviews its security measures regularly to ensure that all personal information is secure. Our office ensures that personal information that is no longer required to be retained is disposed of in a confidential and secure fashion.
This office will collect use and disclose information about you for the following purposes:
- To identify you and register you as a patient
- To deliver safe and efficient patient care
- To provide continuous high-quality services
- To assess your health needs
- To provide health care
- To advise you of treatment options
- To enable us to contact you
- To establish and maintain communication with you
- To identify and to ensure continuity of care during subsequent visits
- To offer and provide treatment, care, and services in relation to the oral and maxillofacial complex and dental care generally
- To communicate with other treatment health-‐care providers, including specialists and general dentists who are the referring dentists and/or peripheral dentists
- To allow us to maintain communication and contact with you to distribute health-‐care information and to book and confirm appointments
- To allow us to efficiently follow-up for scheduling, treatment, care, and billing
- For research, teaching, demonstrating, and promotional purposes on an anonymous basis
- To complete and submit dental claims for third party adjudication and payment
- To comply with legal and regulatory requirements, including the delivery of patients’ charts and records to the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario in a timely fashion, when required, according to the provisions of the Regulated Health Professions Act
- To comply with agreements/undertakings entered voluntarily by the member with the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario, including the delivery and/or review of patient’s charts and records to the College in a timely fashion for regulatory and monitoring purposes
- For internal management purposes, such as resource planning, policy development, quality assurance, and human resource management
- To permit potential purchasers, practice brokers, or advisors to evaluate the dental practice
- To allow potential purchasers, practice brokers, or advisors to conduct an audit in preparation for a practice sale
- To deliver your charts and records to the dentist’s insurance carrier to enable the insurance company to assess liability and quantify damages, if any
- To prepare materials for the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board (HPARB)
- To invoice for goods and services
- To process debit and/or credit card payments
- To collect unpaid accounts
- To assist this office to comply with all regulatory requirements
- To comply generally with the law
Our office will not under any conditions supply your insurer with your confidential medical history. In the event this kind of a request is made, we will forward the information directly to you for review, and for your specific consent.
When unusual requests are received, we will contact you for permission to release such information. We may also advise you if such a release is inappropriate.
Consent to Use and Store Personal Health Information
Our office requires your consent regarding the collection and proposed use of personal information when information is collected. Consent can be either express or implied and can be provided directly by the individual or by an authorized representative. Express consent can be given orally, electronically, or in writing. Implied consent is consent that can reasonably be inferred from an individual’s action or inaction. An individual’s consent is required before confidential information is released to outside parties.
To provide you with quality oral health care and excellent service, our office will use, store and analyze certain personal health information that we (a) collect from you, (b) generate through diagnostic testing and treatment planning, or (c) receive from your other health care providers.
At Beachstone Dental, we are committed to ensuring a professional, safe, and trusted office environment. When you visit us for the first time, we will require you to complete our New Patient forms where we ask for your personal and health information. We will also ask you to read our office policies, including our Notice of Privacy Practices, and sign our consent forms.
Our office shall have a copy of the Notice of Privacy Policies in our reception, and you may ask to see this at any time. You may withdraw your consent for use or disclosure of your personal information, and we will explain the ramifications of that decision and the process. You have the right to revoke this consent by providing us with a written and signed statement to our office.
Personal information shall be as complete, accurate, and up-to-date as possible. Our office uses its best efforts to ensure that the information it collects, uses, discloses, retains or disposes of is accurate. Patients should notify us of any changes and review, correct, and update their personal information.