Who We Are
MindFit is a group practice and includes a number of psychologists. We may also employ or otherwise retain psychologists in supervised practice and senior Ph.D. psychology students working under the supervision of a psychologist.
What is Personal Information?
The term “personal health information” has the same meaning as set out in Ontario’s Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (“PHIPA”), and includes information relating to your physical or mental health, as well as your health history, medical records, prescriptions, and your health number.
How Is Personal Information Used?
For members of the general public, our primary purposes for collecting personal information (e.g., contact phone numbers and email addresses) are to make them aware of the range of psychological services available at MindFit and to direct them to the appropriate clinician).
With respect to MindFit Members, MindFit collects, uses and discloses personal information only to provide psychological services to such MindFit Members and for matters ancillary to the provision of such services. For example, we collect information about MindFit Members’ health history, including their family history, physical condition and function and social situation in order to help us assess what their mental
health needs are, to advise MindFit Members of their options and then to provide the psychological services that they choose to receive. Another primary purpose for collecting personal information is to obtain a baseline and ongoing record of psychological functioning so that in providing psychological services we can monitor treatment progress and identify changes that occur over time. An additional purpose is to collect personal, health and social information in order to provide diagnostic information, current status, and recommendations to the MindFit Member’s family physician or other health care providers.
In some situations, the primary purpose of collecting personal information would be to conduct an assessment to provide a professional opinion about an individual’s psychological functioning. With a MindFit Member’s consent, the opinion would be reported to the appropriate person or agency, for example, an insurance company, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, psychological/legal reports, Children’s Aid Society, and rehabilitation companies.
Additional Reasons Why We Collect Personal Information
Like most organizations, we also collect, use and disclose information for purposes related to or secondary to our primary purposes. The most common examples include:
- Communicate with MindFit Members before, after or during treatment, including to distribute health care information and book/confirm appointments.
- Invoice a MindFit Member for services that were not paid for at the time, to process credit card payments or to collect unpaid accounts.
- Psychologists are regulated by the College of Psychologists of Ontario (the “College”). The College may inspect records of MindFit or its psychologists as part of regulatory activities in the public interest. Also, various government agencies (e.g. Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, Information and Privacy Commissioner, the Human Rights Commission, etc.) may have as part of
their mandate the legal authority to review our files without patient consent.
- Psychologists in supervised or autonomous practice are regulated by the College, which may inspect our records and interview our psychologists as part of their regulatory activities in the public interest the College has its own strict privacy obligations.
- To prepare materials for the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board (HPARB).
- To permit potential purchasers, practice brokers and/or their respective advisors in connection with a “due diligence” review of business and affairs of MindFit.
- The cost of some services provided by MindFit to Members is paid for by third parties (e.g., insurance companies, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, CUPE). These third-party payers often have your consent or legislative authority to direct us to collect and disclose to them certain information in order to demonstrate a MindFit Member’s entitlement to this funding (e.g., Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, First Nations
We are committed to protecting the security of MindFit Members’ personal information. We have put in place commercially reasonable physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard and help prevent unauthorized access, maintain data security, and correctly use the personal information. We apply security safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity of the personal information, such as retaining information in secure facilities and making personal information accessible only to authorized employees on a need-to-know basis. We adhere to the rules and regulations set in Personal Health Information Protection Act, PIPEDA and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
All MindFit psychologists adhere to the Standards of Professional Conduct (2017) of the College and applicable provincial and federal laws regarding the treatment of confidential information. Pursuant to the Standards of Professional Conduct and applicable law, no MindFit psychologist will share any of your confidential information with any other individual or organization without your consent (or that of a legal
representative or guardian), however, in certain situations, confidential information may be disclosed to third parties, including but not limited to:
- Harm to self: If a MindFit clinician has reason to believe that a MindFit Member is in danger of physically harming him/herself in ways that may be life-threatening, a MindFit clinician must make a referral to a hospital and/or contact a family member, close other, or another person such as a police officer who may be able to help protect the MindFit Member. There may be other emergency health care related circumstances where disclosure is reasonably necessary for the protection of health, in which case a MindFit clinician will disclose personal information to other health care professionals as long as such Member has not expressly prohibited such MindFit clinician from doing so.
- Harm to others: If a MindFit clinician has reason to believe that a MindFit Member is threatening physical violence against another person, or if a MindFit Member has a history of physically violent behaviour, and if a MindFit clinician believes that a MindFit Member is an actual threat to the safety of another person, such MindFit clinician is required to take some action (such as contacting the police, notifying the other person, seeking hospitalization, or some combination of these actions) to ensure that such other person is protected.
- Abuse/Neglect: If a MindFit clinician has reason to believe that a child under the age of 16 is being abused or neglected, such MindFit clinician is legally obligated to report this situation to the Children’s Aid Society. Similarly, if a MindFit clinician suspects or is informed of unlawful conduct that resulted in harm or risk of harm to a resident of a Long-Term Care Facility or Retirement Home, or that a resident is being harmed or is at risk of being harmed in any way (e.g., sexual or physical abuse, neglect, misappropriation of resident’s funds), such MindFit clinician may be required to contact the applicable Ministry or regulatory authority and report all relevant information.
- Sexual Abuse: If a MindFit clinician learns that a MindFit Member has been sexually or physically abused by a member of the regulated health profession, such MindFit clinician is required to report this information in accordance with the guidelines of such clinician’s applicable regulatory college.
- Court Order: A MindFit clinician and his/her clinical record can be subpoenaed by a court order. A MindFit clinician can be required to testify and give information obtained during sessions. Without a court order, this information would never be provided voluntarily without a MindFit Member’s direct request or consent.
- Regulatory Review: On occasion, a MindFit clinician may be randomly selected to participate in a Peer Assisted Review by his/her regulatory college (or another regulatory body). As part of this process, a file may be potentially reviewed by a member of the regulatory college. Regulatory colleges have privacy and security policies in place to protect personal information.
- Supervision and Consultation: A MindFit clinician may also consult with other psychologists or mental health professionals. This helps MindFit clinicians provide you with high-quality treatment. Your name will never be used in these consultations. Additionally, in certain instances certain MindFit clinicians may require supervision in his/her clinical work by a more senior colleague. A
MindFit Member will be informed of any such supervisory arrangement. That supervisor may access a MindFit Member’s clinical file for the purposes of quality control.
When individual therapy is provided to youth, it is believed to be most beneficial when parents are involved in the process through consultation. At times, parents may even participate in the sessions. However, to ensure a youth’s privacy, detailed information will not be provided to parents regarding what the youth shared unless the youth provides consent. Instead, general themes, ideas and recommendations will be provided as well as support and encouragement to parents.
Retention and Destruction of Personal Information
We retain personal information only for as long as is necessary for the purpose for which it was collected in accordance with the laws, ethics and standards applicable to members of the College of Psychologists of Ontario or such other applicable regulatory body in jurisdictions in which we operate. Specifically, we retain information in respect of MindFit Members for a minimum of ten years after the last contact to enable us to respond to those questions and provide our services. For MindFit Members who are seen before the age of 18, records are retained for ten years following their 18 th birthday. We retain personal information to ensure that we can answer any questions you might have about the services provided. We also provide ongoing services for many MindFit Members over a period of months or longer for which our previous records are helpful. We destroy electronic information by deleting it and, when the hardware is replaced or discarded, we ensure that the hard drive is physically destroyed.
You Can Look at Your Information
With only a few exceptions, you have the right to see any personal information we retain about you. We can help you identify what records we might have about you. We will also try to help you understand any information that you do not understand (e.g., abbreviations, technical language, etc.). We may need to confirm your identity, if we do not know you, before providing you with this access. We reserve the right to charge a fee for such requests. We may ask you to put your request in writing. If we cannot give you access, we will tell you within 30 days if at all possible and tell you the reason, as best we can, as to why we cannot give you access. If you believe that there is a mistake in the information, you have the right to ask for it to be corrected. This applies to factual information and not to any professional opinions that we may have formed. We may ask you to provide documentation that our files are wrong. Where we agree that we made a mistake, we will make the correction and notify anyone to whom we sent this information. If we do not agree that we have made a mistake, we will still agree to 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.
Do You Have a Question?
Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
30 Victoria Street
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 1H3
Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario
2 Bloor Street East,
Toronto, ON M4W 1A8