In 2004, the Ontario Government introduced the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) to ensure clarity and consistency amongst all health care providers when it comes to the collection, use, disclosure, and protection of your personal health information.
Personal Health Information is any identifying information about your physical or mental health that a health practitioner collects throughout the course of your relationship with them. This includes, but is not limited to, your health history, insurance information, ocular measurements, tests, and lab results.
Like any other healthcare practitioner who is delivering health care services in Ontario, your optician must comply with this law.
You have a right to obtain your personal health information from an Optician
Under the act, an optician must comply with your request within a reasonable time frame and definitely within 30 days if your request is made in writing. You should also know:
Opticians have a duty to keep your information safe and report any privacy breaches
Opticians must take steps to keep your personal health information safe from loss, theft, or unauthorized disclosure. In the event of a privacy breach, the rules are clear: an optician must report the breach as soon as reasonably possible. For Opticians, the report must be made to:
• You, the patient
• The College of Opticians of Ontario
• The Information and Privacy Commissioner
You have a say in how your personal health information is collected and used
Other important information for you to know about PHIPA includes:
• You have a right to ask questions and be told by your optician why your personal health information is being collected
• You have the right to request corrections to your health record
If you have concerns about an Optician’s conduct with respect to your personal health information, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (416) 368-3616 or visit the College’s website to learn more about the complaints process.