Sharing Your Information
Why do health service providers share your personal health information?
Humber River Hospital and other health service providers across Ontario securely collect, use and disclose personal health information (PHI) using shared electronic information systems. For example, people receiving treatment in the greater Toronto area will have their information shared through the Connecting GTA (cGTA) system. Lab results are shared through the Ontario Laboratory Information System (OLIS). Diagnostic Imaging results are shared through GTA West Diagnostic Imaging Repository system.
These systems have many benefits, such as:
- Ensuring health service providers have the most up-to-date and complete record of your health history.
- Improving the efficiency of planning and delivering care and treatment to you.
- Reducing the need for you to provide the same information multiple times.
- Reducing duplicate tests and procedures and improving the timeliness of care decisions.
What information about you will be shared?
Shared information can include details about:
- Your personal health and mental health history.
- The names of doctors or clinicians providing health care and services to you.
- Medications or results from lab tests.
- The health care services you are receiving and how you respond to therapies and other treatments.
- Demographic information, such as your name, date of birth, health card number, address, phone number and medical record number.
How is your information protected?
Unless you specify otherwise, your health information is shared with individuals providing you with health care and services, also known as your “circle of care.” Your circle of care may include doctors, hospitals, and other clinicians or health service providers involved in your care.
Only those who provide health care and services to you are authorized to look at your health information and only when they need it to do their jobs. The privacy and confidentiality of your information in these shared systems is protected under Ontario’s privacy law, the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA) and other applicable laws. Any access to your information is recorded in a log, which will be audited regularly for unauthorized access.
Your privacy rights
If you do not want to share your information with other health service providers, you have a right to withdraw your consent and request that your information be “blocked” from access.
However, your demographic information may still be searchable in the shared information systems. Under the law, there are exceptions for when your information may be accessed without your consent – even if it is blocked.
In addition to requesting a block on your information, you have several other privacy rights: You have the right to view or obtain a copy of your information in the shared health record system.
- You can request a list of all the health care professionals who have viewed your information in the shared system.
- You can request corrections to your information in the shared system if you believe it is inaccurate or incomplete.
- You can request the details of past blocked requests (i.e. when the information was locked or blocked at your request).
- You can ask questions about the shared information systems and how your information is handled.
Individuals may make, modify or withdraw (block) the following consent directives in request of the Individual’s PHI in the Connecting GTA Solution:
- Global Consent Directives – blocking all hospitals, physicians and clinicians from viewing your PHI
- Health Information Custodian-Records Consent Directives – blocking all healthcare facilities from viewing your PHI
- Health Information Custodian-Agents Consent Directives – blocking all physicians or clinicians from viewing your PHI
- Agent Consent Directives – blocking a particular person from viewing your PHI
Should you wish to modify or block your PHI, please call eHealth Ontario (see number below).
Important Contact Information
To learn more about your information in the shared electronic health information system or to exercise any of your privacy rights, please contact any of these organizations:
Connecting GTA (cGTA)
GTA West Diagnostic Imaging Repository (GTA West DI-r)
Diagnostic Imaging Common Services (DICS)
Ontario Laboratory Information System (OLIS)