Wellkin is an Agency funded by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS) and is responsible to ensure your Personal Health Information (also known as PHI and/or client information) is managed appropriately.
Collection of Personal Health Information
Wellkin collects your personal health information in order to provide the most appropriate services and to assist in referring you to other appropriate services.
Personal Health Information includes:
- client’s name, address, date of birth, guardian’s name;
- general information about the reasons for the referral;
- general information about family/home environment;
- facts and information about your health, social history and the health care and related services that you are currently receiving, or have received in the past relevant information from other sources (i.e., schools, primary health care, child welfare, youth justice, etc.);
Wellkin is committed to maintaining the confidentiality and security of both written and electronic information (also known as clinical files) and has a number of practices in place to protect the privacy of your information.
Use of your Clinical Information
Wellkin uses your information in a number of ways:
- as a component of the intake process, in order to determine eligibility for specific programs and services;
- as part of the assessment, treatment and discharge process;
- to make referrals to other agencies on behalf of, or in conjunction with you.
Non-identifying information related to client care is used for administration, strategic planning, evaluation of services, decision making, resource allocation, and reporting to funders such as MOH and MCCSS.
Disclosure of Personal Health Information
Wellkin may disclose client information to other health care professionals or service providers, only after obtaining expressed consent from the person legally able to provide such consent. Personal health information is disclosed to others involved in your care to ensure they have the information they need to provide appropriate care. Under certain circumstances we are required by law to release client information without your consent or knowledge:
- suspicion of child abuse or neglect;
- circumstances pursuant to a Court Order or Summons;
- parents, other professionals, health care providers or law enforcement
- agencies (i.e., police) in emergency situations, where Wellkin believes that withholding information could result in harm to the client, family members, staff members or others;
- for authorized public health purposes;
- suspected sexual abuse by a regulated health professional;
- situation where emergency health care is required; and
- police request for information on a possible missing person.
Storage and Retention of Personal Health Information Records
Wellkin is committed to the safety and security of client information, including personal health information. All electronic files require passwords to access the file.
Right to Access Records
Individuals who wish to access or correct their personal health information, or who have questions about how it is collected, maintained, used or disclosed, are encouraged to speak to their worker, and/or contact our agency’s Privacy Officer: Kelly Baker, Executive Director at 1-877-539-0463.
Wellkin is committed to resolving all concerns or complaints regarding the privacy of personal health information and encourages individuals to contact the Privacy Officer listed above. Individuals may also lodge a complaint regarding access or privacy practices of Wellkin, with the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) at:
2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400
Toronto, ON M4W 1A8
User Privacy in Wellkin Online Properties and Electronic Communications
Wellkin does not collect, use or share any information from casual visitors or general users on our online properties or electronic communications for any purpose, including cookies, log files and use of other mechanisms to automatically collect user device information.
Wellkin appreciates that sometimes clients like to use email or text as a method of quick and convenient connection. With your consent, Wellkin uses email and text for appointment setting (cancellations, changes, or reminders), document sharing (via email only, using password protection/email encryption), or sharing forms and clinical handouts or other resources. Wellkin may also receive information about you through email from a third party, where you have provided consent for that communication and disclosure.
As a general guideline, if you wish to contact your Wellkin worker, we ask that you do not send any highly sensitive or personal information through text or email. Please call your worker at 1-877-539-0463 if you would like to discuss something confidential. Given that email and text messages are not necessarily secure, and are no substitute for direct discussion, Wellkin workers will not provide support, counselling, or treatment over email and text. Any crisis situation cannot be addressed through email or text. Risks of using email and text include, but are not limited to the following:
- Email and text are not guaranteed to be private or secure.
- There are risks of interceptions or errors in sending email or text messages.
- Email is not always sent and received instantly and is not appropriate for sending time-sensitive information.
- Emails and texts are considered to be part of your records. They will be retained in the same way as your clinical file. There is a possibility that emails or texts related to your care can be disclosed in response to an access request.
Services via Videoconferencing
Wellkin recognizes the benefits of virtual services and provides video-based services using videoconferencing platforms which are compliant with all relevant privacy legislation governing personal health information.
If you consent to participate in video-based services, you will need a computer or device with internet access, as well as a camera and microphone (e.g. laptop, mobile telephone). You will also need access to a telephone in the same room to ensure that your Wellkin worker can reach you in the event that video/audio is interrupted or cut off. For any videoconferencing session, you will also need to arrange a location with sufficient lighting and privacy that is free from loud noises, distractions or intrusions.
There is a risk that services could be disrupted or distorted by unforeseen technical problems. Please provide your worker with feedback, if the quality of the video sessions is insufficient for your needs. There is also a risk of being overheard by anyone near you if you are not in a private room. You are responsible for creating a comfortable and safe environment on your end for the duration of the videoconferencing session. It is the responsibility of your Wellkin worker to do the same on their end, they will complete all videoconferencing services in a secure and protected space.
No part of any videoconferencing session – whether it be an individual or a group session – will be recorded, taped, or saved by any parties, including Wellkin. And if participating in one of Wellkin’s Group Sessions, you must be in full camera view during the entire session, unless the facilitator modifies the format within the videoconferencing platform.