OUR Commitment to YOUR Privacy
Protecting your privacy and the confidentiality of your personal information has always been an important aspect of the operations of the Saskatoon Smiles Group. The appropriate collection, use, and disclosure of patients’ personal health information are fundamental to our day-to-day operations and to your care.
We strive to provide you with excellent dental care and service, which includes treating your personal information with respect. Each member and employee of the practice must abide by our commitment to privacy in the handling of personal information.
What is Personal Health Information?
Personal health information means identifying information about an individual relating to their physical or mental health (including medical history), the providing of health care to the individual, payments or eligibility for health care, and health number.
We collect information from our patients such as names, home addresses, work addresses, home telephone numbers, and work telephone numbers, (collectively referred to as “Contact Information”).
Contact information is collected and used for the following purpose:
- To open and update patient files; to invoice patients for dental services, to process credit card payments, or to collect unpaid accounts; to process claims for payment for reimbursement from third-party health benefit providers and insurance companies; to send reminders to patients concerning the need for further dental examinations or treatment; to send patients information material about our dental practice.
- Contact Information is disclosed to third-party health benefit providers and insurance companies where the patient’s parent or guardian has submitted a claim for reimbursement or payment of all or part of the cost of dental treatment or has asked us to submit a claim on the patient’s behalf.
- Contact information is shared to our 3rdparty reminder platform for the purpose of text/email reminders for due and upcoming appointments, this can be declined at any time by the patient/guardian.
- Financial information may be collected in order to make arrangements for the payment of dental services.
- We collect information from our patients about their health history, their family health history, physical condition, and dental treatments. (Collectively referred to as “Medical/Dental Information”) Patient’s Medical/Dental Information is collected and used for the purpose of diagnosing and treating oral health.
- Patient’s Medical/Dental Information is disclosed to third party health benefit providers and insurance companies where the patient’s parent or guardian has submitted a claim for reimbursement or payment of all or part of the cost of dental treatment or has asked us to submit a claim on the patient’s behalf; to other dentists and dental specialists, where we are seeking a second opinion or requesting treatment and the patient’s parent or guardian has consented to the same; to other health care professionals such as physicians if the patient, with their parental/guardian consent, has been referred by us to another health care professional for either a second opinion or treatment; to our practice’s other dentist(s), if that dentist will be treating the patient on any occasion, with the patient’s parent guardian consent.
- Dentists, Therapists, hygienists and dental assistants are regulated by their applicable college, which may inspect our records and interview staff as part of its regulatory activities in the public interest.
The Principles of this Privacy
- Identifying Purposes
We ask you for information to establish a relationship and serve your dental needs. We obtain most of our information about you directly from you, or from other health practitioners whom you have seen and authorized this disclosure to us. You are entitled to know how we use your information, and this is described in our Privacy Statement. We will limit the information we collect to what we need for those purposes, and we will use it only for those purposes. We will obtain your consent if we wish to use your information for any other purpose.
You have the right to determine how your personal health information is used and disclosed. For most health care purposes, your consent is implied as a result of your consent to treatment, however, in some circumstances your express, sometimes written, consent may be required.
- Limiting Collection
We collect information by fair and lawful means and collect only that information which may be necessary for purposes related to the provision of your medical care.
- Limiting Use, Disclosure and Retention
The information we request from you is used for the purposes defined. We will seek your consent before using the information for purposes beyond the scope of the posted Privacy Statement.
We will retain your information only for the time it is required for the purposes we describe and, once your personal information is no longer required, it will be destroyed. However, due to our ongoing exposure to potential claims, some information is kept for a longer period.
We endeavor to ensure that all decisions involving your personal information are based upon accurate and timely information. While we will do our best to base our decisions on accurate information, we rely on you to disclose all material information and to inform us of any relevant changes.
- Safeguards: Protecting Your Information
We protect your information with appropriate safeguards and security measures. The Practice keeps personal information in a combination of paper and electronic files. Recent paper records about individuals’ personal information are stored in files kept at our office. Older records may be stored offsite.
Access to personal information will be authorized only for the clinicians and employees associated with the Practice, and other agents who require access in the performance of their duties, and those otherwise authorized by law.
Our computer systems are password-secured and constructed in such a way that only authorized individuals can access these secure systems and databases.
If you send us an e-mail message that includes personal information, such as your name included in the “address”, we will use that information to respond to your inquiry. Please remember that email is not necessarily secure against interception. If your communication is very sensitive, you should not send it electronically unless the e-mail is encrypted, or your browser indicates that the access is secure.
- Openness: Keeping You Informed
If you have any additional questions or concerns about privacy, we invite you to contact us by phone, fax, mail, e-mail, or our website, and we will address your concerns to the best of our ability.
- Access and Correction
Upon presentation of a written request and satisfactory identification, with limited exceptions, we will give you access to the information we retain about you within a reasonable time.
We may charge you a fee for this service and, if so, we will give you notice in advance of processing your request.
If you find errors of fact in your personal health information, please notify us as soon as possible and we will make the appropriate corrections. We are not required to correct information relating to clinical observations or opinions made in good faith. You have a right to append a short statement of disagreement to your record if we refuse to make a requested change.
If we deny your request for access to your personal information, we will advise you in writing of the reason for the refusal and you may then challenge our decision.