Legislation requires all companies to share their privacy policies with all patients.
Personal Information to be Collected
Personal information is defined as data that can be utilized to identify an individual or their reproductive materials. This information will include, but is not restricted to, your name, address, health card number, date of birth, hospital file numbers, gamete/embryo identification numbers, health care history and information, and any financial data including credit card numbers that you supply.
Collecting and Using Information
- Collected information will include relevant information without restrictions, such as medical health history of your and your child(ren), medical testing results, identity of ovum, sperm donors and/or surrogates, fertility program results, and birth/delivery information.
- Information may be obtained from, or provided to, your physician(s), medical lab, birth hospital/staff, and any physician/medical laboratory or hospital that may be involved in the receipt of your reproductive gametes/embryos.
- The MFC will obtain your verbal or written consent before collecting information from a third party such as a bank or credit card company. We will protect the personal information that we gather and use it as indicated.
- The MFC only collects, uses, and discloses personal information for the safe medical and business practices involved in your health care. This includes, but is not limited to, the following purposes:
- Identifying your reproductive materials
- Verifying your identity and the accuracy of your personal information in order to identify and care for your gametes/reproductive materials
- Establishing and maintaining communications with you
- Complying with the law
- Determining and facilitating your payment of fees
- Notifying you of certain products or services offered by us
- The MFC will not sell personal information with your informed, written consent.
- The MFC may share your personal information with MFC owners/staff and appointed accounting, legal, and tax advisors as a matter of regular business practice.
- Pertinent medical information may be shared with other medical personnel or facilities as required. This includes, but is not limited to, the following reasons:
- In order to protect all reproductive materials in our care
- For the care and safety of your reproductive materials
- For your continued medical care
- To enhance our services
- We may provide information in those circumstances where we are required to do so by the federal or provincial government, health regulations, and by any other law.
- In any other circumstances, we shall share your information only when we have your written consent and will do so only with the intent of protecting your gametes, embryos/blastocysts, other gametes/embryos/blastocysts in our care, or to enhance services.
Our clinic is offering virtual care so we we can continue to care for our patients safely and effectively at times when conditions such as COVID-19 make it difficult to see patients in the office. This means that we will be using video and audio technologies for some patient visits and education rather than asking patients to come to the clinic. Some of the technologies are provided by the Province. Others have been provided by vendors like Google, Apple or Microsoft to help make discussions with your care provider as easy as possible. Some health concerns can be addressed with virtual care alone, but in some cases your doctor may ask you to visit a hospital or other health care facility for a physical examination. Virtual care is not a substitute for in-person communication or clinical examinations when needed.
Markham Fertility Centre does our best to make sure that any information you give to us during virtual care visits is private and secure but no video or audio tools are ever completely secure. There is an increased security risk that your health information may be intercepted or disclosed to third parties when using these tools. To keep information safe and secure, you can:
- Understand that this method of communication is not secure in the same way as a private appointment in an examination room
- Use a private computer/devise (not an employer’s or third party’s computer) and
- Use a secure internet connection (an at-home network connection are safer than a public guest Wi-fi connection)
You have a choice. By providing us with your information, you agree to let us collect, use or disclose your personal health information through video or audio communications in order to provide you with care (while following applicable privacy laws). In particular, the following means of electronic communication may be used for videoconferencing including Microsoft Teams, Demio, Doxy.me or similar platforms.
If you are concerned about using video or audio tools for virtual care, please speak with your physician’s office for an in-office visit. Please note that visiting a health care provider in person comes with a risk of coming into contact with COVID-19 and the possibility of spreading the virus.
Consent for the Use of Information
By completing a patient intake form, you consent to our use of your personal information. We may use the information to establish and service you as our patient. We rely on the following actions by you as indications of your consent:
- Your voluntary provision of personal information directly to MFC or through a physician, medical lab, or hospital so that MFC may provide fertility services to you and ensure the safety and storage of other gametes, embryos and/or blastocysts in our care.
- Contact with MFC in writing if you wish to withdraw your consent.
- Your consent solicited by MFC for a specified purpose.
- Your consent given through your authorized representatives such as a legal guardian, parent, or holder of a power of attorney.
Protecting Information – Retention and Security
- MFC will protect your information with appropriate safeguards and security measures. We utilize computer systems that restrict access to personal information.
- Our physical premises have security safeguards that assist in the prevention of unauthorized access to our facility.
- MFC restricts access to personal information to those employees and contractors that the management of MFC has determined need to know that information in order that MFC may provide services to its patients.We have established procedural requirements and trained our staff to be respectful and to comply with this policy.
- We will retain your information only for the time frame that is required for the purposes as explained to you or by other law.
Reviewing Your Personal Information – Accuracy
- MFC endeavors to ensure that any personal information is as accurate, correct, and complete as necessary for the MFC to run its operations safely and efficiently. Information contained in inactive or closed files is not actively updated or maintained.
- MFC will allow you to review your information at any time.
- To guard against fraudulent requests for access, MFC will require sufficient information to allow it to confirm the identity of the person making the request before granting access or making corrections.
We ask you to help us to make every reasonable effort to ensure that we keep your information current. If you believe your information is incorrect, please contact us by mail, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, phone us at 905-472-7128, or fax us at 905-472-4994. We will attempt to amend your files as quickly as possible
Respecting and Responding to Your Privacy Concerns
We require your personal and medical information in order to establish and maintain ongoing storage of your gametes, embryos, and/or blastocysts, and to properly provide/protect the services that you have requested.