CONDITIONS AND TERMS OF SERVICE


You must read and agree to the Conditions of Service and the Privacy Policy described below in order to access the registration form.

1. I am eligible to use the BSC E-Counselling services.

2. I am 16 years of age or older.

3. I will not misrepresent myself. I understand that my counselor is not responsible for any consequences that result from any misrepresentation on my part.

4. I am not currently receiving formal Counselling from any other source.

5. I am not currently receiving treatment for any psychiatric illness, nor am I currently suffering from any psychiatric disorder.

6. I am not considering violence or suicide.

7. I have been strongly advised not to use my workplace computer to access E-Counselling.

8. I understand that although reasonable efforts have been made to maintain a secure E-Counselling service, there are certain limitations inherent in ensuring the confidentiality of information transmitted through the use of this technology.

9. If my counselor believes that I require more in-depth or longer-term intervention, he/she may terminate my E-Counselling sessions and discuss more appropriate treatment alternatives with me.

10. If my counselor believes that I am in crisis and that I may cause harm to myself or others, he/she has the legal and ethical right to contact me personally using the information I provided in the registration form.

11. I understand that my counselor reserves the right to contact emergency services should he/she judge that this intervention is appropriate to may needs. I recognize that in doing so, my counselor has the right to override confidentiality.

12. Harrassment, vulgar language, the promotion of illegal activity, material that infringes copyright property, and impersonation of others will not be tolerated and may result in immediate termination of E-Counselling.

13. I agree to keep my password safe and secure and will not give it to anyone else to communicate online.

14. I confirm that all information provided by me on the E-Counselling Registration Form is true and correct.

 

Disclaimer

 

The materials in the St. Joseph’s Care Group (SJCG) website are provided "as is" and without warranties of any kind either express or implied. To the fullest extent permissible pursuant to applicable law, SJCG disclaims all warranties, express or implied, including, but not limited to, implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. SJCG makes no representation or warranty that access to the site will be available on a timely basis, will be uninterrupted or will be error free. Additionally SJCG makes no representations or warranty that the information contained on the site will be timely or error free. In no event shall SJCG or affiliates and their respective officers, directors, employees, agents, representatives, information providers and licensors and their respective heirs and assignees be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, special, exemplary, punitive or other damages even if informed of the possibility of such damages. SJCG makes no claims whatsoever regarding the accuracy or availability of any information available through any person not affiliated with SJCG including material obtained from links to other sites contained with SJCG or affiliated sites.

 

Privacy Policy

 

St. Joseph’s Care Group recognizes that all personal information, including the personal health information of our clients deserves to be treated with respect and sensitivity. We further acknowledge that this information is protected by law under the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA). We believe that an atmosphere of trust between client and caregiver is important in the delivery of health care. We are committed to protecting our clients’ privacy and that of our staff and others who are associated with us, and have policies and procedures in place to ensure confidentiality when collecting, using and disclosing personal information.
The collection, use and disclosure of personal information for staff or clients is protected under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA). The two pieces of legislation govern the collection, use and disclosure of personal information. The basic principle of this legislation is that personal information may be collected, used and disclosed only for the purposes known and consented to by the person who is the subject of the information, subject to some specified exceptions under these Acts.

Personal Information (PI) is defined in PIPEDA as “information about an identifiable individual, but does not include the name, title or business address or telephone number of an employee or an organization.”

Personal Health Information (PHI) is included in PI and is defined in PHIPA as “identifying information about an individual in oral or recorded form, if the information relates to the physical or mental health of the individual, including information that consists of the health history of the individual’s family, the name of the health care provider, the individual’s health number and other administrative uses of the information.”

A right of privacy is a person’s right to be free of unwarranted public scrutiny or exposure.

Confidentiality is a state of secrecy in which one person places a trust in another to maintain that state of secrecy.

Privacy Principles

1. Accountability for Personal Information

St. Joseph’s Care Group is responsible for personal information under its control. It is the identifiable Health Information Custodian for all personal health information under PHIPA. St. Joseph’s Care Group Board has ultimate accountability for maintaining privacy and has designated the Manager, Health Records/Central Registration, to oversee compliance with the privacy principles.

Through policy and procedure, St. Joseph’s Care Group shall maintain and enforce policies and procedures to:
• protect personal information
• receive and respond to complaints and inquiries
• educate and communicate to staff about privacy practices
• provide information explaining privacy practices

2. Purposes for the Collection of Personal Health Information

St. Joseph’s Care Group identifies the purposes for which personal information is collected at or before the time the information is collected and communicates that to the individual.

The primary purpose for collecting information is to:

• deliver client care
• administer the health care system
• conduct research and teaching
• compile statistics
• perform quality assurance and risk management activities to continually improve care
• fund raise
• meet legal and regulatory requirements

When using previously collected personal information for a new purpose not required by law, the consent of the client is required.

Staff collecting personal information shall explain to the individual the purposes for which information is being collected.

3. Consent for the Collection, Use and Disclosure of Personal Health Information

The knowledge and consent of the client are required for the collection, use or disclosure of personal health information, except where not required by statute. Legal, medical or security reasons may make it impossible or impractical to seek consent.

Consent is an action or process by the individual, agreeing to permit the collection, use or disclosure of the information. Consent can be “implied” or “express”. The consent sought by St. Joseph’s Care Group may vary depending upon the specific circumstances. St. Joseph’s Care Group assumes that an individual's request for treatment constitutes implied consent. When express, consent may be indicated orally or in writing. Express consent in writing is required when disclosure is to someone other than a health care provider within the “circle of care” for the provision of health care, specific to a health problem of a specific client.

There is no legal definition for the “circle of care”, however, it is taken to mean the health care providers involved or likely to be involved in providing direct care for one specific health episode for a specific client. This is focused on the client and does not include providers who are not likely to be involved in this episode, even if they have provided health care to that client in the past.

A client may withdraw consent at any time subject to legal restrictions and reasonable notice. St. Joseph’s Care Group will inform the client of the implications of withholding/withdrawal of consent at the time that this occurs.

4. E-Counselling Limitations of Privacy

Most communications between your counsellor and yourself are private and will not be released without your consent. However, certain communications may be made or certain situations may occur for which confidentiality does not exist. These include:

• situations in which the counsellor believes that a client poses a threat of self-harm, or harm toward others
• when communications involve information that a child is in need of protection
• when release of information is required by a subpoena in a court of law
• when communication involves information relating to the sexual abuse of a client by a health care professional

Information gathered from clients may be examined by third party professional accreditors or auditors to evaluate their Employee Assistance Program.

5. Limiting Collection of Personal Health Information

The collection of personal health information shall be limited to that which is necessary for the purposes identified by St. Joseph’s Care Group. Information is collected by fair and lawful means.

• personal health information shall not be collected indiscriminately
• the amount and type of information collected shall be limited to that which is necessary to fulfill the purposes identified
• information shall not be collected by misleading or deceiving means

6. Limiting the Use, Disclosure and Retention of Personal Health Information

Personal health information shall not be used or disclosed for purposes other than those for which it is collected, except with the consent of the individual or as required by law.

When using information for a new purpose not identified at the time of consent, the client shall be informed and written consent obtained.

St. Joseph’s Care Group shall maintain and enforce policies and procedures with respect to retention of client records.

St. Joseph’s Care Group shall maintain and enforce policies and procedures to govern the destruction of personal health information.

7. Ensuring Accuracy of Personal Health Information

Personal information shall be as accurate, complete and up-to-date as is necessary for the purposes for which it is to be used.

St. Joseph’s Care Group shall make every effort to ensure that information is accurate, complete and up-to-date to minimize the possibility that inappropriate information may be used to make a decision about the individual.

8. Ensuring Safeguards for Personal Health Information

Recognizing that PHI is sensitive information and in accordance with information practices and procedures, security safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity of the information shall be enforced to protect personal information.

St. Joseph’s Care Group shall protect personal information against loss, theft, unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, use or modification regardless of the format in which it is held.

The methods of protection shall include:

• physical measures, for example, locked filing cabinets and restricted access to offices
• limiting access to both paper documents and electronic data on a ‘’need to know’’ basis
• use and strict control of passwords, encryption and audits for electronic information

St. Joseph’s Care Group shall make its employees aware of the importance of maintaining personal information confidential.

All persons engaged in Care Group activities shall sign a confidentiality agreement.

9. Openness About Privacy Information Policies and Practices

St. Joseph’s Care Group shall make readily available to the public and others, specific information about the policies and practices relating to the management of personal information.

Information about St. Joseph’s Care Group’s policies and practices shall be made available and access to it shall be without unreasonable effort. This information shall be made available in a form that is generally understandable.

The information made available shall include:

• the name of the manager responsible for privacy practices, and to whom complaints or inquiries can be made
• the means of gaining access to personal information held by St. Joseph’s Care Group
• a description of the type of personal information held by St. Joseph’s Care Group, including a general account of its use
• what personal information is made available to related organizations and third parties
• St. Joseph’s Care Group policies and practices available through a variety of ways including but not limited to brochures or its website.

10. Individual Access to Own Personal Health Information

Upon request, an individual shall be informed of the existence, use and disclosure of his or her personal health information and shall be given access to that information in accordance with the provisions of PHIPA. An individual is permitted to challenge the accuracy and completeness of the health information and have it amended as appropriate.

Clients shall be given access to information held in their records of the Care Group. Exceptions to the access requirement are limited and specific under PHIPA. The reasons for denying access shall be provided to the individual upon request in compliance with PHIPA.

Exceptions include:

• where a physician has confirmed that the information may cause serious harm to the client’s treatment or recovery or risk of serious bodily harm to the individual or another person,
• information that cannot be disclosed for legal reasons (i.e. coroner’s case),
• where the information relates to information pertaining to other individuals.

In accordance with the provisions of PHIPA, St. Joseph’s Care Group shall respond to requests for access to personal health information within 30 days of a written request at a cost in keeping with the established fee structure. The Manager of the service shall review the case with the client to provide an explanation of the documentation.

When a client successfully demonstrates an inaccuracy or discrepancy of personal information, St. Joseph’s Care Group shall amend the information as required. Where appropriate, the amended information will be shared with third parties that had access to the original information.

Where there is disagreement between the client and the person who made the documentation regarding the requested change, the client shall have the opportunity to document a statement of disagreement, which shall be added to the client’s health information record. When appropriate, the existence of the unresolved challenge shall be transmitted to third parties, which had access to the information in question.

11. Challenging Compliance with St. Joseph’s Care Group’s Privacy Policies and Practices

An individual shall be able to address a challenge concerning compliance with the above principles to the Privacy Contact Person.

St. Joseph’s Care Group shall maintain and enforce the procedures to receive and respond to complaints or inquiries about their policies and practices relating to the handling of personal information. The complaint procedure shall be easily accessible and simple to use.

Clients who make inquiries or lodge complaints shall be informed of the existence of relevant complaint procedures.

All complaints shall be investigated. If the complaint is justified, appropriate measures shall be taken to amend St. Joseph’s Care Group’s policies and practices.

January 2005

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