At AntiLoneliness we are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy which means that we collect, use and disclose your personal information responsibly and only to the extent necessary for the services we provide. This document describes our policies and procedures as they relate to collecting, using and disclosing your personal information. It also offers information about how you can access your records and request correction of recorded personal information.
Who we are
Vassia Sarantopoulou, Psychologist, is the sole owner of the private practice, which delivers psychological services to adults. We have no staff members. However, there is one intern per semester who joins my company, but they have no access to personal information and data.
What is Personal Information?
Personal information is information about an identifiable individual. It includes information that relates to an individual’s personal characteristics (e.g., gender, age, income, house address or phone number, ethnic background, family status); health (e.g., health history, health conditions, health services delivered to them), activities and views (e.g., religion, politics, opinions expressed by an individual, an opinion or evaluation of an individual). Personal information and specifically personal health information is protected by privacy legislation (i.e., the Personal Health Information Protection Act [PHIPA]), and is different from business information (e.g., an individual’s business address and telephone number), which is not protected by privacy legislation.
Collection of Your Personal Health Information
The purposes of collecting your personal and health information are to provide you with appropriate and quality psychological services, contact you for service-related reasons, and prevent harm (such as reaching an emergency contact). We will not collect information from you for any other purpose (such as conducting research) without first obtaining your informed consent. If you do not want to provide consent for the collection of this latter kind of information, you are completely free to refuse and there will be no impact on your services.
We will only collect and process data about you in the following circumstances:
When you fill in forms or complete surveys on this site, including when you register on the site.
When you contact us to make requests or report faults. We may keep a record of our correspondence.
Your visits to and use of the site, including traffic levels, location, weblogs and other communications. Information about your computer, IP address, operating system, browser type, navigation etc are collected for statistical and system administration purposes and are not personalised to you.
We will collect this data to assist in our understanding of your requirements and to continually improve the site and its content. You may opt out of allowing us to collect data about you as described above at any time by contacting us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will not disclose any data we hold about you to third parties without your express permission or where we are under duty to do so by applicable law. We will keep this data in our archive for maximum 14 months and then delete it from our database, unless we have written consent from you that we can store it for longer period.
We will collect personal health information directly from you, except when you have provided consent for us to collect such information from others (such as a spouse, family physician, or mental health professional with whom you have previously worked), or when the law requires us to collect information without your consent (such as emergency situations where the purpose of collecting information is to prevent potential harm).
By law and in accordance with professional standards, we are required to keep a record of our contacts with and services to you. Your record includes information that you have provided to us or have authorized us to receive, such as consent forms, session notes, results of any assessments, billing information, contact records, and correspondence that we have sent to or received relating to your service. The physical records are the property of our practice; however, you have rights regarding access to and disclosure from your record (discussed below), regardless of the form in which the information is recorded. In this office, information is recorded in both written and electronic form.
If you contact us through our website we only retain the personal information you provide and only use that information for the purpose for which you gave it to us (e.g., to respond to your email message).
Use of Your Personal Health Information
Your personal health information is primarily used to provide you with psychological services such as psychological assessment or intervention. The delivery of psychological services includes such tasks as service planning, maintenance of records, monitoring, billing, and collecting unpaid accounts. Other uses of your personal health information include to guide and improve the quality of services provided in our practice. Further, the NIP Nederlands Instituut van Psychologen may conduct external audits of psychologists’ files; the Institute is the organization that regulates psychologists in this province. Audits involve accessing and inspecting client records, however we do not permit any identifiable client information to be removed from our premises for the purpose of an external audit without your consent. In addition, all individuals involved in such an activity are professionals required by law to maintain the confidentiality of all information that is accessed. Finally, when psychological services are paid for by third parties (such as the Workplace Safety), those third-party payers often require clients’ consent to collect and disclose to them information that demonstrates their entitlement to this funding or coverage. Discussing what information is shared with third-party payers is an important part of the consent process as well as a topic that can and should be discussed as needed during service delivery, and we encourage you to ask us questions or raise any concerns you may have on this topic.
Disclosure of Your Personal Health Information
Your personal health information will not be disclosed to people outside of this practice without your knowledge and express consent. Written consent is always preferred; however in time-sensitive situations if you provide verbal consent to share information, written consent can be obtained in our next meeting.
The law requires that any disclosure of your personal health information is limited to information that is reasonably necessary for the purpose of that disclosure and does not include private information provided by a third party. Professional ethical standards governing our practice also require that we not disclose any information that might cause serious harm to someone, unless the law requires disclosure.
Protection and Retention of Your Personal Health Information
The privacy of your personal information is protected through the use of established procedures in our office. Examples of those procedures include that paper and electronic information is secured in a locked or restricted area at all times, computers are password protected. We need to retain your personal health information in order to ensure that we can answer any questions you might have about the services provided as well as for our own accountability to external regulatory bodies.
Your Access to Your Personal Health Information
With only a few exceptions, you have the right to access any record of your personal health information and to request copies of the information (we reserve the right to charge a nominal fee for record copying). If the record contains personal health information about another individual, that person’s information must be severed before you access the record.
Do You Have Questions or Concerns?
These privacy policies and procedures have been developed in accordance with professional regulations and ethical standards. I, Vassia Sarantopoulou, will speak with you directly to answer any questions you may have regarding this Privacy Statement and to provide you with any further information about privacy practices or limits of confidentiality that are specific to your situation. If you have a concern about our privacy policies and procedures or have a complaint about how your privacy has been handled, please do not hesitate to speak or write to us at email@example.com.