FAQs About Information Requests

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is Freedom of Information (FOI)?

Freedom of Information (FOI) means the right to access information under the authority of an Ontario government organization, as defined in one of two legislative Acts:

Hospitals, such as Rouge Valley Health System, are covered by FIPPA as of Jan. 1, 2012.

Learn more

 

What is FIPPA?

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) is legislation that gives the public right to request the records of public institutions, including hospitals as of Jan. 1, 2012. FIPPA regulates the collection, use and disclosure of personal information, and the retention, destruction, security and accuracy of personal information; it requires hospitals to maintain certain data banks; it applies to all existing corporate records. Read the complete Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act online.

 

Is it always necessary to go through a formal process to access records?

No, the formal process is not always required. In fact, as much as possible, Rouge Valley Health System is proactively posting information on its public website to make accessing information convenient. The information that you are seeking may be readily available, on the hospital’s public website. When it is not available on the public website, a formal request may be made.

 

How do I make a formal request for access to information under FIPPA?

If you are making a formal request for access to information or access to personal information or to have your personal information corrected, you must fill out the Access to Information Request form, for which public institutions may charge an application fee of $5. (The $5 cheque would be made out to Rouge Valley Health System). Additional fees may apply relevant to the cost of research, gathering and sending the information requested.

 

What if I disagree with the results of a formal access to information request?

You have the right to appeal a decision of the FIPPA officer to the provincial Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. Appeals must be made within 30 days of when you receive the decision that you wish to appeal. You may contact the Commissioner at:

Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario
2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400
Toronto, ON  M4W 1A8

 

What is PHIPA?

The Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) came into effect in Ontario, Canada on Nov. 1, 2004. PHIPA prescribes rules for the collection, use and disclosure of personal health information (PHI) in all types of health care settings, including hospitals, psychiatric facilities, laboratories, ambulance services, and nursing homes. PHIPA applies to all regulated health professionals (doctors, nurses, allied health professionals) and to non-regulated health professionals, who provide health care for payment, such as acupuncturists, psychotherapists, and ultrasonographers. PHIPA also gives patients rights related to access to their health records and how their health information is used. PHIPA defines personal health information (PHI) as identifiable information relating to an individual’s health and health care history. For example, information contained in medical files such as diagnostic, treatment and care information, OHIP numbers, genetic information and other health record details. To make a request related to Personal Health Information please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

Who is affected by PHIPA?

PHIPA applies to “health information custodians” in Ontario, Canada. Health information custodians include hospitals, doctors, health care practitioners, long-term care facilities, health care clinics, laboratories, pharmacies, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and other health-related organizations. The Act also applies to organizations outside the health system that receive information such as insurance companies, employers and schools.

Under PHIPA you have the right to:

  • Be confident that your personal health information (PHI) held by us remains accurate, confidential and secure;

  • Know how we collect, use, disclose and store personal health information;

  • Look at or receive a copy of your personal health information. Please note there is per page cost to obtain a record, and requests must be made in writing;

  • Ask us to correct your client health record;

  • Expect that your personal health information remains private. We will not share your personal health information with others without your consent unless we are permitted or required to by law;

  • Ask questions or make a complaint to the Administrator, the Director of Peel Long Term Care, or the Privacy Commissioner about our information management practices;

  • Withdraw your consent (if the law allows) for some of the above uses and disclosures by contacting us

 

What is Personal Health Information (PHI)?

PHIPA defines personal health information (PHI) as identifiable information relating to an individual’s health and health care history. PHI includes medical file information such as:

  • Diagnostic, treatment and care information

  • OHIP numbers

  • Genetic information

  • Payments or eligibility for health care

  • Donations, testing or examination of any body part or bodily substance

  • Your health card number, OHP number

  • Information identifying your substitute decision maker

  • Other health record details

 

How do I update/change/access my Personal Health Information?

To update/change/access your Personal Health Information, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

What’s the difference between PHIPA and FIPPA?

Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) prescribes rules for the collection, use and disclosure of personal health information (PHI) in all types of health care settings, including hospitals, psychiatric facilities, laboratories, ambulance services, nursing homes and applies to all regulated and non-regulated health care professionals. PHIPA only governs the collection, use and disclosure of personal health information and not other types of information. Under PHIPA, you are entitled to request access to your own records of personal health information, including hospital records. PHIPA also allows a substitute decision-maker to access records of personal health information on behalf of another individual in defined circumstances. Learn more about PHIPA.

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) relates to records of an institution, such as hospitals (as of Jan. 1, 2012). FIPPA regulates the collection, use and disclosure of personal information, and the retention, destruction, security and accuracy of personal information; it requires hospitals to maintain certain data banks; it applies to all existing corporate records. Learn more about FIPPA.

 

What is personal information?

The definition of "personal information" as given in FIPPA is recorded information about an identifiable individual, including:

  • Information relating to the race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation or marital or family status of the individual;

  • Information relating to the education or the medical, psychiatric, psychological, criminal or employment history of the individual or information relating to financial transactions in which the individual has been involved;

  • Any identifying number, symbol or other particular assigned to the individual;

  • The address, telephone number, fingerprints or blood type of the individual;

  • The personal opinions or views of the individual except where they relate to another individual;

  • Correspondence sent to an institution by the individual that is implicitly or explicitly of a private or confidential nature, and replies to that correspondence that would reveal the contents of the original correspondence;

  • The views or opinions of another individual about the individual; and

  • The individual's name where it appears with other personal information relating to the individual or where the disclosure of the name would reveal other personal information about the individual.

 

What is a personal information bank?

The definition of a "personal information bank" as given in FIPPA is a collection of personal information that is organized and capable of being retrieved using an individual's name or an identifying number or particular assigned to the individual.