Principle 2Our pharmacy will inform you as to why we must collect any of your personal information before the information is collected. How we use and disclose your personal information Treatment: We may use your personal information to provide you with pharmacy or health-related services. We may use your information to co-ordinate care with other pharmacies and healthcare providers as we always have in the past. Examples include filling your prescription or speaking to your doctor regarding your prescription for clarification purposes. Payment: We may use and disclose your personal information in order to receive payment for the drugs you receive. For example, we need to give information about prescriptions we have filled for you to your health plan to obtain payment. Communication with individuals involved in your care or payment for your care: Health professionals such as pharmacists, using their professional judgment, may disclose to your health care designate personal information that is directly relevant to your designate’s involvement in your care or payment for your care. Health-related educational communications: We may contact you to provide refill reminders or information about treatment alternatives, events in our stores, or other health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you. Communication about products and services: We may use and disclose your personal information to tell you about or recommend possible treatment options or alternatives, or to tell you about health-related benefits or services that may be of interest to you. In order to keep your information up to date, your pharmacist and the pharmacy staff will discuss with you periodically the personal information we have in our records. They will also remind you why they require your personal information and will ask for your consent to collect and use it. Other reasons that we may require your personal information from time to time, our pharmacy may offer promotions and other pharmacy services such as wellness programs and health educational events in which you may want to participate. In order to provide you with the full benefit of these services, we may ask you to provide us with certain personal information. At the time of collection, we will advise you of the specific purpose for which the information is required and we will provide you with the option to consent to the collection, use and/or disclosure of that information. If you choose to withhold your consent, we may not be able to provide the service contemplated.
Principle 3Our pharmacy will obtain your consent before or when we collect, use or disclose personal information about you. You may withdraw your consent at any time. Why do pharmacists need your consent? Effective January 1, 2004, under Canadian privacy legislation, pharmacists and pharmacy staff must get your express consent to collect, use and disclose your personal health information. This may include information we currently have on record and have always collected, used and disclosed to provide you with pharmacy services. While previously you could give us your permission in an informal way, such as providing us with your insurance card to register you for a prescription, the new legislation requires us to collect, use and disclose your personal information as well as to document the consent you provide to us. How will we ask for your consent? When you first visit our pharmacy after January 1, 2004, a pharmacist or one of their staff will provide you with a description of why your personal information is required and to whom they must disclose it. You will be asked to confirm your consent and this will be documented in our dispensary files. On occasion, you will be asked to update this consent to ensure that our records remain accurate. There may be times when you want us to share prescription-related information with a family member or authorized representative or, in the alternative, to specifically restrict with whom we may share the information. We will comply with your request upon notification by you. For example, if you would like to have special provisions made for the pick-up or delivery of your prescription, we will follow your instructions upon your request. We will maintain a record of your instructions. Simply contact your pharmacy and they will be pleased to update this information. What happens if you choose not to give us your consent? What if you withdraw your consent at a later date? If you choose not to provide us with your consent to collect and use the health information, we will still be obliged to comply with all the provincial laws that require us to keep a record of the medicine that we dispense to you. However, we may not have sufficient health information in your record to provide you with the full range of pharmacy services. If you do not give us your consent to communicate with your insurance company, you may be required to pay for your medicine and send the information required for reimbursement directly to your pharmacy benefits plan. Exceptions to requiring consent Our pharmacy will collect, use or disclose personal information without your consent only in limited circumstances as permitted by law. There have always been, and may continue to be, instances where we may collect, use or disclose your personal information without your consent. These instances are permitted under privacy legislation in order to ensure that the consent requirement is not a hindrance to your health and safety. Personal information may be collected without consent where the collection is clearly in the interest of the individual and consent cannot be obtained in a timely way. Personal information may be used without consent where it is used for the purpose of acting in respect to an emergency that threatens the life, health or security of an individual. Personal information may be disclosed without consent where the disclosure is made to a person who needs the information because of an emergency that threatens the life, health or security of an individual.
Principle 4Our pharmacy limits the amount and type of personal information we collect. We will collect personal information only for the purposes that we have identified or as otherwise permitted by law. We will limit the collection of your personal information to that which is required to accomplish the purposes for which it is being collected. For example, if the purpose of the collection is to enable a pharmacy to submit a drug benefit claim to an adjudicator or benefit manager for payment, the pharmacy will only collect from you the information required to submit the claim.
Principle 5Our pharmacy will use or disclose your personal information only for the reasons that you provided it to us. We will keep your personal information only as long as necessary to accomplish these purposes. In order to provide you with quality health care and in compliance with existing federal and provincial legislation, we keep a record of the medicines dispensed to you at our pharmacy. We also include in our records any relevant health information that we require to ensure that you are not given or advised to take a medicine that is not appropriate for you. We will retain your personal information for the period of time that is required by law (we have to keep prescription files for a designated number of years even though the individual may no longer be a customer). We will not share your personal information with any third parties, except as expressly consented to by you or as may be required by law. Other purposes where we have collected your personal information in relation to a loyalty program, contest, promotion or some other non-pharmacy-related purpose, we will use your information only for those purposes and for any other related purpose that we have disclosed to you and to which you have consented. We will keep your information only as long as is necessary to provide you with those services. We will not share your personal information with any third parties, except as expressly consented to by you or as may be required by law. If we intend to use your personal information for a new purpose, not previously identified to you, we will obtain your prior consent to the new purpose. When your personal information is no longer required, it will be destroyed or depersonalized.
Principle 6Our pharmacy will endeavor to maintain the accuracy of the personal information in our possession or control. In order to provide you with a high degree of professional service, we must ensure that the personal information that we collect about you must be accurate, complete and current. From time to time, you will be asked by your pharmacist to update your personal information. For example, information about allergies may need to be reviewed on a regular basis. You are encouraged to advise your pharmacist of any changes to your personal information that may be relevant to the services they are providing to you. This may include, for example, a change in your medical situation, such as a new diagnosis, or a change in your employment or residence. At any time, you can ask your pharmacist to allow you to review the personal information they have about you and, where necessary, you will be able to update that information to ensure that it is accurate.
Principle 7Our pharmacy protects your personal information with safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity of the information. We protect your personal information by using physically secure facilities, industry standard security tools and practices, and clearly defined internal policies and practices. Security measures are in place to protect the loss, misuse and alteration of the information under our control. To prevent unauthorized electronic access to personal information, we maintain information collected in password-protected environments.
Principle 9At your request, our pharmacy will advise you of what personal information we have in our possession or control about you, what it is being used for, and to whom and why it has been disclosed. Each person aged 18 and older has the right to review and obtain a copy of his or her personal information on record at our pharmacies, with limited exceptions. This information usually will include prescription and billing records. Parents of children under the age of 18 may also request the records of their children. To find out what information your pharmacist has about you, contact them in person or in writing. In most instances, they will respond to your request within 30 days. If you have any concerns about the access provided to you, or if you wish to amend the information, you are encouraged to discuss it with your pharmacist, who will be pleased to assist you. Other information to access personal information that you believe we may have in our possession in relation to a loyalty program, contest, promotion or some other non-pharmacy-related purpose, contact your pharmacist (please see Contact Information, page 6). In most instances, they will respond to your request within 30 days.