Privacy and Confidentiality

Compassion north America Home Health Services  shall at all times respect the privacy and confidentiality of the data, personal health information, and other material we collect about clients, due to the client/ provider privilege, in the course of providing adequate service to our clients. Compassion North America shall ensure that all measures and standards are fully implemented and all relevant precautions,  that can be reasonably expected to ensure that personal health information and other information in our custody is secure, are followed at all times to prevent any unauthorized access,loss, theft, modification,copying, disposal and other confidentiality or privacy breaches. 

Duty of Employees and Agents to Inform Clients.
Personal health information shall be collected, used, stored, disclosed  or accessed by employees or agents of Compassion North America to identify a client, provide service to a client, determine their eligibility to receive a service, or provide the coordination of such services that the client is already receiving, is eligible for, and  any other incidental activities thereto that are consistent with the applicable laws, regulations and guidelines. In collecting such information, employees and agents shall ensure that the minimum amount of information that can be reasonably required to provide, manage, report and follow-up on the service concerned adequately is collected.  In collecting, using, disclosing and storing personal health information, employees shall ensure that they comply with organizational processes and do so in the manner prescribed and on the mediums,  forms, charts and other tools provided by Compassion North America Home Health Services for this purpose. Employees shall explain to each client the purpose for which each category of personal health information is required before collecting the information, except in the case of providing ongoing service to a client.

Consent of Clients to Collect Personal Health Information. 
Employees and agents of Compassion North America Home Health Services must obtain the consent of clients before collecting personal health information. The organization shall also include a statement of purposes in the service contract of clients to make them aware of the purposes for which personal health information is collected, used, stored and disclosed or by providing a copy of this policy for the signature of clients. Clients can withdraw consent at any time by providing notice to the organization. However, if the client provides a conditional consent with the intention of restricting the personal health information that can be collected, used, or stored and whereby that restriction does not meet the requirements of the applicable laws or standards of professional practice in the industry, the conditional consent shall not be followed.

Determining the capacity of a client to consent.
Unless otherwise supported by available evidence, reasonable grounds, or medical observation, Compassion North America would presume that the client has the capacity to provide consent for the collection, use, storage and disclosure of personal health information. When there are reasonable grounds to conclude that the individual is not capable of providing consent as at a particular point in time, Compassion North America shall inform the individual of the assessment including the consequences of the determination of inability to consent. Compassion North America would also inform the individual of their right to appeal the determination to a competent authority designated by the applicable law, in the absence of a substitute decision maker. During the client intake process, Compassion North America would ensure that all clients appoint a substitute decision maker, whenever possible or available.

Substitute decision makers.
A substitute decision maker can give instructions, make a request and take a step that would have been required of a capable client. However, such instructions, requests, and steps would be referenced to the substitute decision maker and not the client. A substitute decision maker can provide consent on behalf of a client that has been determined as incapable of consenting to the collection, use, storage, and disclosure of personal health information if the following conditions are met:
  • The client had appointed the substitute decision maker in writing who is at least 16 years old.
  • A parent or legal custodian of a child client, if the client is less than 16 years. The parent or guardian may only qualify to provide consent if they are capable, willing, available, and not prohibited by a court order or similar legal and other restriction or separation agreement from doing so.
  • A person who is authorized by the applicable law to consent on behalf of the client.
  • If the client is deceased, the next of kin or individual that has taken control of the administration of the estate of the deceased.
  • A person whom an applicable law designates to act on behalf of the client.
  • Whereby a substitute decision maker that is a legal custodian of a child provides conflicting information with respect to a child capable of consenting concerning the collection, use, storage, and disclosure of personal health information, the consent of the child to give, withhold, or withdraw consent shall prevail.
 If a substitute decision-maker withdraws consent, Compassion North America would apply for redress to a competent authority established for this purpose if we believe that the substitute decision maker has not complied with the applicable laws, regulations, and guidelines.

Implied consent for the Health Care Team and Affiliated Consent.
A member of the Compassion North America health care team who receives, collects, uses, stores, and discloses information to another care team member for the purpose of providing health care to the client or assisting in providing health care is entitled to assume that it has the consent of the client to collect, use, and disclose personal health information for the purpose of providing or assisting in providing health care to the client so long as they are not informed by the organization that the client has withdrawn their consent. Whereby the client has provided limited consent concerning some of the personal health information that has to be provided to a member of the health care team to effectively provide care to the client, the receiving health care team member would be informed about that fact.  

During the intake process if a client provides information that relates to membership in a religious organization or any other organization, Compassion North America shall assumes that the client has provided consent to  the company to provide their name and location to a representative of that religious body or other organization after providing the opportunity to the client to withdraw the consent and they fail to do so.

Penalties for breaches committed by employees.
Whereby an employee willfully contravenes this policy and the incident comes to the attention of Compassion North America, the organization shall immediately investigate the breach. Depending on the outcome of the investigation, if the employee or agent is a member of a regulated health profession the professional college would be informed within 30 days of the incident when the employee or agent is terminated, suspended, or subject to disciplinary action. If the employee or agent resigns while the investigation is ongoing the professional college would still be informed.
Electronic collection and storage.

Whenever the Compassion North America Home Health Services uses the service of a third party that provides electronic means to collect, use, modify, disclose, retain or dispose of personal health information, we shall ensure that the partner organization is in compliance with the prescribed requirements and complies with the information practices specified therein.

Where any data breach occurs, despite reasonable protective measures adopted by the organization and its partners, clients would be informed immediately. Such information would also include the actions the organization is taking to investigate the incident, ensure that appropriate remedies are followed to ensure that as low as possible  a damage result from the data breach, changes the organization has made to prevent a reoccurrence, and provide information on the right of the client, and how the client, can make a complaint to an officer designated by the applicable law.  Compassion North America shall also inform an officer designated by the applicable law of a breach, if the requirements for taking such action prescribed in the applicable law, regulations and guidelines are met by the incident.

Disclosure of Personal Health Information.
Despite these guarantees, Compassion North America may be obliged by the applicable law, regulations and guidelines to disclose personal health information in the case where such disclosure is to enable an arm of the government or  Minister to duly exercise their powers under the law. The organization may also disclose personal health information in response to a directive, notice, summons  from a court of law concerning a matter before the court. Under these circumstances, the organization would still follow relevant provisions of the law, if the release of such information is likely to cause physical or emotional harm to the person to whom the record relates or another person, to withhold the record or the part of the record in question--unless ordered by a court of law or other administrative body to release the concerned document after a hearing from which the public is excluded.

However, the following personal health information shall not be released in the course of any proceeding:
  • Information obtained during the assessment or review of the client's requirements.
  • Information obtained during the development or review of the care plan for the client.
  • Information obtained during the course of determining if the client is eligible for a service.
  • Information obtained during the process of administering service to the client.
  • Information obtained during the tenure of employment of the client with Compassion North America.
Such information can only be released if consent is provided by the client to whom they relate or her substitute decision-maker, if they are mentally incapable of making the decision. 

If a court deems that the release of this information is necessary for the administration of justice--and orders Compassion North America to release the information--the personal health information would be released after Compassion North America provides a notice to the client or substitute decision maker.  
Exceptions.
These policy provisions do not apply to an Appeal Board or other similar body established by the applicable law to hear cases related to public service delivery, where such service is provided by Compassion North America.
It also does not apply to a court or administrative body that is commenced  by the client concerned and relating to the service that the client is receiving. It does not apply to the right of the client to access their personal health information, in the manner prescribed by applicable law, in the custody of Compassion North America. After due precautions as prescribed by applicable law, regulations and guidelines are taken, such as those measures that protect against the disclosure of the identity of the person to whom the record entails, it does not apply to the use of personal health information for purposes such as quality improvement and research. It does not apply to records the earlier of 120 years after they are created or 50 years after the person to whom they belong dies.

Whenever disclosure of personal health information has to be made, Compassion North America shall ensure that the record is accurate, complete, and up to date as is necessary for the purpose for which it is released.

Retention of records.
Moreover, records of personal health information in the custody of Compassion North America shall be retained, transferred and disposed of in a secure manner in accordance with the prescribed requirements. If a record is subject to an ongoing access to information request by a client, Compassion North America shall take measures to hold such record for as long as necessary to allow the individual to exhaust all recourse provided under the applicable law with respect to the request. 

Places where records would be kept.
Compassion North America Home Health Services would keep records of personal health information in the home of clients to facilitate the ongoing delivery of service to the client. This would be done  in a reasonable manner that the client consents to while ensuring that the requirements of the applicable laws are met. It is possible that Compassion North America would also consider keeping electronic health records on the client in a different place such as in a secure cloud server, that is not under the direct control of the organization. In doing so, the organization would ensure that the following measures are satisfied:
  • The organization would obtain the consent of all clients whose personal health information is kept in this manner.
  • The record is kept in a reasonable manner.
  • Compassion North America is allowed to keep the record in the said place by the applicable laws, regulations, and guidelines.
  • All other prescribed conditions are satisfied.
 
Duty to notify.
 In the event where Compassion North America uses or discloses personal health information of a client in a manner that is not described in this statement heretofore, the organization shall do the following immediately:
  • Inform the individual or individuals of the use or disclosure of the information immediately.
  • Make a note for the record about the disclosure and use.
  • Keep the note for the record about the disclosure and use as part of the record of personal health information of the individual or individuals concerned.
Access to Information, Complaint Process and Reporting.

Clients requesting personal health information should do so by email to intakandhr@Compassionna.com.
Individuals who want to make a complaint should use the complaint process and form published on the website of Compassion North America Home Health Services www.compassionna.com.
If personal health information in the custody of Compassion North America is lost or stolen or inappropriately accessed, copied, or disclosed by an employee-- for a reason or in an manner other than stated and allowed in this policy statement, the employee or any other staff member aware of such a breach should report the incident to the Director of Social Works, Ethics and Spiritual Affairs immediately.

Contact Person for the implementation of applicable Privacy and Confidentiality laws.
The Director of Social Work, Ethics, and Spiritual Affairs shall serve as the contact person for all matters relating to personal health information in the custody of Compassion North America Home Health Services. The contact person shall ensure that all personnel are informed about the obligations of the company under the applicable privacy and confidentiality laws, regulations, and guidelines; ensures that the  organization complies with the requirements of the applicable laws, receives and investigates all complaints from the public, and other sources, about actions that contravene the applicable laws; responds to requests to access or correct personal health information from an individual that the record belongs to; and responds to inquiries from the public about Compassion North America's information practices. The contact address of the Director is intakeandhr@compassionna.com