Merbess Care is and always has been committed to ensuring the confidentiality and protection of personal information in its possession. We recognize the importance of personal privacy and are committed to protecting the confidentiality of your health and personal information within our business; whether provided through paper based collections, electronic communications over the internet, or on the telephone.
Our policy is designed to meet the requirements of the Personal Information Protection and Electronics Documents Act (the “Privacy Act’). The primary purpose of the Privacy Act is to ensure individuals retain their privacy as it applies to all personal and business information.
Merbess Care collects, uses, discloses, retains and destroys personal information for the sole purpose of providing you with high quality services. Our employees can expect the same confidentiality and privacy of their personal information as our clients and customers.
We Are Accountable:
Merbess Care, all employees are accountable and committed to ensuring that your personal information is held in the strictest confidence. Our Privacy Officer is responsible for the overall compliance to the requirements of all privacy legislation and privacy practices. However, all our employees are accountable for maintaining the privacy and confidentiality of all information they have access to in their course of their work with us.
Who sees your personal information?
Your personal information is not shared with any other organization except as explicitly defined in the Privacy Act.
Your client file and computer record are accessible by the office staff of Merbess Care. Your computer record allows us to record your care plan information, accept your payment, update your accounts, print receipts, contact you as needed, and arrange additional appointments.
With your written permission, information may be shared with an insurance company or lawyer. Insurance companies and lawyers require different information so this will be addressed on a case-by-case basis with you.
Technical support staff (such as when they replace a hard drive) may have access to your information. All such staff is covered under a contract that ensures they use appropriate levels of confidentiality.
Your records may be subpoenaed by the legal system. In this instance we are obligated to turn over copies of your records to the responsible authorities.
What We Collect and Why:
Merbess Care staff will only ask you about information that we feel is necessary for the purpose of providing your care and service. We do not indiscriminately collect information, and constantly review our practices to ensure this remains true.
For example, when you request or require home support or personal support services, we collect information regarding your general health status and ability to perform activities of daily living, so that we are best able to evaluate how we can support you.
For all services, we may ask you questions specifically to help us determine how you are managing at home with your current health status. This is to help us put a care plan or resources in place to allow you to remain independent in your home.
If at any time we require more or different information, or your information is required for a purpose other than the care and service discussed with you, you will be contacted and your consent will be obtained.
Merbess Care staff will endeavor to ensure that all personal information is accurate, complete and up-to- date, so that we can provide you with the appropriate care and services. We need your assistance in doing this; however, please let us know if any information relevant to your health care needs to be changed. Your information is not kept up-to-date after you have been discharged from service.
At the start of your care, we will ask you to sign a Service Agreement, giving us your expressed written consent for all aspects of the service. This may include such things as conducting an assessment, providing your care and asking your permission regarding release of information. Please let us know if there is anyone with whom you do not want your information, in part or in whole to be released to, and we will make note of this. All of this will be discussed with you by our care manager.
Your consent is considered valid through to the end of your service, provided the reasons for the consent haven’t changed. You may withdraw your permission or consent (in part or in whole), however, at any time during your care and service. Should this occur, our staff will inform you of the implications of that withdrawal.
For those individuals who are unable to provide consent, e.g., minors, those who are seriously ill or mentally handicapped persons, consent will be obtained by an authorized authority, e.g., legal guardian, power of attorney or the executor of your estate.
Merbess Care will seek your consent to disclose personal information outside of the multidisciplinary team or “circle of care” when appropriate access requests are received. Merbess Care documents personal information disclosures that are made to third parties which would not require your information for routine, day-to-day purposes.
Please contact our office at any time at 512-316-8270 or email@example.com if you wish to withdraw or change the conditions of your consent.
Data quality, accuracy and compliance:
The accountability for compliance with privacy laws is the responsibility of the Privacy Officer for Merbess Care. Merbess Care assumes this role in their organization or appoints a member of their management team to be responsible for the privacy in their designated location. Anyone may contact this individual to request access to their information, put forth complaints and request solutions and to adjust personal information.
How do we protect your information?
Your client file is kept in a locked filing cabinet. This cabinet is locked when we are not in attendance.
Our client computer records are protected by a password. When the computer is left unattended it will lock after a short time. This data will not be taken off site. It will be on backup discs which are stored in a secured location.
All temporary staff entering this office unattended (such as maintenance and cleaning staff) are bound under contract to respect your information and operate under the Privacy Act.
When information is to be destroyed, care is taken to ensure that it is properly destroyed (shredded) rather than just placed in a waste container.
How long do we keep personal information?
Your information is destroyed 5 years after our final visit with you.
All Merbess Care employees are responsible for ensuring the privacy and confidentiality of your personal information. If you have any questions or concerns about your personal information, or if you would like more information about our policies and practices for managing and handling personal information, you are invited to contact our Privacy office. If your privacy concerns cannot be addressed to your satisfaction, or you wish further information, your inquiry will be forwarded to Merbess Care Privacy Officer. You may contact Merbess Care Privacy Officer directly by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by calling 512-316-8270 or in writing 6001 W Parmer Ln Ste 370 Austin, TX 78727.
You are also entitled to contact your provincial Privacy Commissioner’s Office if you feel this is necessary. While we would appreciate the opportunity to do what we can to address your concerns, we would also assist you in contacting your Privacy Commissioner’s Office if you believe this is warranted.
Notification of changes: