Privacy FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions:

What information does the hospital collect?

To provide you with quality health care, we collect both personal and health information from you. Your legal name, date of birth, address, Health Card Number and extended health insurance numbers are examples of personal information. Your health history, the records of your visits to the hospital and what health care we provide to you during those visits are examples of your health information.


Why does the hospital need this information?

The information we collect from you is used:

  • to provide you with quality health care and follow-up care in the community. We need to make sure we can make the appropriate diagnosis and provide treatment.
  • to carry out quality assurance to help make us better. By reviewing the care we provide to patients we can determine what strategies are most successful.
  • to ask you how we are doing. You may be asked to participate in surveys by either the hospital or by specific programs or services in the hospital that participated in your care.
  • to comply with the law. The law requires hospitals to turn over your personal health information if there is a legal investigation. We also use your information to obtain funding for health services from the Ministry of Health.
  • for research. Some research is conducted using only non-identifiable, statistical information.


How does the hospital protect my information?

A few of the ways that Alexandra Marine and General Hospital strives to protect both your personal information and your personal health information are by:

  • teaching all staff about confidentiality. All staff, physicians, volunteers, etc. must sign a confidentiality agreement as a condition of their relationship with the hospital.
  • requiring that all staff wear photo identification at all times while on hospital property to protect against unauthorized individuals accessing information.
  • applying additional security measures to all electronic health records; for example, user names and passwords, firewall and antivirus software.
  • locked doors.

Does the hospital share my information with anyone?

Alexandra Marine and General Hospital shares some or all of your information with:

  • health care providers at other hospitals, nursing homes or other health care agencies who become part of your health care team. Information is shared for the purpose of your continuing in the community.
  • agencies, for example OHIP, extended health insurance companies, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and Ministry of Health.
  • other agencies as required by law, for example, public health surveillance.

Will the hospital disclose my health information to outside companies or to my employer?

The hospital requires your written permission or a court order to disclose health information to any organization or person not directly involved with the provision of patient care.


Where is my health information stored and how long?

Hospitals are required to keep health records for at least 10 years past the date of the last admission. In some cases, for example health records for children and records maintained for the purpose of research, health records are kept much longer. Most health records are maintained in Health Record Services, but some services, including Diagnostic Imaging and Laboratory, maintain their own specific records.


How do I access or request a copy of my health information?

Ask your health care provider for information about your diagnosis and treatment while you're a patient at Alexandra Marine and General Hospital.


To obtain a copy of, or view your Alexandra Marine and General Hospital health record, please contact Health Record Services.


You have the right to access your personal health record and Alexandra Marine and General Hospital has an obligation to make it available to you with limited exceptions. If releasing your information would put yourself or a third-party at risk, the hospital may choose not to disclose some or all of that information.


Can my family see my health information?

Although you have the right to access your health record, this right does not automatically extend to family members and/or friends. If you consent to let a friend or family member see your record, then the friend/family members may access the part(s) that you have consented to let them see.


What if I am unable to give consent to release my health information?

If you are unable to give consent for a friend of family member to access your health information due to reasons such as competency or unconsciousness, the consent decision falls to the appointed substitute decision maker, such as a spouse, parent or guardian.


Will my family and friends be able to call to get information about me over the phone?

When someone calls the hospital, staff have no way to verify who is calling and what their relationship is to you. Normally, in order to protect patient privacy, only a minimum amount of information is given out over the phone.


Can all hospital staff access my health information?

Only staff involved in your care may access your health information. All Alexandra Marine and General Hospital staff are bound by a strict confidentiality policy, which is a condition of employment. This policy seeks to ensure that staff only access information on a need-to-know basis. Health professionals are also bound by confidentiality requirements from their professional colleges.


I have noticed that many areas of the hospital are open and I can sometimes overhear staff talking to patients and family about health information.


Is this not a breach of patient privacy?

Despite the pressures of an acute-care hospital setting, staff make every effort to discuss health information confidentially.


Can my family physician access my health information?

Alexandra Marine and General Hospital releases information to family physicians to facilitate your continuing care.


What if I have concerns about who has accessed my health information or other Privacy concerns?

Please contact the Privacy Office if you have concerns about unauthorized access to your health information or about any other concerns you have about Privacy issues. We will ensure that your concerns are investigated promptly and a response is provided to you in a timely manner.

Alexandra Marine and General Hospital Privacy Policy


Please see Regional Fee Schedule for all Release of Information