Selkirk Veterinary Services is committed to safeguarding the personal information entrusted to us by our clients. We manage your personal information in accordance with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Ac (“PIPEDA”), Canadian Anti-Spam Law (“CASL”) and other applicable laws. This policy outlines the principles and practices we follow in protecting your personal information.
This policy also applies to any person providing services on our behalf. A copy of this policy is available to any client upon request and also published on our website www.selkirkvetservice.ca.
What is personal information?
Personal information means information about an identifiable individual. This includes an individual’s name, home address and phone number, marital status, an identifying number such as a driver’s license, financial information, etc. Although information about your pet such as age, sex, name, breed, colouring and markings, medical history, etc., is not legally considered personal information, we nonetheless treat it as such.
What personal information do we collect?
We collect only the personal information that we need for the purposes of providing services to our clients and patients, including personal information needed to:
- Open and manage a file
- Deliver requested products and services
- Enroll a client in a program
- Send out reminders and pet health information
- Contact clients about appointments
- Follow up with clients to determine satisfaction with products and services
- Grant credit
- Make referrals to veterinary specialists and/or laboratories
- Meet regulatory requirements
We normally collect client information directly from our clients. We may collect your information from other persons (such as other veterinary hospitals) with your consent or as authorized by law.
We inform our clients, before or at the time of collecting personal information, of the purposes for which we are collecting the information. The only time we don’t provide this notification is when a client volunteers information for an obvious purpose (for example, producing a credit card for an in-hospital purchase when the information will be used only to process the payment).
We ask for consent to collect, use or disclose client personal information, except in specific circumstances where collection, use or disclosure without consent is authorized or required by law. We may assume your consent in cases where you volunteer information for an obvious purpose.
In cases where Selkirk Veterinary Services collected personal information before January 1, 2004, we assume your consent to our use and, where applicable, disclosure for the purpose for which the information was collected.
We ask for your express consent for some purposes and may not be able to provide certain services if you are unwilling to provide consent to the collection, use or disclosure of certain personal information. For example, we may not be able to provide boarding services for your pet if you are unwilling to provide information pertaining to vaccine history, or we may not be able to consult a specialist on your pet’s behalf if you are unwilling to provide the specialist with the medical file of your pet. Further, we may not be able to provide any services for hospitalized or boarding pets if you are unwilling to provide financial information. Where express consent is needed, we will normally ask clients to provide their consent orally (in person, by telephone), in writing (by signing a consent form, and/or by checking a box on a form) or providing implied consent during examination.
In cases that do not involve sensitive personal information, we may rely on “opt-out” consent. This applies, for example, to an animal shelter or pound requesting information to reunite you with your lost pet. We will not release your information to a private citizen; we will record their contact information and then contact you directly ourselves. If you wish that we do not disclose your contact information to organizations that we believe may be of assistance to you, you may do this by checking the appropriate box on the personal information consent form or by informing one of our staff either in person or by phone.
A client may withdraw consent to the use and disclosure of all or part of personal information at any time, unless the personal information is necessary for us to fulfill our legal obligations. We will respect your decision, but we may not be able to provide you with certain products and services if we do not have the necessary personal information.
We may collect, use or disclose client personal information without consent only as authorized by law. For example, we may not request consent when the collection, use or disclosure is reasonable for an investigation or legal proceeding, to collect a debt owed to our hospital, in an emergency that threatens life, health or safety, or when the personal information is from a public telephone directory.
How do we use and disclose personal information?
We use and disclose client personal information only for the purposes for which the information was collected, except as authorized by law. For example, we may use client information to have goods delivered. The law also allows us to use that contact information for the purpose of collecting a debt owed to our hospital, should that be necessary.
If we wish to use or disclose your personal information for any new business purpose, we will ask for your consent.
How do we safeguard personal information?
We make every reasonable effort to ensure that client information is accurate and complete. We rely on our clients to notify us if there is a change to their personal information that may affect their relationship with our hospital. If you are aware of an error in our information about you or your pet, please let us know and we will correct it on request wherever possible.
In some cases we may ask for a written request for correction.
We protect client personal information in a manner appropriate for the sensitivity of the information. We make every reasonable effort to prevent any loss, misuse, disclosure or modification of personal information, as well as any unauthorized access to personal information.
We use appropriate security measures when destroying client personal information, including shredding paper records and permanently deleting electronic records.
We retain client personal information only as long as is reasonable to fulfill the purposes for which the information was collected or for legal or business purposes.
Access to records containing personal information
Clients of Selkirk Veterinary Services have a right of access to their own personal information in a record that is in our custody or under our control, subject to some exceptions. For example, organizations are required under the Personal Information Protection Act to refuse to provide access to information that would reveal personal information about another individual. Organizations are authorized under the Act to refuse access to personal information if disclosure would reveal confidential business information. Access may also be refused if the information is privileged or contained in mediation records.
If we refuse a request in whole or in part, we will provide the reasons for the refusal. In some cases where exceptions to access apply, we may withhold that information and provide you with the remainder of the record.
You may make a request for access to your personal information by writing to Mr. Andreas Rodenberg, Hospital Administrator and Privacy Officer of Selkirk Veterinary Services. You must provide sufficient information in your request to allow us to identify the information you are seeking.
You may also request information about our use of your personal information and any disclosure of the information to persons outside of our hospital. For personal information collected before January 2004, if we do not have a record of disclosures, we will provide information about any disclosure of your information that is likely to have occurred.
You may also request a correction of an error or omission in your personal information.
We will respond to your request within 30 calendar days, unless an extension is granted. We may charge a reasonable fee to provide information, but not to make a correction. We will advise you of any fees that may apply before beginning to process your request.
Questions and complaints
If you have a question or concern about any collection, use or disclosure of personal information by Selkirk Veterinary Services, or about a request for access to your own personal information, or if you wish to have all or part of your personal information removed please contact Mr. Andreas Rodenberg:
Andreas Rodenberg – Hospital Administrator/Privacy Officer
Selkirk Veterinary Services
6 Wersch Street – P.O. Box 276
Selkirk, Manitoba R1A 2B2
E-mail: [email protected]