Alternative Link Wellness Solutions
315 Steelcase Rd East, Unit 1, Markham, ON, L3R 2R5
Privacy of personal information is an important principle to Alternative Link. We are committed to collecting, using and disclosing personal information responsibly and only to the extent necessary for the services and products that we provide. We also try to be open and transparent as to how we handle personal information. This document describes our privacy policies.
Effective Date and Changes
What is Personal Information?
Personal information is any recorded information about an identifiable person. This can be as simple as your name and address. As a rule of thumb, if the information identifies you, is not otherwise publicly available and identifies something about you, it is likely personal information.
Personal information includes information that relates to personal characteristics (e.g., gender, age, income, home address or phone number, ethnic background, family status), their health (e.g., health history, health conditions, health services received by them) or their activities and views (e.g., religion, politics, opinions expressed by an individual, an opinion or evaluation of an individual).
Personal health information is a subset of personal information that relates to information provided or generated in the delivery of a health service
Personal information is to be contrasted with business information (e.g., an individual's business address and telephone number), which is not protected by privacy legislation.
Who We Are
Alternative Link- Wellness Solutions is a multidisciplinary clinic and includes several health care professionals (chiropractors, massage therapists, physiotherapists, chiropodists, acupuncturists) and all employees, staff and student trainees authorized to collect, use or disclose personal information. We use a number of consultants and agencies that may, in the course of their duties, have limited access to personal information we hold. These include, but are not limited to, computer consultants, office security and maintenance, bookkeepers and accountants, temporary workers to cover holidays, credit card companies, collection agencies, website managers, cleaners and lawyers. We restrict their access to any personal information we hold as much as is reasonably possible. We also have their assurance that they follow appropriate privacy principles.
We collect Personal Information: Primary Purposes
Alternative Link collects, uses and discloses personal information in order to serve our patients. For our patients, the primary purpose for collecting personal information is to provide health care services. For example, we collect information about a patient's health history, including their family history, physical condition and function, and social situation in order to help us assess what their health care needs are, to advise them of their options and then to provide the health care they choose to have. We may communicate this information to other regulated health care practitioners, technicians, or individuals authorized to work in our practice as part of a patient's continuing care. A second primary purpose is to obtain a baseline of health and social information so that in providing ongoing health services we can identify changes that are occurring over time.
About Members of the General Public
For members of the general public, our primary purposes for collecting personal information are to make them aware of our services in general or our practice in particular, or to provide notice of special events (e.g., upcoming seminars). For example, while we try to use work contact information whenever possible, we might collect home addresses, fax numbers and e-mail addresses but not without consent.
About Contract Staff, Volunteers and Students
For people who are contracted to do work for us (e.g., temporary workers), our primary purpose for collecting personal information is to ensure we can contact them in the future (e.g., for new assignments) and for necessary work-related communication (e.g., sending out paycheques, year-end tax receipts). Examples of the type of personal information we collect for those purposes include home addresses and telephone numbers.
We collect Personal Information: Related and Secondary Purposes
Like most organizations, we also collect, use and disclose information for purposes related to or secondary to our primary purposes. The most common examples of our related and secondary purposes are as follows:
You can choose not to be part of some of these related or secondary purposes (e.g., by declining to receive notice of special events or opportunities, by paying for your services in advance, etc). We do not, however, have much choice about some of these related or secondary purposes (e.g., external regulation).
Protecting Personal Information
We understand the importance of protecting personal information. For that reason, we have taken the following steps:
Retention and Destruction of Personal Information
We need to retain personal information for some time to ensure that we can answer any questions you might have about the services we provided to you and for our own accountability to external regulatory bodies. In compliance with the requirements of our colleges and other legislation, we keep our patient files and records for a minimum of 10 years after the last contact (for minors -10 years after client’s 18th birthday). We keep any personal information relating to our general correspondence (i.e., with people who are not patients), newsletters, seminars and marketing activities in the same manner as we keep patient records. You can ask us, in writing, to restrict our uses and disclosures of personal information at any time. We will also discontinue to use or to disclose your personal information after a written revocation of your implied or informed consent is received, unless we have already acted in reliance upon this consent. We destroy paper files containing personal information by shredding. We destroy electronic information by deleting it and, when the hardware is discarded, we ensure that information on the hard drive is destroyed. Alternatively, we may send some or the entire patient file to our patient.
You can look at your Information
With rare exceptions, you have the right to see what personal information we hold about you. Often all you have to do is ask. We can help you identify what records we might have about you. We will also try to help you understand any information you do not understand (e.g., short forms, technical language, etc.). We will need to confirm your identity, if we do not know you, before providing you with this access. We reserve the right to charge a nominal fee for such requests. We may ask you to put your request in writing. If we cannot give you access, we will notify you within 30 days if at all possible, and provide the reason, as best we can, as to why we cannot give you access. If you believe there is a mistake in the information we have about you, you have the right to ask for it to be corrected. This applies to factual information and not to any professional opinions we may have formed. We may ask you to provide documentation that our files are incorrect. Where a mistake has been made, we will make the correction and notify anyone to whom we sent this information. If we do not agree that a mistake has been made, we will include in our file a brief statement from you on the point and we will forward that statement to anyone else who received the earlier information.
Do you have a Question?
Our Information Officer is Angela Matei, RN, RMT, DOMP
To find out more about our privacy protection practices or to raise any concerns, please contact Angela Matei.
She can be reached at:
315 Steelcase Rd East, Unit 1, Markham, Ontario
Tel: 416-335-3447, Clinic Mobile: 416-994-1030
She will attempt to answer any questions or concerns you might have.
If you wish to make a formal complaint about our privacy practices or the application of those practices, you may make it in writing to our Information Officer. She will acknowledge receipt of your complaint, ensure that it is investigated promptly and that you are provided with a formal decision and reasons in writing. If you have a concern about the professionalism or competence of our services or the mental or physical capacity of any of our professional staff we would ask you to discuss those concerns with us. However, if we cannot satisfy your concerns, you are entitled to file a complaint with our regulatory bodies by writing to or communicating with them. (we will supply the address, phone numbers of each of the colleges you may want to contact)
This policy is made under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. That is a complex Act and provides some additional exceptions to the privacy principles that are too detailed to set out here. There are some rare exceptions to the commitments set out above. For more general inquiries, the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Canada oversees the administration of the privacy legislation in the private sector. The Commissioner also acts as a kind of ombudsman for privacy disputes. The Information and Privacy Commissioner can be reached at:
Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario
2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400, Toronto Ontario, M4W 1A8
Tel: Toronto Area: 416-326-3333 Long Distance: 1-800-387-0073 Fax: 416-325-9195, email: email@example.com
Revised July 10, 2012
Revised june 3, 2023