Privacy + Confidentiality

Your Privacy and Confidentiality

The Information Access and Privacy Office (IAPO) is responsible for overseeing the information and privacy practices at Providence Health Care to ensure we are in compliance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). 

Securing and ensuring the confidentiality of personal information is a responsibility that Providence Health Care (PHC) takes very seriously.  Everyone receiving care or a service at one of our facilities has a health record that contains documents such as reports from care providers, test results and pharmacy information.  All of your records are kept strictly confidential.  Protecting your privacy is a priority.

Collecting, Using and Sharing Your Personal Information

When you are receiving care, treatment and services at Providence Health Care, our staff, physicians and other authorized individuals will collect, use and share your personal information to deliver health care services.  They may use and share your information:

  • To identify you and keep in contact with you about your health care;
  • To provide immediate and ongoing care;
  • For teaching and education purposes (e.g. training doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals);
  • For research purposes, with consent or as permitted by law;
  • To enable parties (e.g. Ministry of Health Services) to confirm your identity, conduct planning and quality improvement activities, measure performance and fund healthcare;
  • To know your eligibility for benefits and services and to arrange payment; and
  • As required by law or under a specific statute (e.g. to respond to a court order or report a communicable disease).

How is your information shared?

Your health information will be shared with those who are providing and supporting your care and could include your referring physician, your family physician, other authorized Health care professionals and their support staff, or health care agencies and facilities that are providing continuous care and service.  In some cases, these health professionals may look up your health information in our electronic health information systems in order to provide you with direct or supporting services.

How is your information secured?

We use a variety of safeguards to protect your information whether it is in paper or electronic form.  Some of the safeguards we use to protect your electronic health record include encryption, passwords and access audits.

Does Providence Health Care have a policy about privacy and confidentiality?

Yes!  We have several policies that provide a framework for the consistent management of personal and confidential business information collected, used, disclosed and protected in accordance with the principles and requirements of various legislative Acts, including but not limited to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act  (FIPPA).

What should you do if you don’t want others to know you are in our care?

It is standard practice to tell people who phone to ask about you with information confirming your admission and location.  If you do not wish us to release this information, let a staff member know within Patient Registration or within your care area.

Emailing or texting your health care provider

Providence Health Care (PHC) staff and physicians are committed to communicating with you about your care while protecting your privacy and personal information and there may be times that you would like to communicate with us by email or text.

How do you request your health record?

Visit our Request health records page.

Related Policies + Guidelines:

Mobile Device Security Guide
Notice: Emailing or Texting your Health Care Provider
Texting Policy
Emailing Policy
Emailing Guidelines
Information Privacy and Confidentiality
Data Encryption

Useful Links:

Caring for Your Information – Notice to our Patients and Residents
Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for B.C.
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
The E-Health (Personal Health Information Access and Protection of Privacy) Act

Contact Providence Health Care Information Access & Privacy Office

1081 Burrard Street   Vancouver, BC  V6Z 1Y6
Tel:   (604) 806-8336  Fax:  (604) 806-8894