Nova Scotia Health Privacy Statement
Nova Scotia Health ("NS Health") maintains the confidentiality and privacy of individuals' personal information and personal health information while collecting, using, and disclosing information to follow applicable privacy laws, including the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPOP), the Personal Health Information Act. (PHIA), and the Personal Information International Disclosure Protection Act (PIIDPA). NS Health supports the right of individuals or their authorized representatives to access and to ask to correct their personal information and personal health information, unless a law prohibits doing so.
Collecting your personal health information
The personal information we collect may include:
- Your name
- Date of birth
- Provincial health card number
- Health history
- Information about the tests, procedures and care you received
We collect personal health information directly from you or from the person acting on your behalf. Sometimes, we ask other health professionals or health care organizations involved in your care for your personal health information. This helps us provide care to you. We may collect personal health information from other sources, if the law allows or with your consent. Personal health information may be collected and stored in different ways. This includes your paper chart, electronic file and images.
Using and disclosing your health information
We use and disclose your personal health information to:
- Treat and care for you during your stay or visit
- Help other health professionals outside of Nova Scotia Health who are involved in your care to provide health services to you. This could include your family doctor, pharmacist or nursing home staff.
- Receive payment from your provincial health care plan, private insurer or other body for delivering care to you.
- Support Nova Scotia Health's educational activities. We are a learning organization.
- Conduct activities that help us improve the quality of care and patient safety, and manage risk
- Conduct patient experience surveys
- Conduct research, if you give your express consent. Note: Some research studies do not require your consent. These studies have safeguards in place to protect your privacy under the Personal Health Information Act. This includes review of all studies by a Research Ethics Board.
- Give family or friends confirmation that you are in hospital, your room and telephone extension, and general condition (e.g. fair, good) on the day they request the information.
- Notify a representative of your faith group so that they can visit during your stay, if you identify your faith group.
- Plan and manage our operations. For example, staff scheduling, management of beds, etc.
- Enable the provincial Department of Health and Wellness to plan and manage the health system.
- Fulfill other purposes permitted under law. Some examples: reporting abuse, reporting certain communicable diseases, in accordance with a warrant or subpoena.
You may withdraw or withhold your consent for the following uses and disclosures of health information. We will do what we reasonably can to meet your wishes.
- Confirmation of your status as a patient. As soon as you are admitted to hospital, please let staff attending to your care know that you want this information kept private.
- Use or disclosure to a specific health professional or health organization involved in your care.
- Educational activities
- Patient experience surveys
- Notification of religious representatives (if you have identified your religion)
You have the right, subject to some exceptions, to
- see and ask for a copy of your health information
- ask us to make corrections to inaccurate or incomplete health information
- ask for a audit on who has accessed your personal health information.
- be told if your information is lost, stolen or shared with someone without authorization.
- change your mind if you have previously given us permission to use or share your health information.
Requesting Your Health Information
You can find information about how to make requests for you personal health information from us HERE.
For more information
- Privacy of Your Health Information at NSHA (.pdf)
- La confidentialité de vos renseignements médicaux à la Régie de la santé de la Nouvelle-Écosse (.pdf)