Alpine Counselling Clinic Ltd., (doing business as Alpine Clinic) is committed to maintaining privacy for our clients, in accordance with applicable provincial and federal legislation, and with the highest levels of accountability and transparency, even as we aim to make it as easy as possible for clients to use technology to access information about us and our services. This Statement of Privacy applies to Alpine Counselling Clinic, as well as our website, and governs all manner of data collection and usage.
COLLECTION OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
In order to deliver services to clients, Alpine Clinic collects personally identifiable information such as email address, name, phone numbers, etc., directly from clients. This information may be provided to us in a variety of formats, including electronic, oral, or in writing. In cases where information is collected from other sources we endeavor to ensure that client permission via informed consent has been secured.
Alpine Clinic also records phone conversations for quality assurance and training purposes. These audio files are kept for a maximum of 30 days and all identifying information is removed from the information collected whenever possible and appropriate.
USE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
Personal information collected is solely for the purpose of providing services to clients, and to adhere to the legal and ethical obligations of the Counselling & Psychotherapy profession. Alpine Clinic does not sell, rent, lease, or otherwise make available to any outside party, any client information. The only exceptions to this would be when Alpine Clinic is aware of a risk of imminent harm to self or other, a risk of harm to a child (18 & under) or vulnerable adult.
Alpine Clinic may also disclose personal information without notice, in rare cases where such disclosure is necessary to comply with a legal order, or to protect the business assets of the company.
ACCESS TO PERSONAL INFORMATION
At the Alpine Clinic, clients always have the right to access their personal information and to determine whether or not to share their private information with anyone else. If a file is shared with others, as in the case of couples or family counselling, all members of the party must consent to any release of information, in writing. When clients wish to have access to their file, or to have the contents of their file shared with another party, Alpine Clinic is happy to comply as quickly and efficiently as possible, once the appropriate written permissions are obtained.
DISPOSAL OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
Any disposal of client information is undertaken with the highest standards of privacy in mind. At Alpine Clinic we are required by law to securely store client files for a period of at least seven (7) years after the most recent client contact, before confidentially disposing of the documents. Alpine Clinic is also vigilant about destroying any client payment information as soon as it is made clear that we no longer require these details. Clients are always able to revoke any payment related permissions at any time and Alpine Clinic will immediately and confidentially dispose of any such payment related information associated with a client file.
EXTRA LAYERS OF PROTECTION
At the Alpine Clinic we have a number of active tools that we use to ensure Client Privacy beyond the counsellor / client relationship. These tools include (but are not limited to) policies and procedures relating to onsite storage and security of paper files, limiting staff access to client information (physical and electronic), guidelines for transmission of client files (physical and electronic) and training for staff on confidentiality and privacy.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
While Alpine Clinic takes all reasonable steps to secure and manage our clients’ privacy, it is essential that our clients consider protecting their own information. Please be thoughtful about protecting your email accounts and technology with high security passwords and to consider how the use of public internet connections (i.e., free, shared Wi-Fi) and other forms of shared technology may put your privacy at risk.
FEEDBACK & CONTACT
Should requests to resolve any concerns about Client Privacy not be sufficiently dealt with by Alpine Clinic, we will provide contact details for the Office of the Information & Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia.