Privacy and Security Practices

Privacy and Security Practices

 

We take privacy and security seriously at Get Well Clinic

So we started a new clinic from the ground up, to do it right. We bake best practices in to our culture right from the beginning, and encourage others to follow.

 

Secure Strong Encryption Used

Paper charts are insecure and can be easily browsed or misplaced. Hence, we have implemented a near paper-less medical office system. Paper records and documents are scanned in to our electronic medical record (EMR) system, and the paper copy is cross-cut shredded. Any paper handouts given to clients are printed on clean paper bought fresh from Costco. Our EMR uses strong TLS/SSL encryption, and automatically locks out repeated failed logins. Our internal office systems are NOT hosted on the public cloud, but privately hosted on our custom-built Linux servers. Our computer systems are protected behind a network firewall. We have an automatic backup system that uses strong and secure privately-generated (non-third party) asymmetric encryption keys for transfers to secondary backup site (also privately managed).

 

Stringent Clinic Policies

We train our staff on privacy, security and confidentiality. We have them sign a confidentiality agreement stating that they will adhere to our security principles and practices. We routinely monitor our practices and regularly give feedback.

 

We Discourage Unsafe Communication Practices

We discourage clients from communicating with us over insecure email or text message. It is difficult to confirm your identity when communicating with social meda. If telemedicine is required, we have alternative and more secure systems of communicating, such as our private encrypted chat system and encrypted video conferencing.

 

Thank you for putting your trust in us!

 

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Expiring Red and White Health Cards

Are the classic red and white Ontario health cards expiring?

Yes, they finally have expired this year July 1st, 2020. If you receive a letter in the mail to replace or update your health card, you have 30 days to replace it or else it will expire. If you haven't been contacted yet, your red and white health card expires July 1st, 2020. However, if you card has been reported lost or stolen, or you haven't used your card in several years, your health card will be cancelled. It doesn't take much for someone at the health office to click "cancelled" on your file. I've heard stories of patients who swear they never received a letter from the government to replace their health cards, and one day they got sick and their health cards didn't work. If you get sick, and your health card is invalid, then you are not covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan. You will have to pay out-of-pocket for the medical services.

Bottom line, if you have an old red and white health card, forget your nostalgia or stop hiding from the mailman, and go to your nearest Service Ontario office and replace your health card with the newer, more secure, photo ID health card.

https://www.ontario.ca/page/switch-photo-health-card

 

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Your Test Results are In

"Dear patient, please contact our clinic for a follow up appointment to discuss your test results!"

Please consider reading this website notice as your routine recall for all your test results.

We would like to streamline our phone system and front desk receptionist time so we can better serve you. As such, our clinic policy is that our physicians do NOT routinely call you back to let you know when a test result is in. Do not expect us to call you back regarding your results; we have too many results to call back every single person. We routinely ask you to make it a habit to return for a followup appointment to discuss your test results by default. All test results need to be discussed in person with a doctor, by default. We do not say, "if you don't hear from us, it means everything is okay."

What if we never received an important result because it was never sent? We have no way of tracking all the results and important test results can fall through the cracks. In order to protect you, we ask that you hold us accountable by checking in on us to see if you results have come in, and to discuss the results in person with your doctor.

From our experience, most lab and imaging results come back in one (1) week. Consult notes from specialist can take one (1) month. Public Health lab tests can take 1-2 month. PAP tests can take 2-3 weeks. If they don't come back by these times, then your visit to us will help use trigger action to chase down the result for you.

Followup visits are also not a waste of you time, because your doctor will want to see how you are doing after recommending some treatment. If you are not better, then your doctor may need to do more tests or change your treatment course, or consider a referral. Your doctor also may not have enough time to handle all your issues in one visit, and so the followup visit allows your doctor to continue to thoroughly assess and treat you.

Even if you can get a copy of you own test results from the lab, we recommend you come in to discuss the results with your doctor, because the results need to be interpreted for your specific unique situation. For example, lab tests usual come back with some items in red (or outside the normal range) for most people. Instead of getting worried by Googling, it would better if you can speak with your doctor to find out if it is anything relevant and important at all for your health.

Also read why our Policy is: "We Don't Call You for Test Results".

 

 

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