Like all Registered Dietitians, we collect, use and disclose personal information in order to serve our clients. For our clients or when we assess a client for someone else (E.g., an auto insurance company), the primary purpose for collecting personal information about you is to provide you with dietetic services. We collect information about your health and diet history, your physical condition and function, and your social situation in order to help us assess what your needs are, to advise you of your options and then to provide the health care you choose to have. 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. It would be rare for us to collect such information without the client’s express consent, but this might occur in an emergency (e.g., the client is unconscious) or where we believe the client would consent if asked and it is impractical to obtain consent (e.g., a family member passing a message on from our client and we have no reason to believe that the message is not genuine).
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. It is rare for us to collect such information without prior consent, but it might happen in the case of a health emergency (e.g., a SARS outbreak) or to investigate a possible breach of law (e.g., if a theft were to occur in the clinic). If contract staff, volunteers or students wish a letter of reference or an evaluation, we will collect information about their work-related performance and provide a report as authorized by them.
Like most organizations, we also collect, use and disclose information for purposes related to our primary and secondary 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 paying for your services in advance). We do not, however, have much choice about some of these related or secondary purposes (e.g. external regulation).
We understand the importance of protecting personal information. For that reason, we have taken the following steps:
We need to retain personal information for some time to ensure that we can answer any questions you might have about the services provided and for our own accountability to external regulatory bodies. However, we do not want to keep personal information too long in order to protect your privacy. We keep our client files for about ten years. 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 the hard drive is physically destroyed.
You Can Look at Your InformationWith only a few 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.
If there is a problem we may ask you to put your request in writing. If we cannot give you access, we will tell you within 30 days if at all possible and tell you the reason, as best we can, as to why we cannot give you access.
If you believe there is a mistake in the information, 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 wrong. Where we agree that we made a mistake, we will make the correction and notify anyone to whom we sent this information. If we do not agree that we have made a mistake, we will still agree to 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.
Nutrition IQ Inc. can be reached at:
20 Meadowcroft Cres, Gloucester ON, K1J 1G9
Phone: (613) 807-5366
We will attempt to answer any questions or concerns you might have.
If you wish to make a formal complaint about of privacy practices, you may make it in writing to Jennifer Neale, RD owner of Nutrition IQ Inc. 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 complain to our regulatory body:
College of Dietitians of Ontario
5775 Yonge Street, Suite 1810, Box 30 Toronto ON M2M 4J1
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:
112 Kent Street, Ottawa ON, K1A 1H3