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Security & Privacy

Privacy Matters

North Wellington Health Care is committed to protecting the privacy and confidentiality of patient health information. We value personal health information and manage it with respect and sensitivity. Our policies and procedures comply with the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) and the Freedom of Information and Protection Act (FIPPA).  We are always looking for better ways to serve you, so letting you know how we treat your personal information is important to us. 

Accurate health information is essential to make sure you get appropriate care. Each time you visit the hospital we collect information. We record and maintain information about your current condition and care, including the results of tests, procedures and therapies. Information such as your name, address and date of birth is recorded for the purposes of identification, contact and billing. PHIPA allows for additional collections and uses of a patient’s health card number for identity verification purposes and to link records of personal health information.  Your personal information whether stored on paper or electronically is kept safe and secure. We adopt collection, storage and security practises to protect against unauthorized access, disclosure and destruction.  Information is collected, retained and destroyed in compliance with hospital policy. We conduct routine audits of our health information system to ensure your Personal Health Information is viewed by those based on need to know.

Policies and procedures are in place that protect how your information is collected and used. We will share your health information with your family doctor, specialist or other health care providers who are involved in your care. Staff have access to your information on a need to know basis to do their work. All staff are bound by a confidentiality agreement. Your information is protected by administrative, physical and technical safeguards. You may request that your health information not be shared with your health care providers. Your consent is required to share you health information with third parties such as lawyers, insurance companies or police.

How is Information Used:

  • To provide care
  • To receive payment for the care we provide
  • To meet legal and regulatory requirements
  • To improve the quality and efficiency of care
  • To support research and educational opportunities

Unless you tell us not to, we may also disclose your information to visitors or callers so they can reach you in the hospital.

Further information about how the hospital collects, uses and discloses health information can be obtained from the Your Health Information and Your Privacy in Our Hospital pamphlet available to all visitors and staff.

PHIPA and its regulations provide special rules for fund raising.  The hospital may disclose your name and mailing address for fund raising activities for purposes related to operations of the hospital.  To opt out, contact the Privacy Office. 

The privacy office consists of a Chief Privacy Officer who is a resource for privacy information, for policy development and leading education to staff, patients and visitors.

We conduct privacy training routinely for staff, volunteers and students. All staff, volunteers and students are required to sign a pledge of confidentiality.  Privacy policies provide rules for the collection, use, disclosure and retention of health information. It is based on 10 internationally recognized privacy principles.

Principle 1 – Accountability for Personal Information

NWHC is responsible for personal information under its custody or control and has designated an individual, the Chief Privacy Officer, who is accountable for NWHC’s compliance with the following principles.

Principle 2 – Identifying Purposes for the Collection of Personal Information

NWHC, at or before the time personal information is collected, will identify the purposes which personal information is collected. The primary purposes are the delivery of direct patient care, the administration of the health care system, to conduct research and statistics and to comply with legal and regulatory requirements.

Principle 3 – Consent for the Collection, Use and Disclosure of Personal Information

The knowledge and consent of the individual are required for the collections, use or disclosure of personal information, except where inappropriate.

Principle 4 – Limiting Collection of Personal Information

The collection of personal information will be limited to that which is necessary for the purposes identified by NWHC. Information will be collected by fair and lawful means.

Principle 5 – Limiting Use, Disclosure and Retention of Personal Information

Personal information will not be used or disclosed for purposes other than those for which it was collected, except with the consent of the individual or as required by law. Personal information will be retained only as long as necessary for the fulfilment of those purposes.

Principle 6 – Ensuring Accuracy of Personal Information

Personal information will be accurate, complete and up-to-date as is necessary for the purposes for which it is to be used.

Principle 7 – Ensuring Safeguards for Personal Information

Security safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity for the information will protect personal information.

Principle 8 – Openness about Personal Information Policies and Practices

NWHC will make readily available to individuals’ specific information about its policies and practices relating to the management of personal information.

Principle 9 – Individual Access to their own Personal Information

Upon request, an individual will be informed of the existence, use and disclosure of his or her personal information and will be given access to that information. An individual will be able to challenge the accuracy and completeness of the information and have it amended as appropriate.

Principle 10 – Challenging Compliance with NWHC’s Privacy Policies and Practices

An individual will be able to address a challenge concerning compliance with the above principles to the Corporate Privacy Officer.

For more information, please see our Privacy Brochure available on the hospital website under Privacy & Security. 

Statements may be updated at any time. The date is reflected.

Last updated:  August 4, 2021

Freedom of Information

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FIPPA) provides the right for every person to access information held by hospitals and a formal process is in place for people to make Freedom of Information (FOI) requests for records that came into the hospital’s custody and control on or after June 2007.
FIPPA has been amended as of January 01, 2012 so certain types of hospital records are excluded from the act. For example:
  • Records that relate to the operations of a hospital foundation
  • Records regarding charitable donations
  • Administrative records of a regulated health care professional
  • Records relating to certain labor relations or employment matters
  • Quality of Care Information
  • Certain records associated with research/teaching
Personal health information is subject to the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) and is not subject to FIPPA.
Who can make a FOI request?
Any person can make an FOI request. The requestor does not have to be a Canadian citizen.
How to make a FOI request?
The request can be made in writing to the hospital and accompanied by the $5.00 application fee (i.e. a cheque payable to the hospital)
Mailing Address:
Chief Privacy Officer
Wellington Healthcare Alliance
Groves Memorial Community Hospital
131 Frederick Campbell Street
 Fergus, ON N1M 0H3

Statements may be updated at any time. The date is reflected.

Last updated:  August 4, 2021

How to report a Privacy Concern

How to report a Privacy Concern?

If you have a concern about how your health information has been used, please contact the Privacy Officer at 519-843-2010 ext. 45611 or by emailing privacy @ sends e-mail).   
To contact by mail, address correspondence to:
Chief Privacy Officer
Wellington Health Care Alliance
Groves Memorial Community Hospital
131 Frederick Campbell Street
Fergus, ON
N1M 0H3
For more information, ask for a copy of our privacy brochure, available at various places within the hospital.
If we can’t solve your problem or concern, it is your right to contact the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario at:
Phone: 1-800-387-0073
Information & Privacy Commissioner of Ontario
2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400
Toronto, Ontario
M4W 1A8

Privacy Brochure

Patient Access - Release of Patient Records

Release of Patient Records

All requests for copies of patient records for NWHC hospitals (Louise Marshall and Palmerston District) are processed in Health Information Services at Louise Marshall Hospital site by Release of Information Department. Please review the following steps:

1. Complete the Consent to Disclosure of Personal Health Information form (CLICK HERE)  and fax or mail the completed form to Health Information Services.

2. Please include your contact number with the request and Release of Information will call you when the records are ready for pick-up, you will be asked to show photo ID when you pick up.

3. Requests will be processed within 30 days and a fee may apply, refer to the Release of Information Fee Schedule (CLICK HERE FOR FEE SCHEDULE).

Mail to:

Health Information Services, Release of Information

630 Dublin Street

Mount Forest, ON N0G 2L3


Hours of Operation: Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Telephone Contact: (519) 323-2210 ext. 75614

Fax: (519) 323-1365

Photography/Videography/ Audio Recording

North Wellington Health Care Patients and their families often bring photographic equipment or camera/video equipped cellular devices with them into hospital for the purposes of taking personal family photos. Guidance for the acceptable use of such devices is provided in hospital policy to protect the privacy of patients and staff.  The policy aligns with hospital’s model of patient and family-centered care.  Consent must be obtained and care taken to ensure that such photographs/recordings  do not inadvertently capture images of other patients or staff/visitors.  The use of such devices must not compromise patient care, distract or interfere with hospital business. 

Video Surveillance

Video Surveillance

North wellington Health Care has video surveillance in effect both in and around both of our hospital sites. The purpose of video surveillance is to enhance the safety and security of patients, staff, physicians, volunteers, visitors and property.  It is also used to deter, detect, and assist in investigations, as required. For additional information about our Video Surveillance Policy please contact our hospital's main switchboard.

North Wellington Health Care

  • Louise Marshall Hospital

  • 630 Dublin Street, Mount Forest,
    ON N0G 2L3
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  • Phone: (519) 323-2210
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  • Palmerston and District Hospital

  • 500 Whites Road, Palmerston,
    ON N0G 2P0
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  • Phone: (519) 343-2030
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Remote Access