NOW ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS!
Contact us to book your pet's next appointment.

902.434.3111

Privacy Policy

Personal Information Protection Policy

At Companion Animal Hospital, we are committed to providing our clients with exceptional service. As providing this service involves the collection, use and disclosure of some personal information about our clients, protecting their personal information is one of our highest priorities.

While we have always respected our clients’ privacy and safeguarded their personal information, we have strengthened our commitment to protecting personal information as a result of Nova Scotia’s Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA). PIPA sets out the ground rules for how Nova Scotia businesses and not-for-profit organizations may collect, use and disclose personal information.

We will inform our clients of why and how we collect, use and disclose their personal information, obtain their consent where required, and only handle their personal information in a manner that a reasonable person would consider appropriate in the circumstances.

This Personal Information Protection Policy, in compliance with PIPA, outlines the principles and practices we will follow in protecting clients’ personal information. Our privacy commitment includes ensuring the accuracy, confidentiality, and security of our clients’ personal information and allowing our clients to request access to, and correction of, their personal information.

 

Definitions

Personal Information – means information about an identifiable individual (examples: name, address, phone number). Personal information does not include contact information (described below).

Contact information – means information that would enable an individual to be contacted at a place of business and includes name, position name or title, business telephone number, business address, business email or business fax number. Contact information is not covered by this policy or PIPA.

Privacy Officer – means the individual designated responsibility for ensuring that Companion Animal Hospital complies with this policy and PIPA.

 

Policy 1 – Collecting Personal Information

1.1 Unless the purposes for collecting personal information are obvious and the client voluntarily provides his or her personal information for those purposes, we will communicate the purposes for which personal information is being collected, either orally or in writing, before or at the time of collection.

1.2 We will only collect client information that is necessary to fulfill the following purposes:

  • To verify identity
  • To identify client preferences
  • To manage client accounts
  • To provide veterinary products
  • To provide veterinary services
  • To send out reminders of services
  • To meet our veterinary medical association’s regulatory requirements
  • To ensure a high standard of service to our clients

 

Policy 2 – Consent

2.1 We will obtain client consent to collect, use or disclose personal information (except where, as noted below, we are authorized to do so without consent).

2.2 Consent can be provided (orally, in writing, electronically or through an authorized representative) or it can be implied where the purpose for collecting using or disclosing the personal information would be considered obvious and the client voluntarily provides personal information for that purpose.

2.3 Consent may also be implied where a client is given notice and a reasonable opportunity to opt-out of his or her personal information being used for mail-outs and the client does not opt-out.

2.4 Subject to certain exceptions (e.g., the personal information is necessary to provide the service or product, or the withdrawal of consent would frustrate the performance of a legal obligation) clients can withhold or withdraw their consent for Companion Animal Hospital to use their personal information in certain ways. A client’s decision to withhold or withdraw their consent to certain uses of personal information may restrict our ability to provide a particular service or product. If so, we will explain the situation to assist the client in making the decision.

2.5 We may collect, use or disclose personal information without the client’s knowledge or consent in the following limited circumstances:

  • When the use of personal information is permitted or required by law
  • When the personal information is available from a public source (e.g. at telephone directory)
  • When we require legal advice from a lawyer or regulatory association
  • For the purpose of collecting a debt
  • To protect ourselves from fraud

 

Policy 3 – Using and Disclosing Personal Information

3.1 We will only use or disclose client personal information where necessary to fulfill the purposes identified at the time of collection or for the purpose reasonably related to purposes such as:

  • To conduct client surveys in order to enhance the provision of our services
  • To contact our clients about products or services that may benefit their pets
  • To contact our clients in the event of a medical alert concerning their pet

3.2 We will not use or disclose client personal information for any additional purpose unless we obtain consent to do so.

3.3 We will not sell client lists or personal information to other parties.

 

Policy 4 – Retaining Personal Information

4.1 If we use client personal information to make a decision that directly affects the client, we will retain that personal information for at least one year so that the client has a reasonable opportunity to request access to it.

4.2 Subject to policy 4.1, we will retain client personal information only as long as necessary to fulfill the identified purposes or a legal or business purpose.

 

Policy 5 – Ensuring Accuracy of Personal Information

5.1 We will make reasonable efforts to ensure that client personal information is accurate and complete where it may be used to make a decision about the client or disclosed to another organization.

5.2 Clients may request correction to their personal information in order to ensure its accuracy and completeness. A request to correct personal information must be made in writing and provide sufficient detail to identify the personal information and the correction being sought.

5.3 If the personal information is demonstrated to be inaccurate or incomplete, we will correct the information as required and send the corrected information to any organization to which we disclosed the personal information in the previous year. If the correction is not made, we will note the clients’ correction request in the file.

 

Policy 6 – Securing Personal Information

6.1 We are committed to ensuring the security of client personal information in order to protect it from unauthorized access, collection, use, disclosure, copying, modification or disposal or similar risks.

6.2 The following security measures will be followed to ensure that client personal information is appropriately protected:

  • Client/patient files are kept in a secure location
  • Client files on computers are kept safe with passwords and firewalls are monitored daily

6.3 We will use appropriate security measures when destroying client’s personal information such as shredding documents and deleting electronically stored information.

6.4 We will continually review and update our security policies and controls as technology changes to ensure ongoing personal information security.

 

Policy 7 – Providing Clients Access to Personal Information

7.1 Clients have a right to access their personal information, subject to limited exceptions (examples include: solicitor-client privilege or health and safety concerns).

7.2 A request to access personal information must be made in writing and provide sufficient detail to identify the personal information being sought.

7.3 Upon request, we will also tell clients how we use their personal information and to whom it has been disclosed if applicable.

7.4 We will make the requested information available within 30 business days, or provide written notice of an extension where additional time is required to fulfill the request.

7.5 A minimal fee may be charged for providing access to personal information. Where a fee may apply, we will inform the client of the cost and request further direction from the client on whether or not we should proceed with the request.

7.6 If a request is refused in full or in part, we will notify the client in writing, providing the reasons for refusal and the recourse available to the client.

 

Policy 8 – Questions and Complaints: The Role of the Privacy Officer or Designated Individual

8.1 The Privacy Officer or Practice Manager is responsible for ensuring Companion Animal Hospital’s compliance with this policy and the Personal Information Protection Act.

8.2 Clients should direct any complaints, concerns or questions regarding Companion Animal Hospital’s compliance in writing to the Privacy Officer. If the Privacy Officer is unable to resolve the concern, the client may also write to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Nova Scotia.

Contact information for Companion Animal Hospital Privacy or Officer Practice Manager:

920 Cole Harbour Road
Dartmouth, NS
B2V 2J5

Blog

How to make medication request hassle-free!

Getting your requests to your veterinarian can be quite a process, especially when you are uncertain about the necessary information we need to fulfill the request. Let’s take this opportunity to review the information required and help you understand why it's helpful in ensuring a smooth and hassle-free experience. What do I need to know before I make a prescription request?   There are 5 important pieces of information you'll need to have ready to relay to your veterinary team when requesting a prescription. Medication name Medication concentration Medication dose Medication instructions Quantity you need Let me explain what each one is and why we need it. This information can all be found on your pet's medication label.  Medication Name – This is simple enough; it is the name of your medication, and yes, it is very important. If you call and say you want to refill Fluffy’s eye medication, this won’t help us if they are on 3 different eye medications. Knowing the name of your pet’s medication can be the difference between the correct refill and the wrong refill. Medication Concentration – All medications come in many concentrations, and we want to ensure that your pet gets the correct one to avoid the risk of over- or under-dosing. The concentration is either written as milligrams, mg/mL or a percentage. Pills and tablets can be things like 2.5mg, 10mg, etc. Liquids will be in forms such as 20mg per ml, 200mg/ml, etc., and other medications, such as eye ointments, may say something like 2%. Medication Dose – The dose indicates how much of the medication your pet should be given and how often—for example, 1 tablet every 12 hours or a 1/4″ strip 3 times a day. Medication Instructions – We don't have the exact wording of your label, but we need to know how you are giving the medication currently. This may sound something like I give 1 pill in the morning and 2 pills in the evening or I give 3 units every 12 hours, etc. If what you are giving is different from what is on your medication label, then tell us what you are currently giving and why. It is not recommended to change medication instructions without speaking to your veterinarian.   Quantity You Need – To ensure you have the supply uu need and avoid multiple trips, please be sure to know what amount(s) of your pet's medication(s) you need. This may be given as a number amount, such as 30 pills or the length of time the medication needs to last,  such as 30 days worth. If you tell us 1 bottle, it doesn't necessarily help us as many medications come in multiple-sized bottles. TIP: Create a folder in your phone’s photo album called Medications, take pictures of your pet’s medication labels, and place them in there for quick access!   Keep in mind that your veterinarian pharmacy, like all other pharmacies, will need time to fill your medication. We kindly ask that you give us 24-48 hours' notice for filling medications as our veterinary staff are very busy and may not always have time to fill medications same-day. TIP: If you are like me and have trouble remembering to get medications refilled on time until you use the last one, there's an APP for that!   If it's a regular medication - there is an app called medisafe that lets you track medications and can be used for pet medications as well. You can set custom notifications to remind you when to refill your medication, such as when you have 5 pills left. If the medication is your pet’s flea and tick medication, check out the app "Flea & Tick"  (iPhone) (Android). This app allows you to track when you last gave your pet their last dose and upload a photo of your medication so you always have what it is at your fingertips. Lastly, look for things your clinic may have, such as QR codes on your medication bottles to help remind you to refill when you run low or website pages like ours (Pharmacy Requests) to make it easier for you to request your medication. Stayed tuned for Part 2.   Written by: Ashely G, VT

Read More
See All Articles