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Privacy Office

At Southlake, we strive to serve with purpose and we recognize that your personal health information (PHI) deserves to be treated with respect and sensitivity.  The Southlake Privacy Office takes great care in upholding the compliance requirements of Ontario’s privacy and health-privacy legislation; the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), and the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA). 

The Southlake Privacy Office consists of the Chief Privacy Officer, the Director of Privacy, and a Privacy Analyst, who are responsible for building and supporting a culture of privacy at the hospital.  Through this mission, we support and assist staff, physicians, patients and families to ensure the protection of their PHI. 

Southlake has adopted the 10 Privacy Principles established by the Canadian Standards Association’s Model Code for the protection of Information. The principles are: 

  1. Accountability
  2. Identifying Purpose
  3. Consent
  4. Limiting Collection
  5. Limiting Use, Disclosure, Retention
  6. Accuracy
  7. Safeguards
  8. Openness
  9. Access
  10. Challenging Compliance

For more information on Southlake’s privacy practices, please refer to our Patient Privacy Guidance Document. 

At Southlake, we believe that every voice matters, and we sometimes contact our patients for feedback on their care. We do this through patient satisfaction surveys.

Click to Opt-Out of Patient Satisfaction Surveys


Our hospital relies on patient and community support for help with funding new programs, new equipment and new initiatives. Unless you tell us not to do so, we or others, such as Southlake Foundation, may use your name and address to contact you to ask for your support.

Click to Opt-Out of Request for Donations


When visiting our hospital you may have provided us with information pertaining to your religious beliefs. If you give us information about your religion, we may give your name and location to a member of the clergy, unless you tell us not to do so.

Click to Opt-Out of Clergy Visitation


Southlake will confirm that an individual is a patient in the hospital and provide location and general condition information unless there is an objection. We obtain consent at the first reasonable opportunity.

Click to Opt-Out of Sharing Location/General Condition

In accordance with FIPPA, the public has a right of access to general records held by Southlake. The Act applies only to records that came into the custody or control of Southlake on or after January 1, 2007.  Under FIPPA, a Freedom of Information (FOI) request must be made to the organization in writing and must clearly describe the records you are requesting. To help identify the records, you may wish to consult Southlake’s Directory of Records.

To obtain your health records, or to request a correction to your health records, please visit our Health Information Page. If you would like to make an FOI request for general records, please print, fill out, and mail the FOI Request Form, accompanied by the $5.00 application fee to the Southlake Privacy Office.

For more information on making an FOI request, please refer to our FIPPA Guidance Document.

ConnectingOntario is a secure, provincial electronic health record (EHR) system that allows Ontario clinicians, and authorized members of their healthcare teams, to access their patients’ personal health information (e.g. lab results, diagnostic imaging reports, discharge summaries, details of a prior visit to the emergency or other department). Access to the viewer is restricted to those who provide or assist with patient care. The program is funded and overseen by eHealth Ontario. 

Southlake is a contributing organization and provides authorized healthcare providers with access to the provincial EHR through the ConnectingOntario. This is done to improve the patient experience and ensure that hospital patients receive the care that we would want for our loved ones.  Southlake, along with all other organizations participating in the ConnectingOntario program, must follow all applicable health privacy laws as well as the EHR privacy policies and procedures.

Consent Directives:

You have the right to block access to your personal health record in the viewer by placing a consent directive (often referred to as a lock-box). It is best to discuss the implications of placing a consent directive with a member of your healthcare team. Please note that a consent directive may be overridden with your express consent, or in other circumstances permitted by law. Consent directives can be initiated at Southlake in the Health Information Services Department, or directly with eHealth Ontario at 1-866-250-1554.

Access and Correction:

You have the right to request copies of your health records contained in the viewer or request that your record be corrected if you believe it contains an error. Please contact our Health Information Services Department if your request relates to information about a previous visit to Southlake. For all other access or correction requests in the EHR, please refer to the eHealth Ontario website here.