Privacy Policy

This Privacy Policy is based on the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA).  The PIPEDA and PHIPA pertain to standards that must be followed when collection, retaining, releasing and destroying personal information.

Dr. Harpreet Chattha is a clinical psychologist registered in the province of Ontario.  Your privacy and ensuring confidentiality is a priority with Dr. Chattha.  Information is collected, used and disclosed in a responsible manner and only for the purposes stated below.  This Privacy Policy was created to provide clarity to those using our services or those with business affiliations to understand Dr. Chattha’s commitment to privacy and adherence to legislative requirements.


What is Personal Information?

Personal information is information about an individual that allows them to be identified. This includes information related to personal characteristics (e.g., age, sex, marital status, family circumstances, home address, phone number, education/training, income, ethnic background), health information (e.g., health history, health conditions, health services received) and activities and views (e.g., community involvement, political/religious affiliations, opinions expressed by an individual and opinion/evaluation of an individual).  Personal information differs from business information (e.g., an individual’s business address and business telephone number), which is not protected by privacy legislation.


Why is Personal Information Collected?

For Clients

The main purpose Dr. Chattha collects, uses and discloses personal information is to serve clients. More specifically, these services include psychological assessment, treatment and consultation services.  Failure to collect, review or consider personal background information would be negligent on the part of the practitioner. For example, information about a client’s health history, including family history, social, psychological and physical functioning help practitioners better understand an individual’s mental health needs, to advise them of their options and to provide the psychological services they choose to receive. Collecting personal information also helps obtain a baseline of current psychological, cognitive or vocational status, so that in providing ongoing services, progress can be monitored or changes can be identified over time. Another main purpose to collect personal information is to provide diagnostic information, current status and recommendations to the client’s family physician/health care team and/or a

referral source. When a professional opinion is to provide about a clients psychological functioning to another person or agency (e.g., insurance company, WSIB, rehabilitation company), the client’s informed and written consent is required.

Another important reason for collecting personal information is for conducting research on the effectiveness of our treatment and to evaluate our services. In this case, identifying information, such as age, sex and education level would be reference in an anonymous fashion without any other identifying information such as your name or address. The research study may be published in a scientific journal; however identifying information would not be included.

It would be rare for us to collect personal information without a client’s expressed consent, but this may occur in an emergency situation, for example if the client is suicidal or if it is believed the client would consent, if asked, and it is impractical to obtain consent (i.e., a family member passing on a message from a client and we have no reason to believe that the message is not genuine).

About members of the general public

For members of the general public, the primary purposes for collecting personal information are to provide notice of special events (e.g., seminars, conferences) or to make them aware of psychological services in general or Dr. Chattha’s services in particular.

Contracts staff and students

For those individuals who are contracted to do work for Dr. Chattha or Chattha Psychological Services (e.g., temporary or casual workers), our primary purpose for collecting personal information is to ensure that we can contact them in the future (e.g., for new tasks) and for necessary work-related communications (e.g., sending out pay cheques, year-end tax receipts). Examples of the types of personal information we collect for those purposes include home addresses, telephone numbers and/or e-mail addresses. It is rare for us to collect such information without prior consent, but it may occur in the case of health emergency (e.g., a SARS outbreak) or to investigate a possible breach of the law (if a theft were to occur in the clinic). If contract staff or students wish to have a letter of reference or an evaluation, we will collect information about their work-related performance and provide a report as authorized by them.

Related and Other Purposes

Like most practitioners or organizations, we also collect, use and disclose information for purposes related to, or secondary to, our primary purposes. The most common examples of related and/or other purposes are as follows:

  • To invoice clients for goods/services that were not paid for at the time
  • To process credit cards payments
  • To advise clients of our need to obtain their approval for treatment or for information about their treatment plans
  • To advise clients and others of special events and opportunities (e.g., seminars, development of a new service, arrival of a new clinician(s)
  • To ensure the provision of high quality services, external consultants (auditors, lawyers, accreditation programs) may, on Dr. Chattha’s or Chattha Psychological Services’ behalf, do audits and continuing quality improvement reviews of our clinic.  At times, this may involve interviewing staff. Only under rare circumstance would this involve review of any client files.

Psychologists who are regulated by the College of Psychologists of Ontario, may inspect our records and interview Dr. Chattha/other staff as part of regulatory activities in the public interest. In addition, as professionals, we report serious misconduct, incompetence or incapacity of other practitioners whether they belong to other organizations or our own. Following legislative guidelines, Dr. Chattha also believes that she should report information suggesting serious illegal behaviour to authorities, where there is a high risk or potential for harm to others or self. External regulators have their own strict privacy regulations. Also, like all organizations, various government agencies (e.g., Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, Information and Privacy Commissioner, Human Rights Commission). In these circumstances, we may consult with other professionals (e.g., lawyers, accountants) who will investigate the matter and report back to us.

The cost of some good/services provided by Dr. Chattha to clients may be paid for by third parties (e.g., WSIB, auto insurance, long-term disability insurance). These third party payers often have your consent or legislative authority to direct us to collect and disclose to them certain information to demonstrate client entitlement to this funding (e.g., First Nations identification, Canadian Forces identification).


Protecting Personal Information

Dr. Chattha understands the importance of protecting personal information. It is for these reasons that the following steps are taken:

  • paper information is either under supervision or secured in locked or restricted areas
  • electronic hardware is either under supervision or secured in a locked or restricted area at all times. In addition, security access systems are used on computers.
  • Paper information is transmitted through sealed, addressed envelopes or boxes by reputable companies
  • Electronic information is transmitted either through a direct line or is anonymized or encrypted
  • External consultants and agencies with access to personal information must enter into privacy agreements with us
  • In the unlikely event that there is a breach of privacy with respect to your personal information, we will notify immediately of this breach.


Releasing your Personal Information

Release of information requests are filled only with your writer authorization or in unusual circumstances, such as emergency situations.

Information provided to us is private and confidential and is only released to third parties with your informed, written consent. This consent permits us to release information/reports to, or consult with, the individuals, you have indicated can examine your file. Under the provincial legislation, PHIPA, your consent is implied when discussing your case with members of your health care team. You can withdraw consent, in writing, at any time, however you cannot rescind consent for information that has already been collected according to PHIPA.
There are certain circumstances where we would have to divulge personal information about you to a third party without your explicit consent. These include:

  • if your clinician suspects you may do harm to yourself or others;
  • if child abuse/neglect is suspected or reported;
  • if you advise the clinician of sexual abuse by another registered health care provider;
  • when a Court issues a subpoena for your file or requires our testimony

Dr. Chattha does not release any type of raw data from psychological testing to any other party, other than to registered psychologists, even with your consent.

Dr. Chattha will only release information that has been collected in our office, with your consent, to other individuals. Any other reports provided to Dr. Chattha by external health care providers will not be released.

Should you wish to review your file, Dr. Chattha will review the file with you before releasing information. Reports/documentation that comes from outside the facility will not be released. Reserved is the right to charge a fee for copying your file.


Retention and Destruction of Personal Information

Dr. Chattha needs to retain personal information for some time to ensure that questions you may have can be answered about services provided, and for Dr. Chattha’s own accountability to external regulatory bodies. However, personal information is not kept indefinitely or too long in order to protect your privacy.

Previous records can be helpful particularly in providing ongoing services for clients. Client files are kept for a minimum of 10 years after the last contact. For clients under the age of 18, records are kept for 10 years following their 18th birthday (if their last contact with Dr. Chattha was before their 18th birthday).

Paper files containing personal information is destroyed by shredding.  Personal information that is not part of a client’s permanent clinical file is shredded at the end of treatment before the file is archived.  Electronic information is destroyed by deletion and, when the hardware is discarded, it is ensured that the hard drive is physically destroyed.

If your clinician were to die or become unable to practice for whatever reason, your file would be the responsibility of an alternate designated clinician. You may wish to ask your clinician who they have appointed as responsible for your files in these cases.

If Dr. Chattha’s practice were sold, none of her clinical records would be transferred to or accessed by the new owners.


Looking At Your Personal Information

You have the right to see what personal information is held about you. Often, all you have to do is ask. Access requests by clients can be refused for:

  • raw data from psychological tests
  • where there is a significant risk of harm to either the client or others by releasing the information

We can help you identify what records we might have about you. We will also try to help you understand any information that you do not understand (e.g., abbreviations, technical language, etc). You will need to confirm your identity before providing you with access to your file. Dr. Chattha reserves the right to charge a nominal fee for such requests.

We may ask that you put your request in writing. If we cannot provide you with access, we will tell you within 30 days, if possible, and tell you the reason, as best as 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. If necessary, we will ask you to provide documentation that information in our files is wrong. Where we agree that a mistake was made, the correction will be made. Additionally, those parties who received the original statement(s)/report(s) will be notified of the correction. Where there is a disagreement that a mistake was made, a brief statement of disagreement will be included in the file and forwarded to other parties who received the information prior to the aforementioned statement. 


Do you have any questions?

If you have questions, please contact Dr. Chattha (contact information listed below).  If you wish to make a formal complaint about our privacy practices, please do so in writing to Dr. Chattha. 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.

Dr. Harpreet Chattha, Ph.D., C.Psych.
4101 Steeles Ave. West, Suite 209
North York, ON, M3N 1V7
Tel: 905-455-7082
Fax: 289-401-0182

If you have a concern about the professionalism or competence of a clinician 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 make a complaint to our regulatory body, the College of Psychologists of Ontario.

The College of Psychologists of Ontario
110 Eglinton Avenue West
Suite 500
Toronto ON, M4R 1A3
Tel: 1-800-489-8388
Fax: 1-416-961-2635

This Privacy Policy is made under guidance from the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and the Personal Health Information Protection Act. These are complex Acts, which provide additional protections to the privacy principles that are too detailed to be set out here. There are some rare exceptions to the commitments set out above.

For more general inquires, the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Canada oversees the administration of the privacy legislation in the private sector. The Commissioner also acts as a type of ombudsperson for privacy disputes. The Commissioner can be reached at:

112 Kent Street
Ottawa ON, K1A 1H3
tel: 613-995-8210