Setting an appointment is a commitment between both the patient and practitioner based on the needs of the patient and care to be provided by the practitioner. The timing, duration and content is decided by the practitioner with consent from the patient.
Changes to an appointment requires 24 hours notice. Appointment cancellations within 24 hours of the appointment are considered missed appointments. Arriving 10 minutes or later for an appointment is considered a missed appointment. A patient who has missed 2 appointments with one practitioner within a 60 day period will be required to pay a missed appointment fee for that practitioner. Consistently missing appointments can lead to dismissal from the clinic.
Any patient displaying inappropriate behavior, using aggressive or offensive language or failing to comply with a prescribed treatment plan may be dismissed from the clinic. If indicated authorities will be contacted immediately.
Practitioners are required to act in accordance with the regulations set by provincial and/ or national licensing bodies. A patient’s informed consent is required for all steps in the patient practitioner interaction.
Patients are financially responsible for services received or products purchased at the St. John’s Back Pain Clinic. These are not covered under any provincial health plan but are often covered under private health plans or through other third party payers. In some cases these costs can be billed on the patient’s behalf to third party payers but it is not a guaranteed process.
The billing process may occur with every service provided or may be allowed to accumulate during a series of services at the discretion of the practitioner in consultation with the patient.
Like many health care providers we collect, use and disclose personal information in order to serve our patients. The primary reason we collect this information to provide quality care. Contact information is collected to organize appointments and allow communication between patients and the clinic. Information is collected from a physical examination, discussion of health history, work, activities and lifestyle to better understand patients health needs and develop the most appropriate plan of care.
There are secondary reasons to collect, use and disclose information collected from patients. Information is used to generate accurate invoicing for various third party payers including private insurance providers, automotive insurance providers and workers compensation firms. With your consent reports are provided to your family doctor, your other health providers, third party payers, law firms or other professionals.
We Protect Personal Information
We understand the importance of protecting personal information. For that reason, we have taken the following steps:
- Paper information is either under supervision or secured in a locked or restricted area.
- Electronic hardware is either under supervision or secured in a locked or restricted area at all times. In addition, passwords 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.
Retention and Destruction of Personal Information
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. Our client and contact directories are much more difficult to systematically destroy, so we remove such information when we can if it does not appear that we will be contacting you again. However, if you ask, we will remove such contact information right away. 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.