Our Privacy Policy

HALIFAX VETERINARY HOSPITAL INC.
OPERATING UNDER THE FOLLOWING TRADE NAMES: 
Halifax Veterinary Hospital
Spryfield Animal Hospital
Fairview Animal Hospital ANIMAL HOSPITAL


PRIVACY POLICY – Updated January 1st, 2011.

Privacy of personal information is an important principle to the Halifax Veterinary Hospital Inc. We are committed to collecting, using and disclosing personal information responsibly and only to the extent necessary for the goods and services we provide. We also try to be open and transparent as to how we handle personal information. This document describes our privacy policies. 

WHAT IS PERSONAL INFORMATION? 
Personal information is information about an identifiable individual. Personal information includes information that relates to their personal characteristics (e.g. gender, home address or phone numbers, family status), their health (e.g., health history, health conditions, health services received by them) or their activities and views (e.g., religion, politics, opinions expressed by an individual, an opinion or evaluation of an individual). Personal information is to be contrasted with business information (e.g., an individual’s business address and telephone number), which is not protected by privacy legislation. 

WHO WE ARE
Our organization, Halifax Veterinary Hospital Inc., includes at the time of writing eleven veterinarians, thirty-six support staff and one groomer. We use a number of consultants and agencies that may, in the course of their duties have limited access to personal information we hold. These include computer consultants, office security and maintenance, bookkeepers and accountants, temporary workers to cover holidays, credit card companies, website managers, cleaners and lawyers. We restrict their access to any personal information we hold as much as is reasonably possible. We also have their assurance that they follow appropriate privacy principles. 

WE COLLECT PERSONAL INFORMATION: PRIMARY PURPOSES
About Clients
Like all veterinarians, we collect, use and disclose personal information in order to serve our clients. For our clients, the primary purpose for collecting personal information is to provide veterinary services. For example, we collect information about your animal’s history, physical condition and function in order to help us assess what their needs are, to advise you of your options and then to provide the veterinary care you choose. A second primary purpose might be to obtain a baseline of health information so that in providing ongoing veterinary services you can identify changes that are occurring and a third primary purpose is to meet regulatory requirements. 

About Our Website
On our website we only collect, with the exception of cookies, the personal information you provide and only use that information for the purposed you gave it to us (e.g., to respond to your email message, to register for a course, to subscribe to our newsletter). Cookies are only used to help you navigate our website and are not used to monitor you. 

WE COLLECT PERSONAL INFORMATION: RELATED AND SECONDARY PURPOSES
Like most organizations, we also collect, use and disclose information for purposes related to or secondary to our primary purposes. The most common examples of our related and secondary purposes are as follows:
To invoice clients for goods or services that was not paid for at the time, to process credit card payments or collect unpaid accounts. 
To advise clients that their animals are due for scheduled veterinary services and to ensure a service that was performed has a proper outcome, is still appropriate for the current situation and to consider modifications or replacements where necessary. 

Veterinarians are regulated by the Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association who may inspect our records and interview our staff as a part of their regulatory activities in public interest.
Clients or other individuals we deal with may have questions about our goods or services after they have been received. We also provide ongoing services for many of our clients over a period of months or years for which our previous records are helpful. We retain our client information for a minimum of seven years after the last contact to enable us to respond to those questions and provide theses services (our regulatory Association also requires us to retain our client records).

PROTECTING 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 secure in a locked or restricted area at all times. In addition, passwords are used on computers. All of our cell phones are digital, which signals are more difficult to intercept.
Paper information is transmitted through a sealed, addressed envelopes or boxes by reputable companies.
Electronic information is transmitted either through a direct line or is anonymized or encrypted.
Staff members are trained to collect, use and disclose personal information only as necessary to fulfill their duties and in accordance with our privacy policy.
External consultants and agencies with access to personal information must enter into privacy agreement with us. 

RETENTION AND DESTRUCTION OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
We need to retain personal information for seven years to ensure that we can answer any questions you might have about services provided and for our own accountability to external regulatory bodies

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. Alternatively, we may send some or the entire client file to our client.

DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION?
Please contact our Information Officer, Peter Ainslie at:

HALIFAX VETERINARY HOSPITAL INC. 
6485 Quinpool Road Halifax NS   B3L 1B2
(902)422-8595

He will attempt to answer any questions or concerns you might have.