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SJHH / Patients & Visitors/ Privacy & Information Security/ Privacy at St. Joe's

Privacy at St. Joe's

Protecting Patient Privacy

We want you to feel safe and comfortable receiving care at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton ("SJHH"). We work hard to ensure your privacy because trust is an essential component of excellent care.

We recognize that visiting a hospital as a patient is often an anxious time. We provide access to your personal health information to those who need to know to provide care, including: physicians, nurses, technicians, therapists, pharmacists and other health professionals. We also use your personal health information to meet our administrative, operational, and legal duties - including patient billing and quality of care reviews.

St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton’s privacy program is committed to managing and regulating how we collect, use, disclose, retain, dispose of and protect your personal health information in accordance with Ontario’s Personal Health Information Protection Act (“PHIPA”). Please review our Privacy Policy and Statement of Information Practices for an overview of how we manage your personal health information.

While we do maintain some paper health records, most of your personal health information here at SJHH is stored electronically, primarily in “Dovetale” -- our clinical information system. We implemented Dovetale as a tool to improve patient care, to facilitate timely communication within your care team, and to support access to patient information in one secure and private system. Anyone authorized by SJHH to access, use, or handle personal health information must complete training, sign confidentiality agreements, and commit to appropriate use of your information every time they sign into the Dovetale system. Access to Dovetale is provided solely for authorized healthcare or authorized administrative purposes, or where permitted or required by law.  

All system access is logged and monitored by the Privacy Office. Inappropriate access is investigated, and patients will be notified of privacy breaches in most cases. Privacy breaches may also be reported to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario and to appropriate regulated health professional colleges. If you have questions or concerns regarding the privacy of your personal health information, please contact the SJHH Privacy Office at:  905-522-1155 ext 32875 or by email:

The designated individual responsible for managing privacy compliance at SJHH is our Chief Privacy Officer, Angelique Hamilton. Our Chief Privacy Officer contact information is:

Angelique Hamilton, CIPP/C
Chief Privacy Officer & Director, Health Information Management
St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton
50 Charlton Avenue East
Hamilton, Ontario L8N 4A6
Telephone: 905-522-1155 x35088
Fax: 905-308-7211


Requesting or Revising a Consent Directive

Some patients may feel they require additional restrictions on access to their personal health information. You have a right to request that a consent directive, or “lockbox” be placed on your personal health information, to limit who may access your records for provision of care. We recommend that you contact the Privacy Office to discuss your concerns, and to determine whether or not a consent directive will effectively address them. 

Once in effect, a consent directive requires health care providers to obtain your express consent before accessing your personal health information, unless you are unable to provide consent and access to the information is necessary to avert serious bodily harm. 

Once you have determined that a Consent Directive may be appropriate for you, you may submit your request by completing the form below.
Click here for the Consent Directive Request Form

You may modify or withdraw your consent directive at any time by contacting the Privacy Office and completing the form below.
Click here for the Consent Directive Revision Form

*Please note:  Consent Directives only apply to clinical use of personal health information, and SJHH may still use or disclose your personal health information to meet administrative requirements and legal obligations.

Please review page two of our Consent Directive Request Form for additional detail regarding the risks and benefits of restricted access to your personal health information. The SJHH Privacy Office will be happy to answer your questions and to assist you with this process.

To restrict access to your personal health information held in provincial or regional eHealth systems such as the Ontario Laboratory Information System or ClinicalConnect, you must contact the administrators of those systems directly.