What is the "Circle of Care"?
The "circle of care" is not a defined term under PHIPA. It is a term of reference used to describe health information custodians and their authorized agents who are permitted to rely on an individual's implied consent when collecting, using, disclosing or handling personal health information for the purpose of providing direct health care.
In a physician's office, the circle of care includes:
- Specialists or other health care providers referred by the physician;
- Health care professionals selected by the patient, such as a Pharmacist or Physiotherapist.
In a hospital, the circle of care includes:
- Attending physician
- Health Care Team (i.e. residents, nurses, technicians, clinical clerks, and employees assigned to the patient) who have direct responsibilities of providing care to the individual.