Privacy Statement

This Privacy Statement will give you details about how The Ottawa Model for Smoking Cessation (OMSC) program will keep your personal health information safe.


1. About the OMSC program

The OMSC program helps health care sites start their own programs to help patients like you stop smoking. The OMSC program is led out of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. OMSC staff train health care sites and also offer information and patient education.

Your health care site may offer you OMSC follow-up support for quitting smoking, after your discharge or visit if you would like more support. Some follow-up phone calls or emails are automated. This means that the messages and questions are pre-recorded and you type in your answers using the number touch-pad on your phone or by answering online questions. The automated calls and emails are kept in an online database. The database is called the OMSC Database and it is run by TelASK Technologies Inc. Some phone calls are made by nurses or counselors from your health care site, the Heart Institute, or another group like the Canadian Cancer Society Smokers’ Helpline.   You will always be provided with a phone number to call if you need extra help.

You can decide whether or not the OMSC program is right for you and you can remove yourself from the program at any time by emailing


2. Your personal health information

Personal health information is information that is specifically about you and your health, like your name, date of birth, health issues, health history, treatments and more. With your consent, this type of information is entered into the OMSC Database after your health care provider discusses smoking with you. The OMSC Database is encrypted. When information is encrypted, this means it is changed to computer code to make it hard for others to steal and read. TelASK Technologies runs the database and must follow privacy laws.  

The personal health information we collect helps us offer you OMSC follow-up support. Only your health care site and the Heart Institute data base support person can see your personal health information. Your information is not shared with anyone outside your healthcare site who is not involved in the automated or personal follow-up services.  Your personal health information is erased from the database after 15 years.


3. How the OMSC program protects your privacy

The OMSC program takes steps to keep your personal health information safe.

Any health care site that is part of the OMSC program must agree with this Privacy Statement. They must also agree to only use the personal health information stored in the OMSC Database for the OMSC program. They can not use your personal health information for any other reason. TelASK, Canadian Cancer Society, and any other group that cares for patients as part of the OMSC program also have to agree to this Privacy Statement.

Health care sites that take part in OMSC will:

Make sure that only those who are caring for you can see your personal health information.
Give privacy training to their employees and physicians.
Randomly check to make sure that their employees are following this Privacy Statement when they use the OMSC Database.

Please write to if you have concerns that your personal health information is being viewed without your permission


4. How the OMSC program uses de-identified information

De-identification means that the details about you, like your name and date of birth, are left out of information or data. The goal of de-identification is to make it so that even someone who knows you probably would not know that the information is about you. The Heart Institute uses de-identified information to make sure that patients’ needs are being met by the OMSC program. This information is reported back to your health care site, to the Ontario Ministry of Health and its funders. The Heart Institute also publishes articles and presentations about the OMSC program. The Heart Institute might use de-identified patient data to do research if the study is approved by the Heart Institute’s Research Ethics Board.


5. How to request to correct your personal health information

You can make corrections to your personal health information stored on the OMSC Database at any time by contacting


6. Contact Information

University of Ottawa Heart Institute

Ottawa Model for Smoking Cessation

Name: Kelsey Jessup

Address: 40 Ruskin Street, H2353, Ottawa, ON, K1Y 4W7

Phone: 613-696-7000 ext. 14488

Email address:


University of Ottawa Heart Institute

Privacy Office

Name: Jennifer Lajeunesse

Email address: