Contributor: Carol Adam, CHIM, PMP, Ontario Chapter Chair
Privacy Awareness Week, observed annually around the globe every May, is designed to promote awareness of privacy issues and the importance of protecting personal information.
As health information professionals, we are leaders in protecting Canadians’ personal health information (PHI) and ensuring that our respective organizations have official policies and procedures in place to govern the collection, use, and disclosure of PHI.
Those working within privacy offices handle confidential information on a daily basis and understand and advocate for the protection of PHI. Those who do not work directly in privacy may wish to consult resources at the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (ipc.on.ca).
Health information professionals working within health care settings need to stay up to date on the legislation guiding the handling of all personal information, including health information. Two key resources for Ontario include:
• The Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004, S.O. 2004, c.3, Sched. A (https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/04p03/v7)
• The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. F.31
There are also many excellent resources right here on our website, including professional practice briefs and a 5-part series, Emerging Privacy Management Practices in Health Care.
Also, don’t miss the education sessions our chapter will be contributing during Privacy Awareness Week occurring May 10–14. These sessions will be focused on updating our knowledge of privacy issues in Ontario.