Privacy & Security
Keeping your Data Safe
Infoway works closely with the provinces and territories to develop solutions that protect personal health information (PHI) and keep your health data private and secure.
Data are a valuable commodity in our digital world, and health data is no exception. The provinces and territories, health providers and vendors work together to make certain that your personal health information isn’t lost, stolen or misused.
Privacy and security requirements are reinforced in all Infoway initiatives. Infoway also works closely with the jurisdictions through working groups such as the Privacy Forum and the Health Information Privacy Group to identify privacy and security best practices that can be leveraged and standardized across the country.
What is PHI?
Personal health information includes oral or written information in any format that identifies an individual and relates to their health and health care. Some examples might include:
- Your address
- Your health card number
- Your medications
- Laboratory test results
- Examination notes
While your information is held by an institution or someone other than yourself, the information contained in the records is yours, and you have the right to access it. However, the physical record is the responsibility of the person or organization that created it.
Personal health information is precisely that — personal. As the owner of your health data, consent for sharing it rests with you. Just as banks protect financial information, it’s important to ensure that health data is kept private and secure.
By the Numbers
Our primer provides an introduction to interoperability, an overview of Canadian privacy laws and some practical approaches to privacy for interoperability.
In Privacy as an Enabler: Sharing Personal Health Information for Interoperability Primer we delve into the role privacy plays in the creation of interoperable health systems. We address the myth that privacy laws mean patient data can’t be shared. The primer outlines how privacy laws enable the sharing of patient data by providing guidance on how to share health data safely, with a patient’s consent, and the responsibilities of both parties when patient info is shared.
Protecting your PHI
Addressing privacy, confidentiality and security of personal health information is fundamental to all Infoway digital health initiatives. All jurisdictions in Canada (federal, provincial, territorial) have laws in place to protect personal information, and many have legislation specific to health information. These laws, regulations and best practices are respected by all Infoway-funded projects.