Privacy and the protection of personal health information are critically important to the delivery of digital health to Canadians. Infoway's privacy mandate is to incorporate the protection of personal health information in its activities in accordance with applicable Canadian laws and privacy principles. As well, each of Canada's provinces and territories has privacy laws in place, and many jurisdictions have specific health information privacy or e-health laws designed to protect personal health information.
Privacy and Health Information Laws
* ON Bill 78 – Electronic Personal Health Information Protection Act – Tabled May 2013
* YK Health Information Privacy and Management Act – Royal Assent December 2013 (proclamation pending)
* NT Health Information Act – Royal Assent March 2014 (proclamation pending)
* PE Health Information Act – Royal Assent May 2014 (proclamation pending)
Achieving Infoway's Privacy Mandate
Infoway's Electronic Health Record Solution (EHRS) Blueprint includes a privacy and security component.
Infoway-funded projects involving personal health information are required to conduct Privacy Impact Assessments where applicable.
And, Infoway works closely with the jurisdictions to integrate privacy into their digital health initiatives and to identify practices that can be leveraged for re-use across the country.
The Privacy Forum established in 2007 and sponsored by Infoway, includes representatives from each federal/provincial/territorial Ministry of Health and/or e-Health agency as well as each jurisdictional privacy oversight body. The Forum offers a mechanism for members to share and leverage their collective knowledge and experience on privacy matters in the development of digital health initiatives.
Infoway also sponsors the Health Information Privacy Group (HIPG). Established in 2008, this group is made up of health ministry and e-Health agency representatives only. It focuses on the development of common approaches to information governance issues as they pertain to privacy in digital health information systems.
On September 19, 2014, Infoway and the HIPG received a privacy innovation award in the small organizations category (fewer than 5,000 employees) from the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP). Read the news release.
Infoway Certification Services reviews EHR solutions to determine whether the product conforms to assessment criteria. Privacy and security are key components of the certification.
The Chief Privacy Strategist is responsible for handling privacy at Canada Health Infoway. The Chief Privacy Strategist promotes Infoway's commitment to addressing privacy issues in digital health initiatives, communicates our privacy position to external stakeholders, and deals with privacy issues related to corporate matters.
For more information on Infoway's Privacy mandate, please contact us.
For specific privacy queries or questions related to the implementation of digital health initiatives, please contact your respective ministry or department of health.
Key privacy resources
- Privacy and EHR Information Flows in Canada, Version 2.0: 53 "common understandings" to support appropriate and privacy protective disclosures of EHR information
- Business and Architecture Considerations for Interoperable Consent Solutions: A Discussion Document
- Consent Management Solution Considerations: a companion piece to Business and Architecture Considerations for Interoperable Consent Solutions
- Ipsos Survey: Canadian attitudes toward electronic health information and their privacy
- Embedding Privacy into the Design of EHRs to Enable Multiple Functionalities – Win/Win
- White paper: Exploring the value, benefits and common concerns of e-booking
- EHRS Blueprint: Technology framework for securely sharing health information
- EHRi Privacy and Security Conceptual Architecture: Privacy and security requirements and standards for an interoperable EHR
- A Conceptual Privacy Impact Assessment of the EHRS Blueprint: Ensuring privacy is considered in the development of the EHRS blueprint
- White paper: Information Governance of the Interoperable Electronic Health Record
- EKOS Survey: Canadian attitudes towards electronic health information and their privacy
- Privacy and EHR Information Flows: 33 "common understandings" for the disclosure of EHR information