Safeguarding personal health information is about much more than simply keeping it under lock and key. It is also about appropriate collection, use, disclosure and, when the information is no longer required, its secure disposal.
Personal health information has always been at the foundation of Ontario’s health care system. But paper-based records can be difficult to protect and may prove challenging to share in a timely fashion with all of the members of an individual’s circle of care. They can be easily lost or misplaced, especially when a patient moves from one place to another. Recognizing the many benefits of EHRs (improved privacy and enhanced availability among them), physicians in Ontario have increasingly begun adopting them in their practices.
That’s where eHealth Ontario comes in.
Trust is the foundation of a successful, province-wide EHR program. We work closely with all stakeholders to ensure that all personal health information which has been entrusted to us is protected.
Our privacy office ensures that the electronic exchange of personal health information among patients and health care providers is conducted securely, protecting and enhancing individual privacy.
The privacy office also promotes a culture of privacy within eHealth Ontario. Going beyond legislation and regulation, it employs the Principles of Privacy by Design to ensure that protection of personal health information is embedded in all of the products, services, policies, procedures and processes developed by eHealth Ontario.
Ultimately, this fosters an environment of trust. And trust will always be at the heart of our health care system.
We are committed to meeting all of our privacy obligations. We start by adhering to the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA). To support compliance with the legislation, we have established internal policies that outline the standard information handling practices implemented throughout eHealth Ontario.
In addition, we have the measures in place to ensure that any information we receive for the purpose of creating or maintaining EHRs is protected to the highest standards. These are met by following our EHR privacy policies. Learn more in our privacy policies and Statement of Information Practices.