ElectronicHealthcare 2(3) August 2003 : 22-22

Five Most Highly Recommended Health Privacy Websites from the University Health Network

Miyo Yamashita and Don MacPherson


[No abstract available for this article.]
The Privacy Commissioner of Canada is the oversight body for the federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) as well as the federal Privacy Act. The full application of PIPEDA occurs on January 1, 2004 for commercial uses of personal information; the Act will have broad implications for information management practices at Canadian organizations (e.g. news rules on consent, mandatory openness to the public about how an organization collects, uses and discloses personal information, and required procedures for handling privacy complaints, etc). The Privacy Commissioner's "health links" page provides an excellent set of resources for those interested in the field of health privacy.

The Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner's (IPC) website is an invaluable resource for anyone with an interest in privacy. There are extensive resources on the website, including a Privacy Diagnostic Tool for assessing an organization's compliance with the 10 fair information practices in Schedule 1 of PIPEDA. The site also provides the results of privacy audits of major Ontario health organizations' information management practices for electronic patient record systems (see Chatham-Kent and University Health Network).

The University of Ottawa's Michael Geist, a leading lawyer in the Canadian privacy field, has developed a "Canadian-focused" data protection website, which provides up to date reporting on the latest news and legal developments in information privacy. The site also contains a number of practical privacy resources in the form of books, journals, web links, and legislative analyses.

The British National Health Services Information Authorities (NHSIA) is currently conducting national consultations on patient confidentiality, including obtaining feedback on its plans for a confidentiality management system from a variety of health stakeholders (e.g. patients, physicians, nurses, hospital administrators and system vendors). The consultation report will be made publicly available on its website by December 2003.

Georgetown University's Health Privacy Project has created this informative website to educate the public on issues relating to health privacy in the USA. It offers extensive commentary on the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) for both health care consumers and providers. The site also has a "Health Privacy 101" training page, which includes explanatory slides on information privacy for U.S. health organizations, examples of health privacy breaches (a valuable tool for privacy training), and information on patient privacy rights.

About the Author(s)

Miyo Yamashita, PhD, is the Corporate Privacy Officer (CPO) at the University Health Network. Miyo is also the Chair of the Privacy and Security Working Group for the Ontario Hospital Association's E-Health Council. The working group has written a report, "Managing Privacy, Data Protection and Data Security for Ontario Hospitals."

Don MacPherson has been working as a Privacy Specialist at the University Health Network (UHN), since September of 2002, where he has assisted in the design and implementation of the corporate privacy program. He is also is a contributing author of the Ontario Hospital Association's Privacy and Security Working Group's recently published report. For more information on the report, contact Don MacPherson at 416-340-4800, extension 7278.


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