Accreditation Q-Tip: Privacy at WCH

June 2, 2022

By Neha Patel

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As a leader in health care, Women’s College Hospital recognizes our responsibility, to protect patients’ privacy. WCH is committed to protecting the privacy, confidentiality, and security of all personal health information (PHI) to which it’s entrusted. WCH treats all PHI with the utmost respect and sensitivity in accordance with the Ontario Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA), privacy best practices and policy.

Patients have a right to have their personal health information protected. Protecting patient privacy is also a legal requirement, a research standard, a contractual obligation as well as a professional ethical obligation. Click here to collect the Q-Tip.

Privacy is critical to maintaining strong relationships with our patients, who trust that their care providers will use their information to make accurate diagnosis and plan effective treatment. WCH has a Statement of Information Practices that describes the purposes for which the hospital collects personal health information (PHI), how that information is then used and disclosed, as well as the safeguards put in place to protect it. This statement that was developed in collaboration with our Experience Advisors, is readily accessible by patient and staff by being posted throughout the hospital, including near elevator banks and registration desks.

How can you support privacy best practices at WCH?

  • Prevent privacy breaches by:
  • Always conducting positive patient identification before emailing, mailing, sending documentation through MyHR, or discussing PHI with a patient
  • Always double checking the “To” field when emailing information from the organization to another party
  • Always ensuring patient information/ patient records are secured, both paper/electronic format
  • Logging out of computer sessions when stepping away from your desk
  • Never sharing passwords or keys
  • Not accessing your own health records using your WCH access (you can access your own health record by signing up for MyHR)
  • Not accessing the health records of your friends or family, coworkers, or anyone of interest unless you are in the circle of care
  • Never discussing patient cases with anyone outside of the circle of care unless you have the proper consent to do so.
  • Complete your annual privacy training
  • Review WCH privacy policy documents
  • Contact the Privacy Office and/or enter an IRIS report if you know of or suspect there has been a privacy breach

For more information on privacy at WCH, please visit the privacy webpage, intranet, or call 416-323-6400 ext. 7702.

For more information on Accreditation, visit the Accreditation Intranet Hub.