WCH CONNECTJanuary 28, 2019

January 28 is Data Privacy Day: How does WCH protect patient privacy?

  • January 28, 2019
  • BY Sarah Warr

Monday, January 28 is Data Privacy Day – an international awareness day to promote and highlight the importance of privacy and data protection best practices across the world. The day commemorates the signing of Convention 109, the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection.

In support of this awareness day, Women’s College Hospital’s (WCH) Privacy Office is highlighting the importance of privacy and protecting patients’ personal health information. WCH is committed to protecting the privacy, confidentiality and security of all personal health information to which it is entrusted. The only people who have access to patient information are those physicians and staff in their circle of care – that means only those who need to see it in order to provide or facilitate care.

“There are a number of ways Women’s College Hospital protects and secures all personal health information” says Neha Patel, manager, privacy & risk. “Having practices in place to secure personal health information is essential to building trust and confidence with our patients and maintaining our strong patient-provider relationships.”

Below are some of the ways that WCH safeguards our patients’ personal health information:

Technological safeguards:

  • Use of firewalls, encrypted devices, password requirements and access controls.
  • Robust auditing practices.
  • Role-based access to the ambulatory Electronic Patient Record (aEPR).
  • myHealthRecord patient portal provides patients with a secure, encrypted way to access their electronic patient record and communicate with their health care providers.

Physical safeguards:

  • Locked filing cabinets and restricted access to offices where personal health information is held.
  • Disposing of any paper products with personal health information in confidential, designated shredding containers.

Administrative safeguards:

  • Use of privacy education, privacy policies, confidentiality agreements and consent forms.

For more information on privacy at WCH, please visit our website or call 416-323-6400 ext. 7702.

WCH staff and clinicians can also visit the intranet for additional resources.

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Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario (CAHO)