Ontario Hospital Association Recommends New Measures to Prevent Privacy Breaches

TORONTO, Feb. 12, 2015 /CNW/ - Ontario hospitals are deeply committed to working with its partners to provide the highest quality of care to patients and their families, including protecting sensitive personal patient information – an obligation that is taken very seriously.

"On behalf of the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) and our members, I am disappointed to hear that the violation of patient privacy remains an ongoing issue," said Anthony Dale, President and CEO of the OHA. "While hospital leaders work hard to ensure the processes and resources are in place to prevent breaches, stronger deterrents, including prosecutions and enhanced college oversight, may now need to be considered to enhance privacy and encourage professional accountability."

Patient privacy is protected under the Personal Health Information Act (PHIPA), which is enforced by the Information Privacy Commissioner (IPC) of Ontario. In the event of a systemic privacy breach, hospitals typically notify the IPC of the breach and work with them to ensure that the necessary steps are taken to deal with staff appropriately. Hospitals then work to implement new process and practices that will prevent breaches form occurring in the future.

With more than 225,000 employees, hospitals need support and partnership with regulators of health professions, professional associations, government, and the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner to ensure that each person working in a hospital understands their roles and responsibilities in protecting patient privacy. 

"In Ontario's increasingly integrated and collaborative environment, it takes everyone working together at all times to continuously ensure that health records are protected, Dale said. "Ensuring future compliance with patient privacy legislation will require greater collaboration, prosecutions and enhanced authority for regulatory colleges to take appropriate action."

Ontario Hospital Association

The Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) is the voice of Ontario's public hospitals.  Founded in 1924, the OHA uses advocacy, education and partnerships to build a strong, innovative and sustainable health care system for all Ontarians.

SOURCE Ontario Hospital Association

For further information: Akilah Dressekie, OHA Public Affairs Specialist, 416-205-1376, adressekie@oha.com

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