Even though July 1 has come and gone, it is a safe bet that many of you will still not be 100% CASL compliant. Just because your organization is in the non-profit sector does not mean that you are not required to comply with CASL. Likely some of your electronic messages have a commercial element – and therefore must comply with CASL. Read More
On May 22nd, DDO Health Law (DDO) hosted its eHealth Risk Management Conference in Toronto. The conference was an opportunity to highlight the opportunities and challenges associated with the increasing role of technology in health care delivery, e.g., managing databases of personal health information and using devices and electronic processes to collect, share and deliver health information. Technology is now being used to communicate with and engage patients and clients (e-mail, apps, social media, discussion boards); to coordinate health care delivery (shared electronic health information systems); and to increase provider efficiency (use of mobile devices at work).
Taking a practical approach to balancing organizational needs and potential risks, speakers from the Healthcare Insurance Reciprocal of Canada (HIROC), eHealth Ontario (eHO) and DDO shared their expertise with a packed audience representing a broad cross-section of the health sector including academic health centres, other hospitals, community mental health agencies, shared services organizations, government agencies, and family health teams.
We asked our attendees – what is keeping your Chief Information Officer awake at night?
The answer – mitigating the risks associated with e-health initiatives. Common themes were the need for oversight (to protect the privacy of health information) and minimizing liability exposure. Whether oversight was framed as a governance, contractual compliance, human resources or system security issue, conference participants consistently expressed a need for additional information and resources to meet their obligations. This was especially true in the context of data-sharing, where many new provincial initiatives were mandating the creation and maintenance of large, pooled repositories of personal health information – creating new province-wide risks and liabilities.
Other, more specific concerns raised included:
- Managing patient/client consent to the creation of databases
- Developing, implementing and enforcing best practices related to employees, client/patient and family use of technology (e.g., mobile devices, e-mail, social media use in the healthcare workplace)
- Ensuring documentation quality where information going into shared databases
- Controlling access to collected information.
The DDO perspective
At the heart of the issues raised at the conference is the age-old problem of how best to safeguard patient/client/staff personal (health) information. In many ways, technology has only increased the scope of oversight required to ensure the security of that information. DDO speakers offered tools (including a Data-Sharing Agreement checklist) as well as best practices and risk management strategies for organizations from a technological and employment standpoint.
If you wish to receive more information about upcoming DDO Health Law conferences and publications, please visit our website at http://ddohealthlaw.com and subscribe to our mailing list.
The Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (NFP Act) is recent, federal legislation that governs federally incorporated non-profits and charities. Proclaimed into force in 2011, the NFP Act prescribed a 3-year transition period for corporations incorporated under Part II of the Canada Corporations Act (CCA) to file for continuance under the new legislation. With the deadline for transition (October 17, 2014) now just six months away, Corporations Canada recently published a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that explain the consequences of a corporation’s failure to meet the October deadline. Read More
In a two-volume report entitled Paramedicine in Ontario: Consideration of the Application for the Regulation of Paramedics under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 released on March 10, 2014, the Health Professions Regulatory Advisory Council (HPRAC) recommended to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) that paramedics in Ontario not be regulated under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 (RHPA). HPRAC is the provincial body whose role it is to assess applications for health profession regulation under the RHPA against certain criteria and make recommendations to the MOHLTC. Read More
In the past few years, with the introduction of legislation such as the Broader Public Sector Accountability Act and its various directives and the Excellent Care for All Act, the broader public sector in Ontario, and the health sector in particular, have been held to higher provincial standards of transparency and accountability. This focus has been particularly acute with respect to how organizations spend public dollars and how they compensate their executives. Read More
On Wednesday January 22, 2014, the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA), hosted the Health Links Conference, bringing together stakeholders from across the healthcare spectrum: the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC), hospitals, the Ontario Medical Association (OMA), local health integration networks (LHINs), primary care providers, Health Quality Ontario (HQO), community care access centres (CCACs) and community agencies among others. The conference was an opportunity to share the implementation challenges and lessons learned from different Health Links, and to provide attendees with advice, tools and tactics for success going forward. Read More