Our Commitment to Your Privacy
Before joining together under SIMS, each of our partner organizations shared patient information primarily via telephone and paper-based means such as mail, fax and courier. These slow, laborious and duplicative processes have long been an impediment to the delivery of timely, safe and effective health care services and treatments. Through Partnership projects, we are exploring faster, more effective ways to share information confidentially. Through Partnership projects, we are exploring faster, more effective ways to share information confidentially.
For example, our Patient Results Online (PRO) application provides staff with real-time access to personal health information about their patients’/clients’ electronically stored medical history, reducing the amount of time it takes to obtain a patient’s health information from two - 15 days, to just under two minutes. We are also exploring an e-referral process to replace cumbersome fax and paper-based referral forms between our organizations.
Privacy is not about preventing information from being shared but rather ensuring that information is only available when and where it is needed to support care and meet the partners' obligations under the law. The SIMS partners have put processes and practices in place to ensure this goal is met while meeting the expectations of our patients and clients.
Our Privacy Policies
Women's College Hospital
Legislation, Standards and Oversight
The Health Information Protection Act (2004) governs health privacy in Ontario and is strictly adhered to in SIMS initiatives. The Act is made up of two separate Acts: the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) and the Quality of Care Information Protection Act (QCIPA).
The Health Information Protection Act designates the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC) as the body responsible for overseeing compliance with the provisions of the law. It also gives individuals the right to enquire about health privacy practices covered by the Act. More information about PHIPA can be found on the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care website.
The following guidelines are also taken into consideration when planning and assessing initiatives:
- Canadian Standards Association's Model Code for the Protection of Personal Information
- Canada's Health Informatics Association's (COACH) Guidelines for the Protection of Health Information