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Health Information Protection Act (HIPA)
An individual has the right to request access to personal health information about himself or herself that is contained in a record in the custody or control of the Sun Country Health Region. For more information, please contact the Privacy Officer for Sun Country Health Region.
1. To allow an individual access to information that pertains to his/her own health.
This policy applies to all Personal Health Information within the custody and control of the Region. Specifically excluded from this policy is Personal Health Information collected under:
(a) The Adoption Act or The Adoption Act, 1998;( Adoptions)
(b) Part VIII of The Automobile Accident Insurance Act
(c) section 16 of The Cancer Foundation Act
(d) The Child and Family Services Act (Youth and Family Protection)
(e) The Mental Health Services Act (Mental Health)
(f) The Public Disclosure Act
(g) The Public Heath Act, 1994 (Public Health)
(g.1) The Vital Statistics Act, 1995 or former Vital Statistics Act; or
(h) The Workers' Compensation Act, 1979;
(See section 4(4) of HIPA)
Where requests are made for the release of information collected under these statutes the appropriate department is contacted for guidance.
"Personal Health Information" means, with respect to an individual, whether living or deceased:
(i) information with respect to the physical or mental health of the individual;
(ii) information with respect to any health service provided to the individual;
(iii) information with respect to the donation by the individual of any body part or any bodily substance of the individual or information derived from the testing or examination of a body part or bodily substance of the individual;
(iv) information that is collected:
(A) in the course of providing health services to the individual; or
(B) incidentally to the provision of health services to the individual; or
(v) registration information. (See section 2(m) of HIPA)
Personal health information is maintained in a variety of media including but not limited to diagnostic films, files, community health information, computerized reports, paper records and patient files.
1.0 Access by Individual (Verbal Request):
1.1 When an individual makes a verbal request the individual is provided access to the requested records, in the presence of authorized staff. If this request occurs while in the care of a health provider, most often the health care provider provides access to the records and provides an explanation of the documentation.
1.2 Where possible and practical, when a copy of the record is released, the applicant signs the "IM002 - Access" form to document that the record was released.
2.0 Access by Individual (Written Request): When an applicant makes a written request, the request is forwarded to the service that the region believes has control or custody of the personal health information. All requests for information are to be specific and only the specified information will be released.
2.1 When an individual applies to access their personal health information that is in the control of the region, the applicant request is documented on the Sun Country Health Region's "IM002 - Access" form and signed by the applicant before the release of the information. This records that the requested information is shared, the date and time of request and provision of information, and that the applicant has the authority to request the record.
2.2 The Sun Country Health Region responds to the written requests within 30 days of receiving the request. If the information requested is in the possession of another trustee, the request for information is forwarded to that trustee, and the individual notified in writing. The second trustee responds within 30 days of receiving the request. POLICY & PROCEDURE NO.: IM-35-10-00 SUN COUNTRY HEALTH REGION & AFFILIATES - POLICY & PROCEDURE TOPIC: Individual Access PAGE: 3 OF: 4
2.3 With prior approval of the Health Region's Privacy Officer, the Sun Country Health Region may extend the time period for responding to a request for a period of time not to exceed 30 days. Within 30 days the Health Region advises the individual in writing of the extension.
3.0 Explanation: When an individual accesses their health record, authorized staff are present to maintain the integrity of the record.
3.1 On the request of the applicant, the Sun Country Health Region provides an explanation of the terms, codes or abbreviations used in the personal health information. If the Region is unable to provide an explanation, the applicant is referred to a trustee that is able to provide an explanation.
3.2 If the individual requests interpretation or diagnosis, the individual is forwarded to the service, professional, or physician who can provide this.
4. Ownership: All personal health records in the control or custody of the Sun Country Health Region and/or affiliates are the property of the Sun Country Health Region. Subject to certain limited exceptions, all clients have the right to the information contained in those records and can apply to see those records. It is important to note that the right of an individual to access his or her Personal Health Information under HIPA is not contingent upon the individual providing a reason for wanting such access. The individual's reason or motive for requesting access is irrelevant under HIPA.
5.0 Refusing Access: The Sun Country Health Region may refuse access to personal health information if and when:
5.1 the information could cause mental or physical harm to any person.
5.2 the information would reveal health information about another person.
5.3 the information would identify a third party, who provided the information in confidence. 5.4 the information was collected solely for the purpose of procedures of peer review by health professionals, including joint professional review committees within the meaning of The Saskatchewan Medical Care Insurance Act.
5.5 the information was collected solely for the purpose of review by a standards or quality of care committee established to study or evaluate health services practice in a health services facility or health services agency, including a committee as defined in section 35.1 of The Saskatchewan Evidence Act.
5.6 the information was collected solely for the purpose of a body with statutory responsibility for the discipline of health professionals or for the quality or standards of professional services provided by health professionals.
5.7 the information was collected principally in anticipation of, or for the use in, a civil, criminal or quasi-judicial proceeding.
5.8 the information could interfere with a legal proceeding or interfere with enforcing an Act or legislation. If it appears that any one or more of the above situations may apply to a request for information, the Privacy Officer must be consulted.
*Release of information is not to be withheld on the basis of any exemption without the prior approval of the Privacy Officer.
When refusal to access occurs, as much information as possible is released, without disclosing the parts of the record to which access has been denied.
When refusal to access occurs the client is notified in writing the justification for the refusal.
As often as possible, a notation is made in the record indicating that the information is NOT to be released to the individual without consulting the health care provider identified in the notation and the Privacy Officer.
Any individual not satisfied with a decision to refuse access to that individual's personal health information, can request an internal review. See Appeal Process policy IM-35-10-05.
6.0 Fees: A fee may be charged for an applicant to access the record. The fee is related to the amount of time it takes for staff to access and copy the record, or to access and present the record. The fee may be waived at the discretion of the region. In no event is the fee charged to exceed any legally prescribed maximum.
7.0 Right of Amendment: Individuals may request correction of personal health information in the health record if the person believes that there is an error or omission in it.
7.1 If an amendment is requested but not made, a notation to that effect is made in the record.
7.2 A request for amendment must be in writing.
7.3 Within 30 days the region replies to the individual stating that an amendment or notation (as in 7.1) has been made.
7.4 The request of the individual is attached to the clinical record.
7.5 The individual is not allowed to alter the clinical record.