Canada Dashboard Digest

More Patient Info Access Raises Concerns

HEALTHCARE PRIVACY

August 27, 2010

Alberta Information and Privacy Commissioner Frank Work is cautioning that access to medical files made possible by amendments to the Health Information Act set to go into effect on September 1 is expected to make the delivery of healthcare services more efficient but could also increase privacy breaches, the Calgary Herald reports. The amendments will allow more healthcare professionals--including pharmacists, podiatrists, optometrists and dental hygienists--access to patient information through the province's electronic health database. "The tendency of people to be curious about each other's state of health seems to be universal," Work said, explaining that individuals who believe their information was improperly accessed can ask for a log of who has been looking at their information from their provider and report any concerns to his office.
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