The Minister of Health for Nova Scotia has today introduced the Personal Health Information Act in the legislature. I'll have a link to the text of the bill tomorrow, but in the meantime you can read the release:
Personal Health Information Legislation Introduced News Releases Government of Nova Scotia
Personal Health Information Legislation Introduced
Department of Health
November 4, 2009 2:46 PM
Nova Scotian's personal health information would be better managed under proposed legislation introduced today, Nov. 4.
The Personal Health Information Act would provide consistent provincial rules for the management of personal information in health care.
"Patient privacy is a fundamental principle in delivering health care. At the same time, it is important that health care professionals can share information in ways that can improve care," said Health Minister Maureen MacDonald. "This legislation balances these important objectives."
The proposed legislation sets out rules for how health information is collected, used, disclosed, retained and destroyed by the health-care sector in Nova Scotia. It better supports a system that uses electronic as well as paper health records and helps provide a more seamless flow of information.
Specific rules include provisions for privacy breach notification audit reports to track who has had access to electronic health records, and requests for people to access to their health information.
Nova Scotia does not have clear health information legislation. It is governed by a mix of federal and provincial laws, health profession codes, and organizational policies and procedures. Nova Scotia joins eight other provinces who have comprehensive legislation to manage personal health information.
I understand that the legislature session ends shortly, so the Bill will not be debated until the new year. It's also reported that the Department plans to have the Bill come into force in January 2011.