Saturday, October 14, 2006

Information privacy laws and clinical department administrators

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to speak at the annual conference of Canadian clinical department administrators from teaching hospitals. The members of this group have an interesting situation, usually occupying positions in both the university and the hospital while coordinating contractor-physicians. This leaves them often having to deal with overlapping privacy laws. To use Nova Scotia as an example, the hospitals and the universities are subject to the information privacy obligations of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. At the same time, the hospital part of their jobs are subject to the provisions of the Hospitals Act governing patient records. Increasingly, they are dealing with incorporated groups of physicians who are contracted to provide particular services to the univesity and the hospital. These groups are (at least partially) subject to PIPEDA. It's a bit of a mess and the discussion following the formal presentation was very interesting. Here's a copy of my presentation, if you're interested.

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