As part of Privacy Awareness Week 2011, the Privacy Commissioner Marie Shroff today released a privacy toolkit aimed at both health consumers and health providers. Consumers will be interested in the brochures and fact sheets.
For health providers there are also case notes (summaries of actual health-related privacy complaints), an updated privacy reference guide - 'On the Record', the 'Health Information Privacy Code and commentary', and a training presentation. It is expected these tools will help health providers to get their information handling right.
'The relationship between a person and their health professional is based on confidentiality and trust', said Mrs Shroff. 'We know health professionals do their best to get things right. But it's very important for consumers to know that they have rights in relation to health information about them.'
For example, Mrs Shroff said that very few consumers know that they can ask to see what information their health professionals hold about them. 'It always surprises people to learn that they have a right of access to health information about themselves,' she said. 'Yet this is a vitally important right.'
'It's becoming increasingly important to know what information is held about us, by whom, and where it is' said Mrs Shroff. 'Health information is like all other kinds of information about us - it's not stuck in a paper file these days. Instead, it's in digital form in networked computer systems, on databases and even online.
'Electronic health records present great opportunities to create better, more efficient health care. It's easier than ever for health information to get to the right people at the right time. But there are risks that need to be managed too, including risks to security and privacy. Consumers need the chance to participate in the conversation about how their health information can be appropriately managed. They need some control. And they can only do this if they know what's going on.'
The health information privacy tool kit is available from Privacy Commissioner's website at: http://privacy.org.nz/health-privacy-toolkit/
For general queries relating to privacy and health information, contact email@example.com or call (04) 474 7590.
More information about Privacy Awareness Week is available at http://privacy.org.nz/privacy-awareness-week-1-7-may-201.
4 May 2011
For further information contact: Cathy Henry on 021 509 735 or 04 474 7149
The kit includes:
Ã¯âÂ§ Narrated Health Information Privacy Code presentation (a Windows CD-ROM)
Ã¯âÂ§ Health Information Privacy Code 1994 and commentary (pdf and Printed version $25)
Ã¯âÂ§ On the Record (a practical guide to health privacy) (pdf)
Ã¯âÂ§ Health information privacy fact sheets (x 5) (pdfs)
Ã¯âÂ§ Health-related privacy case notes (pdfs)
All the components, except the CR-ROM are available to download free from http://privacy.org.nz/health-privacy-toolkit/. To order a kit, which contains the CD-ROM, see http://privacy.org.nz/assets/Files/Health-toolkit/Health-kit-order-form-2011.doc