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Personal Health Information Act (PHIA)

 

  • In 2008, the House of Assembly passed the Personal Health Information Act, which is expected to take effect in 2010. The Act applies to public and private custodians of personal health information and establishes the rules related to health information collection, use and disclosure. The Act will have significant implications for physicians because preceding PHIA, all custodians of personal health information including physicians, must be informed about the Act and their roles and responsibilities as defined in the Act.

 

  • Are You Ready for PHIA? Take Readiness Audit: PHIA Readiness Audit designed to assist custodians to evaluate their current level of preparedness for compliance is now available for physicians. In Addition, the Department of Health and Community Services has developed resources (see below) to inform physicians about their roles and responsibilities as custodians of personal health information.

 

 

 

  • OIPC Privacy Checkups for Physicians: The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC) invites physicians to undertake a "Privacy Check-Up" designed to help physician custodians and their staff evaluate their level of compliance with PHIA. This educational initiative consists of a short nine-question checklist (with additional follow-up points) that will help Custodians determine whether they have "reasonable security measures" in place to protect personal health information as required by PHIA. The questions also seek to remind Custodians of their additional obligations under PHIA with respect to collection, use and disclosure of personal health information. The OIPC is encouraging all Custodians to contact their office to arrange a short site visit (20 minutes) during which an Access and Privacy Analyst will come to your office and talk with physicians and staff about the checklist and if necessary, discuss ways to improve practices and procedures to become PHIA compliant. For questions, more information, or to set up a visit, contact the OIPC at (709) 729-6309 or commissioner@oipc.nl.ca

 

 

 

 

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Patient-Centred Practice

  • The NLMA mailed physician resource kits to all primary care physicians in the province to help improve patient-doctor communication. The kits include a brochure and poster designed to educate patients about making the most of their office visit, while helping physicians manage issues that may impact on clinic efficiency. It includes guidance for such topics as urgent care protocol, how to communicate symptoms, and booking appointments among other issues. Included with the patient tools is a list of Quick Tips that doctors may use as a reference for improving patient communication. Additional Quick Tips as well as Quick Tips for reception staff have been made available online. Also available are patient forms for listing symptoms and questions to help physicians prioritize and manage patient expectations during examinations. Additional copies of all materials are available for download or by contacting the NLMA Office.