Privacy & Access
The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) Privacy & Access department works to protect the privacy of patients, clients, residents, employees, and SHA business information. Our office helps to ensure the proper collection, use and disclosure of personal health information and personal information, as well as work to embed privacy into the SHA’s culture. The Privacy & Access department provides advice and guidance on privacy best practices and expectations for SHA staff, physicians and volunteers. The Privacy & Access department:
- ensures that the SHA complies with legislation relating to the privacy and confidentiality of personal information and personal health information. This includes compliance with The Health Information Protection Act (HIPA) and The Local Authority Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (LA FOIP);
- provides advice and support related to HIPA and LA FOIP;
- trains and educates our employees and Practitioner Staff regarding privacy and access to information;
- investigates privacy breaches;
- manages and responds to formal requests for access to information under LA FOIP;
- prepares privacy impact assessments in collaboration with a project team;
- liaises with Saskatchewan's Information & Privacy Commissioner as appropriate; and
- works with partner health care agencies as necessary.
The Health Information Protection Act (HIPA) and its Regulations provide rules and guidelines governing the collection, use and disclosure of personal health information in Saskatchewan. Under HIPA, organizations and individuals in the health system, called trustees, are responsible for protecting the privacy of your personal health information. The SHA is a committed trustee.
Why We Need Your Personal Health Information
Accurate health information is essential to make sure you get appropriate care. We record and maintain information about your current condition and care, including the results of tests, procedures and therapies. Information such as your name, address and date of birth, and family physician/primary care provider is recorded for the purposes of identification, contact and billing.
In addition, the personal health information we collect will allow your health care team to:
- identify you;
- understand your health care needs;
- provide information about your health condition if you are unable to communicate the information yourself;
- comply with legal requirements;
- evaluate and monitor the services you receive; and
- plan for your future care needs.
Keeping Your Health Information Secure
Your personal health information, whether stored on paper or electronically, is kept safe and secure. Policies, procedures and technical safeguards protect how your information is collected, stored, used and destroyed.
How Your Health Information is Used
Your health-care team accesses your health record on a need-to-know basis and views the information required to plan for and provide you with appropriate care. Others, such as lawyers or insurance companies, need your written consent before it is possible to access your information.
In some situations, the law requires information to be disclosed with or without patient consent. As referenced under The Health Information Protection Act (HIPA), these include: adoptions, automobile accident insurance, children in need of protection, reporting gunshot and stab wounds, public interest disclosures, public health, vital statistics, workers’ compensation and youth drug detoxification and stabilization.
When personal health information is used for research purposes, the request must first receive approval from a recognized research ethics board. As well, summarized information that cannot identify individuals is used to create statistics for quality assurance, utilization measurement and performance monitoring.
Health records are periodically reviewed to evaluate the quality of care provided to you. Anyone reviewing records must follow the same privacy laws and rules required of all health-care providers.
Freedom of Information
Access Requests (LA FOIP)
The Local Authority Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (LA FOIP) and its Regulations strives to maintain a balance between the public's right to know and an individual's right to privacy. The Act provides access to most records under the control of a public body (excluding personal health information) while still protecting the privacy rights of individuals. Within the SHA, access to information requests are handled by the Privacy and Access department.
Privacy and Access Department
Before submitting a formal access to information request, please contact the Privacy and Access department via the contact information below. Often, the information already exists and the request can be filled without engaging a formal process.
Following a first contact with a Privacy & Access Specialist, they will direct you on how to make a formal access to information request, and ensure that:
- The request is made in writing, using this application form or a written letter. The letter must contain all pieces of information collected within the Freedom of Information form below.
- The request must be specific, so that someone familiar with the subject matter can find the information. Otherwise, we may need to ask for clarification before proceeding with the request.
- A $20 application fee must be included along with your formal access to information request. If you require copies of the information, a fee of $0.25 per page is applied. If the total cost of filling the request is more than $100 we will provide to you a cost estimate before processing the request. We will work with you to focus your request and reduce fees where possible.
- The request is submitted by email, postal mail or dropped off in person. The Privacy & Access Specialist will provide you with the appropriate mailing address.