New Zealand - Releases health information privacy toolkit

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance

ISSN: 0952-6862

Article publication date: 4 October 2011




(2011), "New Zealand - Releases health information privacy toolkit", International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Vol. 24 No. 8.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

New Zealand - Releases health information privacy toolkit

Article Type: News and views From: International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Volume 24, Issue 8

Keywords: Healthcare information management, Health information privacy

New Zealand Privacy Commissioner Marie Shroff gave out a privacy toolkit for health providers and consumers as part of the NZ Privacy Awareness Week 2011.

The health information privacy tool kit is a new guidance material, conveniently available at the Privacy Commissioner’s official web site.

Health information privacy is about making sure patients and staff know what is being done with their health information, and why.

According to Shroff, “It’s becoming increasingly important to know what information is held about us, by whom, and where it is. 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.”

The toolkit includes 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.

“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,” Shroff added.

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