Pamela Cowan reports:
Protecting the privacy of patients trumps raising donor dollars for the province’s hospital foundations — at least for now.
This spring, the provincial government amended health privacy regulations so health regions could share with their local hospital foundation the names and addresses of people who’d received hospital services.
The policy set out a 60-day waiting period before health foundations could send a letter soliciting donations and no information about a patient’s diagnosis was provided. In addition, there was a provision for patients to opt out if they didn’t want their personal information given to a health foundation.
However, some residents in the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region voiced their opposition to the amendment.
“We have decided that we won’t be releasing patient information to fundraising bodies,” said Dwight Nelson, CEO of the RQHR. “There was the sense that the public, in general, didn’t like the idea of having to explicitly opt out or otherwise they’d be contacted … Our board members certainly heard from some members of the public and, in general, people weren’t very enthused about having their information released.”
Read more in the Regina Leader-Post.
I think this is the right decision. Let people opt-in or find some other way. And I wish U.S. regulations were also more protective of patients’ names and contact info when it comes to acceptable use of such information.