The Impact of Privacy Legislation on Patient Care

The Impact of Privacy Legislation on Patient Care

Jeff Barnett (University of Victoria, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-988-5.ch112
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This article looks at how privacy legislation in Canada may interfere with patient care and the use of electronic health records. A review of the literature shows that legislation across Canada is not uniform and varies to the degree in which it addresses issues of privacy and confidentiality. What is not clear is what impact legislation has on the movement towards electronic health records? A case study was undertaken to look at a specific project involving the design of an electronic health record as a means of sharing information between physicians and prostate cancer patients. Through interviews with those associated with the project, it was clear that legislation itself was not a barrier. The problem was that the legislation was open to interpretation. The author hopes that an understanding of the issues raised by this article will lead to further discussion and research on this topic.

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