Security and protection of private life
Confidentiality and protection of private life
The respect of the right to privacy and the protection of personal information are part of the guiding principles of the Québec Health Record (QHR).
Code of ethics
All health professionals must follow a code of ethics in order to respect their patients’ private lives and to ensure the confidentiality of the information found in the patients’ medical records. The code of ethics applies to every professional working with the Québec Health Record (QHR).
Legal and regulatory framework
The legal and regulatory framework surrounding the QHR provides a set of very strict rules concerning confidentiality and respect of privacy. Penalties and monetary fines will be given to people who break these rules.
In addition, the system keeps record of all the instances when your information is accessed in order to guarantee confidentiality and to permit a course of action in case of infraction.
Control of access rights
Rigorous security measures, such as a security access device, are in place to assure the confidentiality of the information gathered by the QHR. Therefore, before the authorized people may transmit health information which concerns you or be able to consult the QHR they must obtain access rights.
These rules are:
- to submit an access request in due form to the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ);
- to submit to a rigorous identity verification process in order to receive an access device;
- to use a specially-configured workstation to connect to the QHR;
- to authenticate one's identity in the system by using a security device and a personal password;
- to regularly authenticate one's identity, as the system disconnects automatically after a certain period of inactivity.
Transmission and consultation ban
The information gathered and kept by the QHR is used by authorized people within the framework of health care delivery or health services. Even with your consent, information concerning you cannot be transmitted to:
- an insurer or employer;
- a person who works in a monitoring or expertise domain, for example, a doctor with the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) or the Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CSST);
- anybody, with the goal of entering an agreement which obligates the evaluation of your health, for example, an insurance contract, a hiring contract, or a contract during employment.
During a consultation, a health professional may add to your personal medical file information obtained from the QHR. It is then the confidentiality rules which apply to this file that protect this information. That means, for example, that your doctor cannot give the information to other people without your consent, except in cases provided for by the law.
Person who intervenes and works for an insurer
Any person who works in the health network and who does monitoring or expertise work for an insurer (for example: Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ), Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CSST)) is not authorized, while having such a role, to consult the information concerning you that is in the QHR.