Commission access to information (CAI) has carried out checks on the revelations involving the Minister of Health, Gaétan Barrette, who made waves this week.
In an article in the daily Le Devoir, we learned that the minister had used his key personal identification to Quebec Health Record (EHR) to access the medical record of a member of his family whom he accompanied to a consultation in a hospital.
The DSQ is somehow a directory of files and personal medical data. However, it is expected that the Minister can access the EHR, but only within the framework of its responsibilities under the law.
In a statement Wednesday afternoon, the CAI said was “concerned” by the access that the minister DSQ. The Committee recalled that its mandate is to ensure respect for the protection of health information.
The concerns are twofold, on the nature of the access that seems to have the Minister, summarized the spokesman of the organization, Véronique Lessard.
“The minister would have accessed a record of a family member, a folder that is not his, and secondly, access to that file was not done by a healthcare professional in part of care delivered to a user, Ms. Lessard explained in a telephone interview Wednesday afternoon. Both have challenged us. ”
The CAI makes exchanges with the Ministry of Health to verify compliance of the Minister access to DSQ. These checks may take several weeks. And it is not investigated in due form, was careful to clarify Ms. Lessard.
She noted that the Minister is entitled to have access to the DSQ, either to extract statistics on the management of the health system, to exert health monitoring, for example, or implement policies and allocate workforce, but not for access to personal data.
For its part, in the article in question, the Minister reported this case as an example to illustrate how he had encouraged one of his colleagues to make use of the access key, and thereby express his exasperation at respect the medical profession, reluctant to use this new technology.
The Federation of Medical Specialists of Quebec (FMSQ) were replicated in the days following the minister. Its president, Diane Francoeur, questioned the relevance to Mr. Barrette owning a DSQ access key, as he no longer practices.
She expressed concern drifts, recalling that privacy issues are particularly sensitive in this matter.
The DSQ is a vast project of computerization of personal health information that has existed since the mid 2000. It is a tool that allows doctors and other healthcare professionals to access information considered essential to respond quickly and monitor quality to their patients.
One can find information such as drugs prescribed to a patient, or laboratory test results or medical imaging.
However, implementation deadlines and many cost overruns have delayed its implementation and completion of the project. Currently just over a third of physicians are connected to the DSQ.
The Minister of Health argues that the DSQ will be completed throughout Quebec by the beginning of next year.