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Manitoba Ombudsman highlights health information rights under changing technology

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Oct 10, 2013

The personal health information of Manitobans, contained in the electronic health information system called eChart Manitoba, is now available to over 10,000 authorized users in 260 health-care sites throughout the province, such as medical clinics and hospitals. Authorized eChart users can search, view and print personal health information from eChart.

"Advances in technology have dramatically changed the way in which personal health information is recorded, stored, accessed and used by health-care providers," said Acting Ombudsman Mel Holley.

EChart pulls together existing electronic health information already collected at different points of care, including prescriptions filled at retail pharmacies, immunizations, test results from participating labs and personal identifying information such as personal health identification numbers, birth dates and addresses.

"While there are technological safeguards in place to protect our personal health information and rules about who can access our information for specific purposes, it is important that we be aware of our rights and know how to exercise them under the electronic health records system."

To make Manitobans more aware of their health information rights in relation to eChart, Manitoba Ombudsman has produced a brochure outlining six rights that everyone can exercise.

You have the right to:

  1. know why your personal health information is being collected by a health-care provider and whether it will be made available in eChart
  2. ask for a copy of your personal health information in eChart
  3. ask that any errors in your personal health information be corrected
  4. know who has looked at your personal health information in eChart
  5. have your personal health information hidden from view in eChart
  6. ask the Manitoba Ombudsman’s office to investigate if you are not satisfied with a decision or response you receive about any of these rights

More information about eChart and health information rights is available in the brochure, via a YouTube video, and on the ombudsman's website at www.ombudsman.mb.ca. The brochure is available in both English and French. For print copies, please contact 204-982-9130, 1-800-665-0531 (toll-free in Manitoba), or ombudsman@ombudsman.mb.ca.

The brochure is being distributed to eChart sites by Manitoba eHealth. Manitoba Ombudsman is also distributing the brochure to municipal government offices and community organizations around the province.

eChart brochure cover