Proposal to amend Ontario Regulation 445/10 (General) made under the Excellent Care for All Act, 2010 (ECFAA) to: (1) prescribe purposes for which the Ontario Health Quality Council (operating as Health Quality Ontario or HQO) is authorized to collect, use and disclose personal health information; (2) extend the term limit applicable to HQO board appointees who are designated to serve as Chair
Regulation - LGIC
Bill or Act:
1. Excellent Care for All Act, 2010
Summary of Decision:
The proposal to amend Ontario Regulation 445/10 (General) made under the Excellent Care for All Act, 2010 was approved.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care conducted an impact assessment and has determined that there are no new administrative costs for business.
January 30, 2018
Summary of Proposal:
HQO and personal health information
Under section 13.0.1 of ECFAA, HQO may only collect, use, or disclose personal health information (PHI) for purposes related to the functions of the patient ombudsman, or for purposes that may be prescribed by regulation.
The Government of Ontario is proposing regulatory changes under ECFAA
to confer new authority on HQO to collect, use, and disclose PHI for two purposes:
• Collecting stories from patients and their caregivers relating to their personal experiences in the health care system, and publishing those stories in various places, including on HQO's website, in its yearly reports and in other publications; and
• Facilitating the participation of patients and caregivers in public engagement initiatives; specifically HQO's Patient, Family, and Public Advisors Council and the Patient, Family, and Public Advisors Network.
This proposed amending regulation is intended to enable HQO to include in its reports, and other communications, a diverse representation of patient and caregiver perspectives that acknowledges their lived experiences, and to facilitate meaningful communication and engagement with Ontarians.
HQO would be prohibited from collecting, using or disclosing PHI unless it first obtains the express written consent of the person to whom the PHI relates or, if that person is incapable or deceased, of that person's substitute decision-maker. HQO would also be prohibited from collecting an individual's PHI indirectly through a third party, such as a health service organization. However, HQO would be permitted to collect PHI about a consenting patient through that patient's caregiver.
In addition, ECFAA currently prohibits HQO from collecting, using or disclosing PHI if other information will serve the purpose, and from collecting, using or disclosing more PHI than is reasonably necessary.
HQO Board Chair term limit
Current regulations under ECFAA limit all HQO board members, including members as designated board chair, to a term limit of 6 years.
The proposed amending regulation would allow for an HQO board member who is designated as chair to be appointed for one additional term of up to three years, resulting in a potential maximum length of service on HQO's board of 9 years (e.g. 3 years as member and up to an additional 6 years as chair).
These proposed amendments are intended to promote continuity in HQO's governance. They would also be consistent with the term limit applicable to board chairs of the Local Health Integration Networks.
The proposed regulatory amendments are available in English and French. These materials are available for download in PDF format below.
Policy and Innovation Branch, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, 80 Grosvenor Street, 5th Floor Hepburn Block, Toronto, ON M7A 1R3
March 29, 2018