During the current public health crisis can I use regular email to communicate patient information?

No, the Office of the Information Privacy Commissioner (Alberta) has stated unequivocally that privacy and compliance practices must not be relaxed during the current crisis.  Custodians must still adhere to the policies and procedures in their Privacy Impact Assessment.

“To be clear, the Commissioner has no authority under HIA to disregard a health custodian’s section 64 obligations during a public health emergency, even if the new administrative practice or information system is a measure to combat the pandemic.

The OIPC has noted that privacy laws do not impede the work of public health officials during a public health emergency. What constitutes “reasonable safeguards” during a public health emergency may be different from normal circumstances.”

The full statement from the OIPC can be seen here (external link): 

https://www.oipc.ab.ca/news-and-events/news-releases/2020/notice-pias-during-a-public-health-emergency.aspx

Brightsquid Secure-Mail is compliant with health care legislation regulations in the USA, Canada and beyond.

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