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Privacy and Security FAQ's

What is eCHN?

The electronic Child Health Network (eCHN) was established in 1999 and is operated as a not-for profit, government funded organization, dedicated to using modern technology to promote the sharing of paediatric health care data, information and knowledge among health care providers for the purpose of medical care. It is designed to provide the communications infrastructure to support children's health services in Ontario.

How does eCHN get my Personal Health Information?

Personal health information is provided to eCHN from Ontario hospitals that contribute data to the eCHN Portal. eCHN also receives personal health information from eHealth Ontario for the Ontario Laboratories Information System (OLIS). Patient records are only viewable by authorized health care practitioners and their registered representatives for the provision of patient care.

For additional information about the OLIS program, visit the eHealth Ontario website at http://www.ehealthontario.on.ca/en/initiatives/view/olis.

What is an "Agent" and a "Health Information Network Provider"?

The term Agent is defined in section 2 of the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA), 2004 and is reflective of the role undertaken by eCHN for those eCHN members that contribute data to/or through the eCHN system. In its role as a PHIPA agent, eCHN acts on behalf of the custodian in relation to the personal health information contributed. eCHN does not collect, use or disclose the patient data for its own purpose. eCHN does not use the data for any purpose other than for the operation of the eCHN Portal.

eCHN also operates as a Health Information Network Provider, which means that it provides an electronic solution to enable authorized health care practitioners to disclose data to one another. A Health Information Network Provider is defined in section 6(2) of Regulation to the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004.

Is eCHN Compliant with Privacy Laws for the operation of the eCHN Portal?

eCHN operates under contract with each data-contributing hospital and in compliance with the provisions of the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004. As an agent of the contributing hospitals, eCHN gathers personal health information and stores that information within the eCHN repository, for use in the eCHN Portal.

eCHN also operates in compliance with the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 as a Health Information Network Provider to allow authorized health care practitioners with an electronic platform (i.e. the eCHN Portal) to facilitate the disclosure of personal health information to other health care practitioners. The purpose of the data exchange between eCHN users is the provision of health care to paediatric patients.

What data is available in the eCHN WebChart?

Each contributing hosptial determines which information it forwards to the eCHN data repository. The information in the eCHN data repository is available for viewing by authorized health care practitioners through the eCHN clinical viewer known as WebChart. The following list is an example of the type of data which may be available on WebChart for patients from birth to the age of nineteen:

  • Patient's name and contact details
  • Laboratory records
  • Diagnostic images
  • Clinical diagnosis and health history
  • Admission, Discharge and Transfer data
  • Medication history
  • Ontario Laboratories Information System (OLIS) records

Which health facilities are members of eCHN?

Health facilities that are members of eCHN: See List of Hospitals and other Member Sites

Who uses data in the eCHN WebChart?

Authorized health care practitioners and administrative staff involved in the provision of care of paediatric patients are granted access to the secure eCHN Portal.

How does eCHN safeguard personal health information?

eCHN has established an information security program to support its services. The eCHN security program balances the need to protect the sensitive data eCHN maintains, while consistently providing a high level of service to health care practitioners in the province.

The eCHN Security Policy defines baseline control measures, called Standards of Due Care Controls that are required to prevent a variety of different negative scenarios from occurring. These may include: a breach of the confidentiality and integrity of personal health information; industrial espionage; sabotage; and system unavailability. The eCHN Security Policy and its supporting procedures define the necessary controls which align with the statutory requirements from the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA).

For additional information on the eCHN security safeguards, see "eCHN Architecture and Safeguards".

How can I find out what information eCHN holds about my child? And how can I correct information about my child, or myself as a parent or guardian, which is in eCHN's data repository?

eCHN cannot disclose any personal health information from a patient chart, directly to a patient or a patient's guardian. However, upon successful validation of the identity of a requestor and their relationship to the patient, eCHN may:

  • Confirm that the patient's health information exists in the eCHN data repository, and
  • Identify which health information custodian(s) contributed the patient information to eCHN
If you would like to find out what information eCHN holds about your child please complete the eCHN PHI Inquiry Form.

What do I do if I do not want my child's information to be available or accessible via the eCHN Portal?

You may withdraw consent (or reinstate a previously withdrawn consent) by contacting the Health Records department for the hospital(s) that contributed data to eCHN and submitting a request to withdraw consent for your child's record. The contributing hospital will explain the options available to you with respect to withdrawing consent, and arrange to process the consent request.

How do I register a complaint with eCHN about its privacy and security information management practices?

If you would like discuss any concerns about how eCHN ensures the safeguarding of personal health information, please complete the eCHN Privacy Complaint Form.

How do I contact the eCHN Privacy and Security Office?

By Mail: eCHN Privacy Office
electronic Child Health Network
180 Dundas Street West, Suite 2405
Toronto, Ontario
M5G 1Z8
By Telephone: 416-813-7998
1-877-252-9900
By Fax: 416-813-8294
By E-Mail: privacy@echn.ca