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Saskatchewan and Alberta to use COACH guidelines

COACH, Canada’s Health Informatics Association, has announced the signing of a three-year agreement for the province–wide use and distribution of the COACH Guidelines for the Protection of Health Information with the Ministries of Health in the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta.

This agreement provides both provinces with broad use of the Guidelines for their public healthcare organizations, and in one province, the same use also for their private-sector health organizations.

Saskatchewan is using the Guidelines as a resource in addressing the need for sound and consistent processes for healthcare privacy protection and sees particular value in the fact that the COACH Guidelines have been developed through pan-Canadian consensus and tailored for healthcare settings.

Saskatchewan will use the COACH Guidelines as an educational tool and as a starting point for the privacy and security templates being developed through their CIO Forum, with CIOs, privacy officers and security specialists in their health regions.

The Guidelines for the Protection of Health Information are a practical and easy-to-use set of guidelines that embody the tenets of privacy legislation and principles accepted across the country. The wording and content of the Guidelines are aligned with national and international standards, such as the CSA Code and ISO 17799 and are health specific.

“These Guidelines support the policies of Alberta and provide an implementation guide usable by all providers and organizations in our province,” says Mark Brisson of the Alberta Ministry of Health and Wellness. “COACH brings strong credibility through these national guidelines to our privacy and security implementation work here in Alberta and we are very pleased to provide the guidelines to all our healthcare facilities and providers.”

The Guidelines are available from COACH to any and all jurisdictions under a license agreement that provides a subscription to the Guidelines content with annual updates fully available as part of the multi-year agreement. Watch for more upcoming announcements on the recent 2006 Guidelines release.

For more information please contact COACH at 1 (888) 253-8554.

COACH, Canada’s Health Informatics Association is dedicated to promoting a clear understanding of health informatics within the Canadian health system through information sharing, networking, education, conferences and communication. COACH has a membership of almost 900 individuals who range form healthcare executives, physicians, nurses and allied health professionals, researchers and educators to CIO’s information managers, technical experts, consultants, and information technology vendors. Organizations represented cover the full range of healthcare services delivery, government and non-government agencies, consulting firms, commercial providers of information and telecommunications technologies and educational institutions.