ConnectingOntario Northern and Eastern Region is one of three province-wide programs funded by eHealth Ontario that will give clinicians secure and timely access to electronic patient health information across the care continuum. The program will integrate health service providers’ existing electronic health record systems and connect them to a provincial electronic health record system through the ConnectingOntario ClinicalViewer.
Ultimately, ConnectingOntario will enable province-wide information sharing so that clinicians, whether in a doctor’s office, community clinic, hospital or long-term care home, can receive electronic access to patients’ personal health information anywhere and at any time.
The program has enrolled more than 126,300 health service providers from hospitals, primary care and community care services in the region to access their patients’ electronic health information through the secure, web-based portal the ClinicalViewer. Web access allows clinicians the flexibility to access information from any secured computer 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week. You can review the complete list of contributors.
The Clinical Viewer provides real-time access to digital health records including dispensed medications, laboratory and pathology results, hospital visits, home and community care services, mental health care information, diagnostic imaging reports and images.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the ConnectingOntario ClinicalViewer?
The ConnectingOntario ClinicalViewer is a secure, web-based portal that provides real-time access to digital health records.
What digital health records can be viewed in the ClinicalViewer?
Digital health records that can be viewed in the ClinicalViewer include dispensed medications, laboratory and pathology results, hospital visits, home and community care services, mental health care information, diagnostic imaging reports and images.
What are the benefits of the ClinicalViewer?
The benefits of the ClinicalViewer include:
- access to a wide range of patient health information
- improved workflow and efficiency at the point of care with a more complete picture of a patient’s health profile, available 24/7
- reduction in duplication of tests, saving time, system costs and patient discomfort
- customizable views for targeted access to patient’s health information
- improved transfer of care between healthcare organizations
Who can see the information in a patient’s Electronic Health Record?
Only authorized members of a patient’s health care team can view and/or contribute to a patient’s electronic health information. Authorized health care providers may include physicians, specialists, family doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, emergency room clinicians and specialists in clinics, hospitals, public health units, long-term care facilities and community care access centres. All health care organizations and clinicians view personal health information in accordance with Ontario’s health privacy law (Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004).
How is personal health information used and protected?
Personal health information is made available to participating health care providers and organizations for the purpose of providing health care and treatment. All clinicians and health care organizations handle personal health information securely and confidentially, in accordance with Ontario’s health privacy law (Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004), as well as other applicable laws, and stringent security and privacy policies and practices.
What safeguards are in place to protect a patient’s personal health information?
eHealth Ontario has implemented strong administrative, physical and technical safeguards, consistent with industry best practices, to protect the personal health information being transferred, processed or stored from theft, loss, unauthorized use, modification, disclosure, destruction and/or damage. These safeguards include implementation of cyber security controls, processes, procedures and tools, software and encryption protocols, firewalls, locks and other, physical access controls, privacy controls and oversight, impact assessments, staff training and confidentiality agreements.
Can a patient control who sees their personal health information?
- Patients can control who sees the information in the personal health record by using a consent directive. A consent directive may block the viewing of all or some of the information available through the ClinicalViewer.
- Download eHealth Ontario's Patient Consent Directive Request Form
- For more information, please contact the Office of Access and Privacy at (905) 472-7373 ext. 6004 or directly to eHealth Ontario at 1-866-250-1554.
What if someone overrides a consent directive?
When a consent directive override occurs, the site Privacy Officer is immediately notified of the activity by eHealth Ontario and will be told which patient file was accessed and by which end-user. It will be the responsibility of the Privacy Officer to follow up and ensure that the override was appropriate, and if not to then treat it as a privacy breach.
How frequently are sites required to audit their end-users’ activity?
Sites are required to audit on a minimum of a quarterly basis, although it is recommended to increase the frequency of audits if there is high patient activity.
Where do I go with questions and concerns?
Please contact Connecting.Ontario@lhins.on.ca