Privacy Toolkit for Social Workers and Social Service Workers: A Guide to the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA)
On November 1, 2004, the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) came into force. The purpose of PHIPA is to provide consistent and comprehensive rules governing the collection, use, retention, disclosure and disposal of personal health information in the custody and control of health information custodians. Health information custodians, such as hospitals and long-term care facilities, employ many social workers and social service workers. Additionally, social workers or social service workers in private practice or who are employed by an agency that is not a health information custodian may, if they provide health care, be considered to be health information custodians under this legislation. To assist social workers and social service workers’ understanding of this complex legislation, the The Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers developed a PHIPA Toolkit. The toolkit explains the purposes of the PHIPA, provides important background information on the Act, and explains who is covered by the Act using a decision tree that will help social workers and social service workers to determine their responsibilities under the Act.