Patient Privacy in a Wired (and Wireless) World: Approaches to Consent in the Context of Electronic Health Records


  • Nola M Ries Health Law Institute, University of Alberta



The author reviews recent changes in legislation in Canada and abroad in the area of patient privacy. consent and electronic health records (EHRs). In her overview of Canadian legislation, she examines the existing patchwork of legal requirements, as well as ethical obligations governing health information and policy initiatives aimed at harmonizing approaches across Canada. Internationally, the United Kingdom and Australia are reviewed on how those jurisdictions are addressing the issue of protecting patient privacy while developing operable EHR schemes. The author concludes that as EHR schemes develop, stringency of privacy and consent protections will likely wane in favour of establishing workable systems and. as a consequence, appropriate security mechanisms should be implemented to safeguard personal information.