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September 2020: Emailing Client Information

Q: Now that I am working from home what are the expectations for emailing information that contains client information?

A: This is a very important question. Occupational therapists must take all reasonable measures to protect the privacy of client information. This means ensuring client personal health information is secure from unauthorized access, loss, or theft. The College Standards for Record Keeping – (Standard 6, Confidentiality and Security) outline the expectations for safeguarding client information that will be delivered by electronic communication.

Occupational therapists also need to understand there are different risks associated with internal versus external communications and with different information systems. There are various options for securely emailing client information, for example, using encrypted and password protected security features, using a secure network, and limiting the principles of data minimization meaning limit the use of personal health information identifiers.

The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario has a helpful resource titled: Working from Home During the COVID-19 Pandemic detailing best practices when working from home to protect privacy and ensure access to information.


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