eHealth hits Yukon

The Yukon government is hoping to digitize health records. It's not a new idea. The territory is one of the last regions in Canada to look into it.

The Yukon government is hoping to digitize health records.

It’s not a new idea. The territory is one of the last regions in Canada to look into it.

Now, the government wants to hear Yukoners’ suggestions about what the new law should look like.

Making personal health information digital is controversial. The hard part is balancing privacy rights with health-care efficiency.

The Yukon must also try to be consistent with other regions and the laws they’ve established.

“So, in the longer term, information flows around our health care, about our health care, and can go across jurisdictions as we travel across jurisdictions,” said Lynda Ehrlich, a senior policy analyst for the Yukon government.

A group made up of Yukon nurses, First Nations, pharmacists, doctors, hospitals and governments spent the last few months looking at legislation from other regions. It’s also made a booklet of recommendations for eHealth law in the territory.

New legislation isn’t expected for a couple of years, but some things have been figured out already, said Ehrlich. You may own your health information. But that doesn’t mean you will be able to carry around your medical file on a flash drive.

There are designated “custodians” of the electronic files, like a doctor or health-care provider, said Ehrlich. The laws will dictate what those custodians can do with the information, including allowing them to charge patients for requesting copies or for the ability to see their own files on a computer.

The latest eHealth controversy came from Ontario where then-Health minister George Smitherman resigned to run for Toronto mayor just before the auditor general uncovered $1 billion was spent on underused computer systems and untendered contracts.

As the Yukon digitizes health records oversight will fall under the privacy commissioner, said Ehrlich.

Yukoners have until July 31 to offer their comments. They can do so online, at the Department of Health and Social Services’ website, by mail or email to healthprivacy@gov.yk.ca or by calling toll free to 1-800-661-0408 extension 5747. Requests for full meetings will also be granted, said Ehrlich.

After July, the department will review the comments and begin drafting the eHealth legislation.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

XX
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for May 5, 2021.… Continue reading

Crystal Schick/Yukon News Premier Sandy Silver, left, and Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley speak at a COVID-19 update press conference in Whitehorse on Nov. 19. They formally announced that as of Nov. 20, anyone entering the territory (including Yukoners returning home) would be required to self-isolate with the exception of critical service workers, those exercising treaty rights and those living in B.C. border towns
Vaccinated people won’t have to self-isolate in the Yukon after May 25

Restaurants and bars will also be able to return to full capacity at the end of the month.

An RV pulls into Wolf Creek Campground to enjoy the first weekend of camping season on April 30, 2021. John Tonin/Yukon News
Opening weekend of Yukon campgrounds a ‘definite success’

The territorial campgrounds opened on April 30. Wolf Creek was the busiest park seeing 95 per cent of sites filled.

Visitors from Ushiku, Japan visit the Carcross Desert as part of the exchange program Ushiku and Whitehorse have. The previously annual exchange has been cancelled for 2021 due to COVID-19. (Submitted)
Whitehorse-Ushiku sister city exchange cancelled

Officials said the exchange is cancelled due to COVID-19

The site of the Old Crow solar project photographed on Feb. 20. The Vuntut Gwitchin solar project was planned for completion last summer, but delays related to the COVID-19 pandemic pushed it back. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Old Crow is switching to solar

The first phase of the community’s solar array is already generating power.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
One new case of COVID-19 in the Yukon

Case number 82 is the territory’s only active case

Flood and fire risk and potential were discussed April 29. Yukoners were told to be prepared in the event of either a flood or a fire. Submitted Photo/B.C. Wildfire Service
Yukoners told to be prepared for floods and wildland fire season

Floods and fire personelle spoke to the current risks of both weather events in the coming months.

From left to right, Pascale Marceau and Eva Capozzola departed for Kluane National Park on April 12. The duo is the first all-woman expedition to summit Mt. Lucania. (Michael Schmidt/Icefield Discovery)
First all-woman team summits Mt. Lucania

“You have gifted us with a magical journey that we will forever treasure.”

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

Whitehorse goings-on for the week of April 26

The Yukon Department of Education in Whitehorse on Dec. 22, 2020. The department has announced new dates for the 2021/2022 school year. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
Yukon school dates set for 2021/22

The schedule shows classes starting on Aug. 23, 2021 for all Whitehorse schools and in some communities.

Letters to the editor.
Today’s mailbox: rent caps and vaccines

To Sandy Silver and Kate White Once again Kate White and her… Continue reading

Most Read