Privacy of Personal Information

Frequently Asked Questions

The Reproductive Care Program (RCP) and the Rh Program are committed to protecting the privacy of personal information contained in the Nova Scotia Atlee Perinatal Database (managed by RCP) and the Rh Program Database. Management and protection of personal information in these databases is under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (the FOIPOP Act) and other related laws.

1. Why do the RCP and the Rh Program collect health information?

Both are programs of the IWK Health Centre and have a role in helping health care professionals provide the best care possible for pregnant women and their babies. We are authorized by law to collect health information from hospitals, health care professionals and, occasionally, directly from women. We use this information to measure and improve the health of Nova Scotians by setting standards of care, providing education, supporting research, and producing reports that identify important trends in health and health care.

2. What information is in the RCP and Rh Program Databases?

The RCP collects selected data points about babies born or cared for in Nova Scotia, babies born to Nova Scotia residents, and the mothers of these babies. The Rh Program collects similar information but only for women who have Rh negative blood or an antibody that might cause health concerns for the baby. There are no narrative or clinical notes in either database, nor interpretation of any of the data points collected.

3. How does the RCP/Rh Program protect my health information?

RCP and the Rh Program have a privacy policy that describes the steps that must be taken to keep your information safe. These include staff orientation to principles of privacy and confidentiality; restricted access to the servers/computers where the Database is located; and additional security measures for all electronic files, including user names and passwords, firewall and antivirus software.

4. How do the RCP and Rh Program use my health information?

The Programs use the information to evaluate care provided to mothers and newborns, to plan education programs for health professional, in statistical reports, and approved research projects. If personal health information is used for research purposes, the research request must receive approval from a recognized Research Ethics Board and a Data Access Committee. Individuals will never be identified in any published reports. The RCP and the Rh Program also have Data Management Principles designed to protect all the information in the Databases.

5. Can I get access to my personal health information?

The RCP and the Rh Program has a policy and procedures in place for managing requests. You will need to complete and sign a written request using the "Personal Information Request Form". You may also need to contact the hospital where you received care as hospital records have more detail than database records. If you have a question about the health information collected by the Reproductive Care or Rh Programs, please contact the RCP Privacy Officer. Your right to access your health information applies only to your own information. It does not extend to your family members. You must give your written permission in order for a family member to see your health information.

6. Can I request that my personal information not be collected/be removed from the RCP/Rh Program Databases?

It is very important to the work of the RCP and the Rh Programs that health information about mothers and babies is as complete as possible. There may be alternatives to removing all of your health information. Please contact the RCP Privacy Officer to discuss your questions.

7. How do I request a change of information?

To request a change to your personal health information you must submit a request to the Privacy Officer, or designate, of the Reproductive Care Program/Rh Program of Nova Scotia. The Privacy Officer, or designate, will assist you in the application process.

The list of frequently asked questions may be downloaded as a separate document:

  Privacy of personal information - frequently asked questions

 Our Privacy Policy

The Reproductive Care Program and the Rh Program belong to a group of Nova Scotia Provincial Programs that are authorized to collect personal information. The Provincial Programs have published a brochure entitled How We Protect the Privacy of Your Personal Information. Each program maintains its own privacy policy.

RCP and Rh Privacy Policy (November 2007)
     How We Protect the Privacy of Your Personal Information

 Controlling Your Personal Information

If you want to access, change, or remove your personal information from an RCP/Rh Program database, you'll find detailed instructions and an appropriate request form in the list below. There is also a procedure and form for submitting a privacy complaint. Files are available in Adobe PDF and Microsoft Word.

Procedure for Accessing Personal Information (November 2007)
Access to Personal Information Request Form (November 2007)
Procedure for Requesting a Change/Correction of Personal Information (November 2007)
Request for a Change / Correction of Personal Information (November 2007)
Procedure for Making a Request that Personal Information Not Be Used or Be Removed (November 2007)
Request for Removal or No Use of Personal Information (November 2007)
Procedure for Privacy Complaints (November 2007)
Privacy Complaint Form (November 2007)