ICES faculty and staff work hard to maintain the confidentiality of the data held at ICES, including databases such as the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) that contains Ontario’s physician claims data, Ontario Drug Benefit plan (ODB), and the Canadian Institute for Health Information hospital discharge abstract database (CIHI-DAD), to name a few. For more than 19 years of service to Ontarians, ICES has protected data confidentiality.
Protection at Every Level
Health information held at ICES is used solely for research and statistical purposes. All data are kept confidential to protect the privacy of individuals through the use of multiple, leading edge methods.
Anonymous data – Before our research begins, all data held at ICES are made anonymous by removing personal identifiers. Health information is not examined on an individual basis; ICES researchers study the health of Ontarians collectively by grouping anonymous data together, to understand trends such as treatment outcomes for a particular condition.
Physical measures – ICES is a locked facility and the premises are video-monitored 24 hours a day, inside and out. Tracked key access is required to move through the building. All staff and visitors must wear identification, and all visitors are required to sign in and out of the facility.
Technological measures – Data are housed on an isolated, secure system that can only be accessed by ICES faculty and staff within the building. Data cannot be copied, and as added precautions, frequently changed passwords, data encryption and specialized software are used to enhance security.
Organizational enforcement – Our Chief Privacy Officer implements and monitors compliance with all security policies and practices, and provides ongoing privacy education for all staff, to make privacy a part of the ICES work culture.
Policy review and compliance – The ICES Confidentiality Committee and the Chief Privacy Officer regularly review and audit data security, privacy and confidentiality policies to ensure continued compliance with current health information legislation and data protection practices.
External review – As required by Ontario’s health information privacy legislation, PHIPA, ICES undergoes a site audit and review of all practices, policies and procedures by the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario every three years. Additionally, ICES undergoes electronic security audits by external security experts to ensure the integrity of our systems.
Please refer to the documents available on the side panel of this page for more information on our privacy policies and practices. You may also contact Laura Davison, Chief Privacy Officer, at email@example.com.
Satellite Site Privacy Contacts
ICES@Queen’s: Susan Rohland, Privacy Officer
ICES@uOttawa: Anne Lavigne, Privacy Officer
ICES@UofT: Don DeBoer, Privacy Officer
ICES@Western: Theresa Hands, Privacy Officer