Privacy Week 2021: Making privacy our priority

Rebecca Hawkins posing writing

New Zealand’s annual Privacy Week, promoted by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner to raise privacy awareness, was held from 10 May, with the theme being: “Make privacy a priority.”

Of particular importance this year is the acknowledgement that the Privacy Act and Health Information Privacy Code were updated in December 2020. Pegasus has been working with practice policies and processes to make sure they are up to date, and in line with the recent legislation changes.

Pegasus Privacy Advisor, Rebecca Hawkins says Privacy Week provides a good opportunity to spotlight our Health Information Privacy Code Rules, Privacy Act Principles and privacy best practice as it affects our staff and our community.

“At Pegasus Health, staff and practices are kaitiaki (stewards) of personal information, where privacy is everyone’s responsibility, to ensure patients’ rights are respected and their care is enhanced,” says Rebecca.

“Our strong privacy culture and privacy programme mean we already make privacy a priority every day. However revision of the Act and Code is a good chance for everyone who uses health information to refresh and reset policies,” says Rebecca.

The main point of the changes has been to modernise the rights and provisions of privacy in light of new technology and the global superhighway of information flow.

“The fundamental day to day rules of patient information management haven’t changed.

However, what we do have is an easier process to follow if a breach were to occur. There are also financial penalties to highlight the importance of following the rules,” says Rebecca.

Pegasus Health Privacy Advisor Rebecca Hawkins sees the Act and Code update as a great chance to refresh and reset privacy policies.

Read the full May newsletter here