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Publication of all DHB Policies, Protocols and Best Practice Documents

Amy S Van Wey Lovatt made this Official Information request to Waitemata District Health Board

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From: Amy S Van Wey Lovatt

Dear DHB,

I have repeatedly been assured from DHB's that they are committed to transparency.

Request 1:
Thus, I respectfully request that your DHB make ALL of your DHB policies, protocols and best practice documents publicly available.

While on the face of it, my request may seem like a time consuming task; however, this should not be the case. Currently, DHB policies, protocols and best practice documents are held electronically and are available on your DHB intranet (employee access only), and in many cases, there are already hyper-links between policies, protocols and best practice documents. Thus, in order to change the setting to the policies, protocols and best practice documents from private (intranet and employee access only) to public ought to be accomplished by a click of a button (or, at most, a line or two of code). Upon completion, I respectfully request a response with the website address to the DHB policies.

Request 2:
Is your DHB laboratory and radiology departments, or the agencies your DHB has contract out pathology and radiology services, IANZ accredited?

Request 3:
In the event that your DHB, or the agencies your DHB has contracted out pathology and radiology services, is IANZ accredited, I respectfully request ALL of the documentation submitted to IANZ for accreditation by your DHB (or contracted agencies) be made publicly available upon your DHB website (or as a link to your contracted agencies website). Again, while this may appear to be a daunting task on the face of it, this information ought to be in electronic form and have been collated prior to submission to IANZ. Thus, again, my request ought to be accomplished by a click of a button or at most, a few lines of code to link the website to the appropriate folder on your internal systems.

I make these request in order to save time, energy and financial resources. By making the requested information publicly available, the DHB will not need to spend valuable time and resources in answering repeated requests for policies, protocols and best practice documentation, and will help your DHB become compliant with Ministry of Health Standards (such as HISO 10064 and 10029) and legislative requirements, such as those described in the Health Information Privacy Code 1994, Health Act 1956, and Health and Disability Commissioner (Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights) Regulations 1996.

Please note I have made this request to every NZ DHB.

Yours faithfully,

Amy S Van Wey Lovatt

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From: Anna Monastra (WDHB)
Waitemata District Health Board


Attachment OIA response 20082.pdf
141K Download View as HTML


Hi Amy,

Please see the attached Waitematā DHB response to your recent Official
Information Act request regarding policies, protocols and best-practice
documents.

 

Regards

Anna

 

 

Anna Monastra I Senior Administration Assistant

Communications I Waitematā DHB

[1]www.waitematadhb.govt.nz

 

[2]Legal Disclaimer

References

Visible links
1. http://www.waitematadhb.govt.nz/
http://www.waitematadhb.govt.nz/
2. http://www.waitematadhb.govt.nz/Disclaim...

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From: Amy S Van Wey Lovatt

Dear Anna Monastra (WDHB),

Thank you for your response dated 17 June 2020 and uploaded on 23 June 2020; however, I note that the Waitemata DHB response dated did not provided any justification for the refusal under section 18 of the OIA. Given that the Waitemata DHB response was prior to the 20 working days allowed, I would be pleased to provide Waitemata DHB with an opportunity to comply with my request by the legislative time-frame or to provide a lawful reason for the refusal, pursuant to section 23 of the OIA, prior to my lodging a formal complaint with the Office of the Ombudsman.

Clarification:
Waitemata DHB has stated in the response that making electronic documents (policies, protocols, best practice documents, etc) would be "a huge and expensive undertaking", even though these documents are currently available to and accessible by around "7,500 people across more than 80 locations" and would only require changing the stetting from private to public (a click of a button or cut an paste from the internal site to the public site). The changing from private to public only requires a click of a button. This process could be automated and accomplished in a short amount of time through a short script, written by someone in your IS department. Indeed it would be more labor intensive if a person were to manually change the settings, one document at a time; however, this is still quite achievable in a short time frame.

Further, I fail to understand the response that the DHB did not consider my request an OIA request. The personal opinion of a DHB employee is not a reason to refuse a request under section 18 of the OIA.

Please see the Bay of Plenty website as an excellent example of transparency and public availability of policies: https://www.bopdhb.govt.nz/your-dhb/cont...(policiesprotocols)/

Bay of Plenty Navigator which provides information about referral services, etc. https://baynav.bopdhb.govt.nz/

I am certain that BoPDHB would be happy to assist all DHBs with the conversion process.

You have stated: "If you are interested in a specific subject matter that you feel may have an associated controlled document, please do not hesitate to submit this through a separate OIA request."

In order for me to do this, I will require a complete list of the documents you hold. Please direct me to the list of documents, or as I have requested, make all of the controlled documents public to ensure that the process is efficient (saving time now and in the future).

It is of the public interest that all government agencies are transparent and transparency was one of the basis for the enactment by Parliament of the OIA. Transparency is accomplished by making policies, protocols, and best practice documents publicly available. For instance, it is in the public interest that all patients know Waitemata DHB's policies on the safety of and access to private health information. I have had services at Waitemata DHB and yet I have never been provided these policies, thus Waitemata has failed to meet its a legal obligation (Rule 3 of the Health Information Privacy Code 1994) to ensure that all consumers are informed of these policies prior to obtaining any private health information. Thus, in denying my request and not providing these policies when I had services, this leads me to think that WDHB is not meeting their legal obligation for any of their patients, in particular failing to ensure that all patients have been fully informed prior to giving consent for WDHB to obtaining or use their health information. I note I have also made complaints to your DHB because employees, who had not been involved in my care, had accessed to my medical records and while I have been out of the country with no referrals in the system, and we have found that an individual managed to change my contact details without my consent.

WDHB claims that the documents necessary for accreditation are not relevant to the public interest. Again, the personal opinion of WDHB employees is not a lawful justification, under the OIA, for refusing an OIA request. This is an inaccurate statement. Again, transparency is of the public interest. The public may only be assured that the agency has met the accreditation standard if the documents and assessments are public available for inspection and audit. I have had services at your DBH where the radiologists failed to identify lymphadenopathy. The protocols for radiology findings, and reporting, will be part of the IANZ accreditation documentation. If WDHB does not want to take the time to publish this information, which is readily accessible and was collated for the accreditation process, then by all means WDHB may request IANZ to publish all of the requested accreditation documents on the IANZ website.

I hope this clarifies my request and the purpose of the request. I ask that WDHB begin with the immediate publication of all polices which deal with health information, data security, digital security, employee conduct, safety, etc.

Yours sincerely,

Amy S Van Wey Lovatt

Link to this

From: Denise Poole (WDHB)
Waitemata District Health Board


Attachment image001.jpg
10K Download


Hi Amy

 

Thanks for your email, below. As this is a follow-up to our OIA response
we will attempt to respond to you as soon as possible to the concerns you
have outlined, below.

 

Kind regards,

Denise Poole I Official Information Act Manager

Communications I Waitematā DHB

Level 2, 15 Shea Terrace, Takapuna

Private Bag 93-503, North Shore 0740
m: 021 198 0623

[1]www.waitematadhb.govt.nz

 

[2]cid:image002.jpg@01D60C26.BC41D590

 

 

 

 

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