Publication of all DHB Policies, Protocols and Best Practice Documents

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

The request was refused by Wairarapa District Health Board.

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: OIA Request [WrDHB]
Wairarapa District Health Board

Dear Amy

Official information request.

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your official information request
dated 30 May regarding Publication of all DHB Policies, Protocols and Best
Practice Documents.

We received your request on 2 June 2020. We will endeavour to respond to
your request as soon as possible and in any event no later than 29 June,
being 20 working days after the day your request was received. If we are
unable to respond to your request by then, we will notify you of an
extension of that timeframe.

If the information requested cannot be made available without substantial
collation, under section 18(f) and section 18A(1)(a) of the Official
Information Act 1982 we may refuse the request or fix a charge under
section 15. If your request falls into this category we will inform you as
soon as possible.

If any additional factors come to light that are relevant to your request,
please do not hesitate to contact us so that these can be taken into
account.

Please note that, like all DHBs across New Zealand, Wairarapa DHB has
adopted a model of proactive disclosure which sees OIA responses publicly
available on our website no less than one week after they have been
released.

 

If you believe there are any special reasons why proactive disclosure
should not apply to your response, we will be happy to consider this.

Yours sincerely

Caroline van Deventer

Communications Administrator

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From: OIA Request [WrDHB]
Wairarapa District Health Board


Attachment W20 462 signed response.pdf
1.0M Download View as HTML


 

Hi

 

Please find attached the signed response to your OIA request.

 

Many thanks

Caroline van Deventer

OIA Coordinator

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From: Amy S Van Wey Lovatt

Dear OIA Team Member at WrDHB,

Thank you for your responding to my OIA request; however, I note that the WrDHB response dated 19 June 2020 did not provided any lawful justification for the refusal as required under the OIA. Given that the WrDHB response was prior to the 20 working days allowed, I would be pleased to provide WrDHB 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:
WrDHB has stated in the response dated 19 June 2020 that making electronic documents (policies, protocols, best practice documents, etc), which are accessible on WrDHB intranet and thus would only require changing the stetting from private to public, would "take considerable time and resources". The personal opinion of a WrDHB employees is not a lawful justification, under the OIA, for refusing an OIA request. Further, I fail to understand this response. 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.

WrDHB has stated that WrDHB does "not consider the information of public interest". Again, the personal opinion of a WrDHB employee is not a lawful justification, under the OIA, for refusing an OIA request. I am a member of the public and it interests me. 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 WrDHB's policies on the safety of and access to private health information. Furthermore, WrDHB has a legal obligation to provide these policies in accordance with the Health Information Privacy Code 1993, which makes it a legal obligation (Rule 3) to ensure that all consumers are informed of these policies prior to obtaining any private health information. Thus, in denying my request, you have not met your lawful obligation under Rule 3 of this code. This leads me to think that WrDHB 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 WrDHB to obtaining or use their health information.

WrDHB claims that the only aspect to the public interest regarding accreditation, is whether the agency has been accredited or not. Again, the personal opinion of WrDHB 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. If WrDHB 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 WrDHB 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 WrDHB 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

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From: OIA Request [WrDHB]
Wairarapa District Health Board

Dear Amy

Thank you for your email.

Our intranet and website are on two separate platforms and we decline your requests one and three under 18(f) of the Official Information Act, that the information requested cannot be made available without substantial collation or research.

Many thanks

Caroline van Deventer
OIA Coordinator

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Things to do with this request

Anyone:
Wairarapa District Health Board only: