Publication of all DHB Policies, Protocols and Best Practice Documents

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

Response to this request is long overdue. By law West Coast District Health Board should have responded by now (details and exceptions). You can complain to the Ombudsman.

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

Link to this

From: Kathleen Smitheram


Attachment image001.jpg
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Attachment image002.jpg
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Attachment CDHB 10325 WCDHB 9433 Acknowledgement letter 2 6 2020.pdf
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Kind regards

 

Kathleen Smitheram

 

 

Canterbury District Health Board and West Coast District Health Board

Official Information Act Co-ordinator, Planning and Funding

Level 2, 32 Oxford Terrace

PO Box 1600

Christchurch 8140

(DDI (03) 364 4134| 6: 03 364 4165 | *[email address];

[1]cid:image006.jpg@01CF6ACE.1745A080       
[2]WCDHB-Logo-blue-text-588x226

      [3]www.cdhb.health.nz                             
[4]www.westcoastdhb.org.nz

 

Values – A matou uara

Care and respect for others - Manaaki me te kotua I etahi

Integrity in all we do - Hapai i a matou mahi katoa i ruka i te pono    

Responsibility for outcomes - Kaiwhakarite i ka hua

 

 

show quoted sections

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From: Kathleen Smitheram


Attachment image001.jpg
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Attachment image004.jpg
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Attachment CDHB 10325 WCDHB 9433 Response 23 6 2020.pdf
367K Download View as HTML


Dear Ms Van Wey Lovatt

 

Please find attached our response to your Official Information Act request
CDHB 10325 and WCDHB 9433.

 

Kind regards

 

Kathleen Smitheram

 

 

Canterbury District Health Board and West Coast District Health Board

Official Information Act Co-ordinator, Planning and Funding

Level 2, 32 Oxford Terrace

PO Box 1600

Christchurch 8140

(DDI (03) 364 4134| 6: 03 364 4165 | *[email address];

[1]cid:image006.jpg@01CF6ACE.1745A080       
[2]WCDHB-Logo-blue-text-588x226

      [3]www.cdhb.health.nz                             
[4]www.westcoastdhb.org.nz

 

Values – A matou uara

Care and respect for others - Manaaki me te kotua I etahi

Integrity in all we do - Hapai i a matou mahi katoa i ruka i te pono    

Responsibility for outcomes - Kaiwhakarite i ka hua

show quoted sections

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From: Amy S Van Wey Lovatt

Dear Kathleen Smitheram,

I would like to thank you and your colleagues at Canterbury DHB and WCDHB for responding to my OIA request. Please accept this response as a response directed to both CDHB and WCDHB.

I note that the CDHB and WCDHB response dated 23 June 2020 did not provided any lawful justification for the refusal of my OIA request as required under the OIA. Given that the CDHB and WCDHB response was prior to the 20 working days allowed, I would be pleased to provide CDHB and WCDHB 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:
CDHB and WCDHB have stated in the response dated 23 June 2020: "We do not consider this to be an OIA request." It appears that the misunderstanding is in the partial restatement of my request on 30 May 2020. On 30 May 2020, I wrote:

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

This request is consistent with section 22 of the OIA and other relevant legislation (see below).

CDHB and WCDHB have stated in the response dated 23 June 2020 that making electronic documents (policies, protocols, best practice documents, etc), which are accessible on the CDHB and WCDHB intranet and thus would only require changing the stetting from private to public, would "require significant work". The personal opinion of a CDHB or WCDHB employee 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.

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 CDHB and WCDHB with the conversion process.

On 30 May 2020, I made the following request:
"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."

In the response, CDHB and WCDHB stated: "We do not consider this to be an OIA request. Rather, it is a request that the DHBs publish these documents publicly, and on an ongoing basis." My request was for the current documents. I did not make a request for future documents, however, I do think it would be good policy and I will be pleased to make the request in the future.

In the response, CDHB and WCDHB stated: "... the information is of a largely technical nature,
and would be meaningless to most reading it."

The personal opinion of a CDHB or WCDHB 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 CDHB or WCDHB policies on the safety of and access to private health information. Furthermore, CDHB or WCDHB 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 CDHB or WCDHB are 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 CDHB or WCDHB to obtaining or use their health information.

With regards to accreditation, 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 CDHB or WCDHB 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 CDHB or WCDHB 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 CDHB or WCDHB 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, PhD

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Things to do with this request

Anyone:
West Coast District Health Board only: