Information Sharing

Intent

To provide guidance on information sharing; the collection, use and disclosure of personal information by the PDD program.

Policy and Procedures

The PDD program has legislative authority under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP Act) for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information in certain circumstances, related to the provision of services.

The collection, use and disclosure of personal information by the PDD program occurs within the context of Alberta’s Information Sharing Strategy. This strategy focuses on the principle that the right information must be available to the right people at the right time to allow for coordination of programs and services, improved communication, informed decision making and better outcomes for Individuals.

The PDD program uses a person-centred approach in service design and delivery; the Individual is the primary source of information when developing and delivering community-based services. In situations where an Individual receives assistance to make decisions as outlined in the Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Act, the guardian or supportive/co-decision maker also becomes a primary source of information.

Information collected and the associated records created while services are being delivered by a service provider or by a Family Managed Services (FMS) Administrator will be considered in the context of a collaborative information sharing environment. Information will be shared between PDD, service providers, FMS Administrators and other resources in a timely fashion to enable comprehensive, coordinated or integrated service delivery, joint planning, monitoring and evaluation; while ensuring compliance with privacy legislation.

Individuals, regional staff, service providers and FMS Administrators understand that information is an asset to be managed effectively and efficiently and their accountability in managing the information.

Collecting Personal Information

When PDD collects personal information directly from an Individual for the purpose of providing services to that Individual, Section 34(2) of the FOIP Act provides that the Individual must be notified of:

  • The purpose for which the information is collected;
  • The specific legal authority for the collection; and
  • The title, business address and business telephone number of an officer or employee of PDD who can answer the Individual’s questions about the collection.

Regional staff will discuss with Individuals and their guardian (if designated) when information is being collected ensuring a clear understanding of how the information will be used. For example, information about identified support needs will be used to assist in matching an Individual to appropriate services.

Regional staff will document the collection of information and the related discussion in CSS -Notes.

A common notification statement is included in the PDD program online application:

The personal information you provide is being collected to determine eligibility for different social-based programs, benefits or services offered by the Government of Alberta under Alberta Supports. If you choose to apply, the personal information you provide will then be used and disclosed in the application process, for ongoing eligibility verification, and for delivery of those programs, benefits or services offered by the Government of Alberta under Alberta Supports, if eligibility is confirmed.

The personal information provided to Alberta Supports is collected, used and disclosed under the authority of sections 33-40 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and various statutes establishing the programs included in Alberta Supports. To see the list of the programs, including the legislation authorizing each program, please go to Authorizing Legislation for Alberta Supports Programs and Services or request a printed copy.

If you have questions about the collection of your personal information, please contact: Alberta Supports Contact Centre Toll-free: 1-877-644-9992 Edmonton: 780-644-9992.

Use of Personal Information

Regional staff have the authority to share an Individual’s personal information to a prospective service provider and/or FMS Administrator as part of the delivery of supports and services to Individuals. Personal information must only be shared to the extent necessary to enable supports and services to be provided.

Regional staff will share information when appropriate, as defined by section 40 of the FOIP Act, across Government of Alberta ministries to facilitate effective and appropriate service planning and delivery.

Sharing Personal Information for the Purpose of Planning and Providing PDD Services

As part of the service design and planning process (see Service Design and Planning Policy), information must be shared to determine and deliver appropriate supports and services for the Individual.  Before an Individual begins to receive PDD services, regional staff will disclose an Individual’s personal information to the new service provider or FMS Administrator to the extent necessary for the purpose of providing services under the Persons with Developmental Disabilities Services Act.

To facilitate the exchange of information to a service provider or FMS Administrator once they have indicated a willingness to engage in planning with the intent to provide a service, regional staff will provide the Health and Safety Document Summary and associated documents to the service provider.  This information is intended to assist the service provider or FMS Administrator in determining if they are able to provide the requested services.

The Health and Safety Document Summary  contains a listing of source documents and information that includes (list not exhaustive):

  • Individual’s guardianship status;
  • Risk assessments from any source (e.g. Alberta Health Services (AHS), PDD or school);
  • Summary of previous supports and associated outcomes;
  • A list of the Individual’s health practitioners;
  • A list of the Individual’s medications;
  • Any history of, and all available professional opinions regarding, violent, threatening, unlawful or suicidal behaviour by the Individual;
  • Any information regarding medication, therapy, or other treatment that may assist in avoiding violent, threatening, unlawful or suicidal behaviour by the Individual;
  • Any information that may assist in providing supports to the Individual;
  • Any medical information and health-related documentation, including medications;
  • Contact information for any other health care provider, custodian, or affiliate of a custodian, including AHS, which may have any of the above information in its possession.

This information is used to inform service planning and includes essential information highlighting risks and/or critical support strategies for the Individual.  The document also summarizes any other relevant historical information which must be considered when planning and providing supports and services for the Individual.

Regional staff will:

  • Update the Health and Safety Document Summary as documents are received for the Individual, ensuring a current version is readily available.
  • Following initial conversations/exploration of potential services and indication that the Individual and service provider/FMS Administrator wish to proceed with developing a service; provide a copy of the Health and Safety Document Summary to the service provider or FMS Administrator.
  • Provide updated Health and Safety Document Summary to the service provider or service providers/FMS Administrator as updates are completed.

The Health and Safety Document Summary must be provided to the service provider/FMS Administrator prior to the start date of any services being provided. Optimally, this will occur 60-90 days prior to the anticipated start date of PDD services.

Service Providers

The PDD Services Act permits the director to develop a plan with respect to the delivery of services and enter into an agreement with a service provider to deliver services in accordance with the plan.  The PDD contract sets out clear expectations for regional staff and service providers to work together to plan, design, deliver and sustain a social-based service, requiring the exchange of information.

The roles and responsibilities related to information sharing will change throughout the service planning and delivery process, making it essential to determine legal authority to collect, use or disclose information. In some situations, legal authority is extended to service providers through a contract. This gives service providers authority to use and share an Individual’s personal information according to the contract. There are also three provincial privacy laws that should be considered: the FOIP Act, Health Information Act (HIA), and Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA).

Service providers must comply with applicable legislation by considering the responsibility and duty to uphold the confidentiality, privacy and security rights of Individuals:

Confidentiality, Privacy and Security are related when determining responsibilities as defined by legislation.Confidentiality refers to the duty to protect information that has been entrusted to governments and organizations by the Individuals they provide services to.

Privacy is about an Individual’s control over the collection, use and disclosure of information that relates to that person.

Security refers to the controls implemented to safeguard an Individual’s information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

 

Sharing personal information supports a collaborative and coordinated case management model, and should always include the information sharing critical considerations.

Disclosure of Personal Information

Regional staff will explain and remind the Individual and their guardian of the Common Notification Statement that the PDD program has authority to disclose an Individual’s personal information when the information will be used for the purposes of providing services under the Persons with Developmental Disabilities Services Act.

Under Section 40 of the FOIP Act, regional staff may disclose personal information to the extent necessary for the purpose of planning and providing services. Regional staff will document the disclosure in a contact note on CSS - notes that includes the Individual’s name, the reason(s) for disclosure, the authority for the disclosure, a brief description of the information disclosed, who received the information, and the date of disclosure.

When another public body or organization contacts PDD and requests access to an Individual’s personal information for a purpose other than developing services and supports, regional staff must ensure the disclosure is authorized under Section 40 of the FOIP Act (e.g. the Individual has provided written and/or verbal consent or to disclose information for law enforcement or police investigation purposes).

Other Resources

Regional staff are encouraged to review Case Scenarios that include examples specific to the PDD program’s collection, use and disclosure of an Individual’s personal information.

Further information about the Information Sharing Strategy is available at infosharing.alberta.ca

Service Alberta has developed an interactive online course for use by Individuals, guardians, service providers and FMS Administrators: FOIP: Focus on Privacy

Video - PDD Sharing Information Requirements Part 1
Part 1 provides background and general information on the topic of information sharing when supporting individuals.

Video - PDD Sharing Information Requirements Part 2
Part 2 focuses on information sharing specific to the Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) program and how information is shared between the program and service providers.

Legislative Authority

Created: 2018-04-12
Modified: 2020-01-08
^ Back to Top