ScenarioDisclosing Personal Health Information

Disclosing information to the CAS  

A dietitian who works at a Family Health Team (FHT) receives a call from a Children’s Aid Society (CAS) requesting nutrition assessment and care plan info about a client for an investigation they are conducting. The physician at the FHT initiated the report on suspected child abuse. Does the RD require consent to disclose such information?

According to the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA), health care professionals may disclose information to a CAS for the purposes of fulfilling their statutory obligations (e.g., investigations, etc.). In this case, the dietitian should consult organizational policies regarding disclosure to ensure the health information custodian permits this under their authority as an agent.  In addition, they may wish to consult with legal counsel.