The Health Information Act (the HIA) sets out the rules for the collection, use, and disclosure of health information.

The HIA definition of health information covers any information about an individual that is collected and recorded when a health service is provided.

The Act defines two types of health information:

  • diagnostic, treatment, and care information, and
  • registration information.

Technically, unrecorded information is not health information. Nevertheless, it is protected by the Act and may only be used or disclosed for the purpose for which it was provided.

The word individual is used here to include reference to persons who are authorized to exercise rights on behalf of an individual patient. Examples include a parent on behalf of a child, a guardian or trustee on behalf of a mentally incompetent patient, and a personal representative on behalf of a deceased individual.