Privacy Legislation

Stock photo from

Protecting health information is a critical role of physicians and their teams and the AMA is working to develop tools and resources to support privacy compliance. Ensuring the safety of an individual’s personal information is one step to developing strong, trusting relations with patients. Having a sound understanding of privacy legislation in Alberta can help you protect your patients, staff and clinic.

Privacy Legislation

Privacy legislation refers to the laws that enforce the collection, use and disclosure of one’s personal information. In Alberta, patient’s privacy is legislated by the Health Information Act (HIA) and the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA).

What is the Health Information Act?

The Health Information Act (HIA) mandates how you collect, use, disclose and safeguard patient’s health information. Under this legislation and professional standards, physicians are responsible for the patient information entrusted to them and are held accountable for the privacy and security practices within their clinic.

What is the Personal Information Protection Act?

The Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) governs how organizations collect, use and disclose personal information. Personal information is what makes someone identifiable and includes, but is not limited to, name, date of birth, address, phone number, etc. PIPA includes the personal information of staff and patients.

As clinics collect personal information, it is important that physicians and their teams understand PIPA legislation. Community-based medical practices have the same responsibilities as any other business to ensure personal information of their clients (patients) and staff are kept confidential and secure.

College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta Standards of Practice

Physicians have a professional obligation to follow the Standards of Practice laid out by the CPSA. These required behaviors and ethical conducts are enforceable under the Health Professions Act and should be reviewed regularly. To learn more about your responsibilities as a physician, visit the CPSA Standards of Practice.

Alberta Medical Association Mission: Advocate for and support Alberta physicians. Strengthen their leadership in the provision of sustainable quality care.