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Policies

Policies have been put in place throughout Horizon Health Network in order to protect patients, staff and visitors within our facilities.

Confidentiality Policy

  1. Horizon Health Network (Horizon) complies with the Right to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (RTIPPA) and the Personal Health Information Privacy and Access Act (PHIPAA) and their regulations.
  2. Horizon protects the confidentiality and privacy of personal information (PI), and personal health information (PHI) in their custody or control.
  3. All Horizon employees and non-staff personnel sign the "Confidentiality - Declaration of Understanding" upon beginning their role within Horizon.
  4. Employees and non-staff personnel may access personal information and/ or personal health information, on a need-to-know basis only, and as defined or required by their role within the organization.
  5. Employees and non-staff personnel may see, hear or be given access to confidential or sensitive information about employees, patients, and the operations of the Horizon Health Network and/or any of its partners. Such information is to be held in strict confidence and is not to be disclosed or discussed with anyone other than those authorized to receive such information in the course of performing their duties.
  6. Access to the partners' records and information by employees and non-staff personnel is a privilege. Access is granted only for the purpose of performing employment duties, or conducting business as per a contract or agreement. Employees and non-staff personnel are strictly prohibited from accessing records and information to which they are not entitled within the scope of their duties.
  7. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Horizon is responsible for promoting an awareness of the requirements of this policy and has delegated this to the Horizon Chief Privacy Officer (CPO) who is responsible for providing leadership on privacy/confidentiality matters and for:
  • promoting privacy/confidentiality awareness,
  • acting as an expert resource to other parts of the organization and to business partners regarding privacy and confidentiality related matters,
  • investigating privacy/breach of confidentiality complaints.

Disclosure Policy

When a patient experiences harm while receiving health-care services, full and complete disclosure of the event will occur.

The use and implementation of the following disclosure procedure is a deliberate action that requires effective, honest and transparent communication between all members of the health-care team and the patient and/or family/substitute decision maker. Disclosure is not necessarily a single event but can be a dialogue over time (Canadian Disclosure Guidelines, 2011).

Horizon Health Network also encourages and supports disclosure when an event occurs where no harm has resulted but the potential for harm exists that requires a change(s) from the intended plan of care. Disclosure of a no harm incident and near-miss event is a matter of clinical and professional judgement and is determined on a case by case base by the health-care provider in consultation with risk management.

In any circumstance, all media communication related to disclosure is managed through the Communications Department in consultation with the Chief Executive Officer or designate.

Family Presence Policy

Horizon Health Network sees family and friends as an important part of the patient's healing and emotional wellness. Family or Partners in Care are welcomed as part of the patients' health care team. We do not expect you to perform the duties of staff. Your main role is to provide emotional support and assist your loved one in understanding the treatment options and instructions of the health care team. The staff appreciates having someone as a source of information to support them in the care that they deliver to their patient. Family or Partners in Care play an important role in Horizon's goal of Patient and Family Centred Care.

Media Guidelines

Horizon recognizes the importance of effective media relations to support the communication of its programs and services as well as build public confidence and trust in the health-care system. This is achieved through the provision of consistent, accurate and timely information related to Horizon, its patients and staff while respecting privacy, confidentiality, media and public rights.

Naming of Facilities and Features Policy

Horizon Health Network (Horizon) recognizes that providing appropriate donor recognition is an important component to the success of the fundraising programs conducted by the Foundations in support of Horizon health-care facilities and features. Such recognition may include the offering of naming opportunities.

The Horizon Board recommends to the Minister of Health the naming of any of the facilities and features entrusted to and operated by it, subject to the laws of, and in consultation with, the Province of New Brunswick.

Official Languages Policy

Language of Work:

In accordance with the Official Languages Act and the Regional Health Authorities Act, the language of work throughout Horizon Health Network (Horizon) is English.

Language of Service:

In accordance with the Official Languages Act, the Regional Health Authorities Act and the Government of New Brunswick (GNB) Language of Service Policy, Horizon:

  • actively offers and provides services of equal quality to patients and the public in both official languages during all hours of operation without undue delay.
  • ensures that patients and members of the public have the right to communicate in their official language of choice, no matter where health services are offered.
  • ensures that positions staffed throughout the network:
    • follow established linguistic profiles to ensure capacity for delivery of service in the language of choice;
    • meet the minimum linguistic proficiency for the position.
  • ensures linguistic considerations are considered in every day basic operations, including, but not limited to, scheduling of employees/non-employee personnel and assignment of interim positions.
  • ensures that official communications with the media and the general public are issued in both official languages.
  • provides the necessary tools, guidance and support to employees and non-employee personnel to ensure that services of equal quality are provided in both official languages in accordance with this policy.

Horizon conducts periodic assessments of the effectiveness and application of this policy. Adherence to this policy is monitored through audits and/or reviews of records.

In cases of misconduct or non-compliance with this policy, appropriate responses and corrective measures may be implemented by Horizon management in consultation with Human Resources, and other services as deemed necessary. These measures may include progressive disciplinary measures up to an including termination of employment.

An individual disciplined for failing to comply with this policy has the right to appeal the decision through the applicable grievance process.

Policy Approval Policy

1. The Horizon Health Network Board of Directors approves:

  • governance policies originating from the Board or a Committee of the Board (e.g., Vision, Mission, Goals, strategic directions, values).
  • by exception, certain operational policies that have significant implication related to their stewardship role, public confidence, ethics, quality or risk.
  • policies directing the actions of Board Members.

2. The Executive Management Team (EMT) approves policies related to the operations of Horizon Health Network. EMT may delegate approval to appropriate senior managers in the Policy Development and Implementation policy.

3. The EMT ensures implementation and maintenance of an effective operational policy framework for Horizon Health Network. (The framework includes accountability (persons) and processes for policy development, review, approval and implementation).

Privacy Policy

The  New Brunswick Personal Health Information Privacy and Access Act (PHIPAA)  protects the privacy of your personal health information, including information about you maintained by Horizon Health Network.Under this Act, you have certain rights and choices regarding how this information is used and disclosed. As a custodian of your personal health information, Horizon Health Network is required to comply with this legislation.

Our organization includes the following health care services:

  • Public Health
  • Addictions and  Mental Health Centres
  • Community Health Centres / Clinics
  • Extra Mural Program
  • Hospitals

The following document outlines the approach adopted by Horizon Health Network to protect your privacy. Everyone working within Horizon Health Network must adhere to the terms stated herein.

Public Participation Policy

In compliance with the Regional Health Authorities Act, the Board strives to build and maintain strong and effective relationships with its communities through open public Board meetings on matters relating to the general governance and operations of Horizon Health Network.

Meetings of the Board of Directors will be held in public except when, as set out in the Regional Health Authorities Act (New Brunswick), they would:

  • reveal information specific to an identifiable individual;
  • reveal information relating to risk management or patient care issues;
  • prejudice security measures undertaken by the regional health authority; or
  • compromise Horizon Health Network's effectiveness in carrying out its duties and responsibilities.

Role of CEO

Without limiting the generality of the foregoing and except as otherwise provided in Horizon Board's by‐laws, or in the Regional Health Authorities Act, the Hospital Act, the Hospital Services Act or any other Act or regulations made under those Acts, the Chief Executive Officer's duties shall include but are not limited to:

(a) being responsible for the management of the RHA;
(b) being responsible for the selection, employment, control, development, direction and discharge of all employees;
(c) attending all meetings of the Board and Committees of the Board except as excused by the Board;
(d) being an ex officio member without a vote on all Committees of the RHA including all committees and/or sub committees of the Board;  
(e) being responsible for taking whatever actions are necessary to meet the requirements of the approved RHA Health and Business Plan, the Regional Health Authorities Act, and Hospital Act and regulations thereunder, for enforcing the RHA by‐laws, by‐laws' rules and Board policies, and for ensuring the observance by RHA personnel of all legislation applicable to the RHA; and
(f) appointing of a delegate at their discretion.

Smoke-Free Policy

There is no safe level of second hand smoke. Smoke-free hospital properties reduce harm, promote healthy choices and support a safe and healthy environment for everyone, including patients, staff and visitors. Horizon is committed to health promotion and disease prevention; this initiative supports our mission of helping people be healthy.

Effective September 29, 2015, the entire Saint John Regional Hospital property will be smoke free. This policy will be extended to all Horizon hospital properties over the next 12 months.

Social Media Policy

1. The Communications and Community Relations department is responsible for the development and approval of all corporate (Horizon Health Network) social media sites.

2. Standalone, business-related social media sites are not permitted without consultation with Communications and Community Relations department and the approval of the appropriate vice-president.

3. Employees/non-employee personnel who access social media for personal or business purposes are required to follow all applicable Horizon Health Network (Horizon) policies and guidelines including, but not limited to, workplace conduct, privacy and confidentiality, consent, communications, code of conduct and discrimination/harassment, appropriate use of wireless communication devices.

4. Employees/non-employee personnel do not release, post or share through social media confidential information related to Horizon, the persons who work and learn at Horizon, patients and families, or any community partners. This includes the names or personal information of co-workers, managers or supervisors, as well as discussion of incidents that have occurred in the workplace and that are not generally known outside of the workplace.

5. Employees/non-employee personnel will obtain consent before posting on social media (corporate or personal) photos or video recordings of patients for the purposes of medical education and/or research, even when the patient cannot be readily identified.

6. Employees/non-employee personnel do not disclose personal, confidential or internal information about staff, patients or the organization, obtained as part of the employment relationship Confidential Information Sharing.

7. Employees/non-employee personnel do not represent their personal account as a Horizon account or as a Horizon affiliate, or represent themselves in any way as speaking on behalf of Horizon Health Network.

8. Personal social media accounts do not include Horizon's name or logo as part of the account name, title, handle or URL.

9. Horizon monitors, accesses and responds to the impact of social media usage on its information management systems, and monitors system capacity to ensure patient care is unimpeded and protected at all times.

10. Horizon performs operations as required by law for maintenance, compliance and investigation of incidents, which may involve a person's use of social media sites.

11. Deliberate violations or more serious breaches of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment and/or affiliation with Horizon.

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