Sharing Personal Information - College of Speech and Hearing

Early Implementation Sites: Collaborate
Sharing Personal Information
1. Why are we asking for consent to collect and share personal information?
Individuals with developmental disabilities and their families have expressed frustration at having to ‘tell
their story over and over’ to a range of professionals and government organizations. Information from
assessments isn’t always available or not used effectively to support individuals. The lack of coordination
among government organizations and professionals can result in duplication of effort as well as lost
opportunities to build on a current understanding of an individual’s circumstances. Building a picture of
an individual and developing a plan becomes a challenge. The Early Implementation Sites will introduce a
new electronic system called ‘Collaborate’ that will be available to individuals, families and members of
their support team as a secure space to collect and share information to address this challenge.
Another important consideration for individuals and their families is that any personal information they
might wish to share is used in a way that respects their right to privacy. Personal information can be very
helpful in building a picture of a person and supporting good planning but should only be collected if there
is an actual “need to know”. In other words, individuals and families actively participate in deciding what
information is necessary to support the process of setting goals and developing plans.
Navigators and other members of an individual’s support team will use and share information that
increases their understanding of who an individual is - their situation, their interests, strengths and
challenges, and current goals. Some of this information might be provided directly by an individual or
family member; some will be found in assessment summaries provided by professionals and service
providers. Whatever the source of information, the consent enables all partners including the individual
and family to work together collaboratively and to use a common ‘electronic’ space to share assessments,
ideas, planning documents and other useful information.
Before Navigators can accept a referral and become engaged with an individual, they need to confirm that
a consent form that allows information to be shared has been signed either by the individual, a legal
representative, where designated, or someone assisting them to express consent.
NOTE: The Early Implementation Sites support individuals with developmental disabilities - people who are
or would be eligible for CLBC services as an adult. To streamline access to navigator supports, navigators
will share diagnostic documents with CLBC. CLBC will review these documents, confirm eligibility status for
its services and advise the individual and family. This information will NOT be shared in the ‘collaborative
space’ but is a requirement for participation in the project. Confirmation of eligibility criteria for CLBC is a
step that leads to engagement with a navigator; it does not imply that CLBC will be actively involved with
an individual at this point.
2. Who sees the consent form?
The consent is shared with the support team members who are involved with an individual and working
with a navigator to build a picture and help develop a plan for that person. This potentially includes school
district staff such as Resource Teachers, social workers from the Ministry of Children and Family
Development, Health Authority staff, Community Living BC (CLBC), and staff of Employment Programs of
BC (EPBC). It could also include community practitioners such as psychologists, physiotherapists, speech
and hearing and other professionals who contribute summary material from assessments and other
valuable information. This is an essential step as everyone on the support team needs to know that they
have permission from an individual (or someone from their family or personal support network assisting
them as described above) to share personal information.
Early Implementation Sites: Collaborate
Sharing Personal Information
3. What does the form cover?
The consent form starts with an explanation of what type of information about an individual might be
helpful to share and why. It also describes how that information will be kept in a secure, electronic space
and how individuals, families and members of the support team can contribute and update information
that will help build a picture of an individual and provide opportunities for input to plans.
The second part of the form is a list of the various organizations whose staff may participate in supporting
an individual and their family as well as the professional groups an individual may be working with. For
example, the form lists the Ministry of Children and Family Development which would cover a social
worker who has responsibility for working with a youth through transition. By listing the College of
Psychologists, individuals can agree to have diagnostic information related to eligibility shared with the
Full diagnostic assessments and other sensitive clinical assessments will be shared only with the navigator
and will not be posted in the ‘collaborative space’. Assessment summaries will be collected in the
‘collaborative space’.
The form also establishes who is agreeing to share information and how that is being communicated.
Youth and their legal guardians would both have an opportunity to express consent; adults will generally
provide consent independently but the process is designed to enable someone supporting them to assist
when required. With or without support, the consent needs to be confirmed in writing.
4. What if there are specific pieces of information an individual does not want to share?
An individual can add a note to the consent form stating that there is specific type of information they
don’t want to share with the rest of the support team. Or they can indicate what information they want
shared only with a navigator. If individuals want significant amounts of information to remain private, they
will be encouraged to talk to the navigator to determine how best to make the collaborative planning
process work for them.
5. What if I change my mind?
An individual can withdraw consent at any time just by advising their navigator. The navigator will ensure
that there is no further access to the individual’s information in the collaborative space, that the file is
closed and all members of the support team are notified of this change.
Withdrawing from Navigator support will not impact the services and supports an individual is receiving
from any of the partner organizations. The navigator can also help the individual with referrals to the
appropriate partners.