An information sharing agreement identifies the purpose of the data sharing; the party's lawful authority to use, collect and/or disclose the information in question; a summary of required information; and a description of security measures that will be applied to protect the shared information.
1. Submit the Data Access Request to the Ministry of Health
The requestor completes the Health Data Request form (PDF, 613KB), with the associated databases checklists as well as the checklists for external data that will be linked with Ministry’s data, if the case, and submits the form to the Ministry of Health at the following email address: HealthDataISA@gov.bc.ca.
Data requests from Ministry of Health or requests involving linkages between Ministry of Health data and other organizations’ data require a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA). The requestors are advised to consult their Privacy and Security staff in order to identify whether the organization will develop a PIA prior to completing and submitting the actual Health Data Request form to the Ministry of Health. Nevertheless, it is advisable to contact Data Management and Stewardship branch (DMS) prior to drafting a PIA in order to insure that the PIA aligns with the information sharing agreement needed for the data sharing situation.
The completion of a Health Data Request form (HDR) takes time, planning, and attention to detail. A major obstacle to timely access to data is inadequate or incomplete applications — be meticulous in completing the HDR. When completing the HDR please consult the following resources:
- HDR completion instruction manual
- Application processing webpages
2. Await the Ministry of Health's In-Depth Review
The application is reviewed for completeness, including provision of any supporting documentation (e.g., privacy impact assessments, security and threat risks assessments, service contracts, transfer under agreements, memorandum of understandings, business plans, and project charters).
If issues are identified during the review, consultation with another program area or ministry may be required, such as:
- The Ministry of Finance may be consulted for indemnity and/or intellectual property issues.
- The Ministry of Justice and Attorney General may be consulted for legal issues.
- Contracts Management at the Ministry of Health may be consulted for information sharing situations, which involve a service contract.
The ministry reviews the application to ensure appropriate use of data according to legislation and policy. The review process may include follow-up discussion and clarification. Ministry staff then develops an agreement to document the terms and conditions.
3. Sign-Off on the Agreement
The finalized agreement is signed off by all parties. Ministry staff co-ordinates the signing.
4. Await the Ministry of Health's Data Preparation and Delivery
The parties begin data preparation according to terms and conditions set out in the agreement. The approved dataset is then transferred securely to the appropriate party.
5. Request Amendments to Data Access Requests (if applicable)
An applicant may decide to request one or more amendments to the project. Some examples for amendment requests include: data retention extension, additional years of data, and additional data files/fields.
For all amendments, the ministry staff will assist researchers in the amendment application process. The amendment application form is available in the Related Forms sidebar box.
6. Submit Analysis Outputs to the Ministry of Health
All outcomes of data analysis intended for public dissemination must be submitted to the ministry for review and comment prior to release. The ministry will provide feedback/comment within 45 business days of submission.
Information on how to submit materials for review is available in the Related Forms sidebar box.
7. Ensure Project Closure Compliance
Upon completion of the analysis, requestors must ensure data destruction compliance and ensure necessary project closure documents are completed and submitted to the ministry.
Information on the project closure compliance and process is available in the Related Forms sidebar box.
If at any time after the application form has been submitted to the Ministry and before data has been released, the applicant decides to abandon the project, a project withdrawal form – Project Closure (Declaration of Project withdrawal) – available in the Related Forms sidebar box should be submitted to the Ministry.