Security and privacy of your maternity information

Access to the new maternity information system will be carefully controlled so that your information is kept safe.

Your information will only be shared with those authorised to see it, and all access will be recorded. All your information is confidential and there will be a number of protections in place to ensure it is secure. 

Access to information

Access to the site will be controlled through a series of passwords and permissions.

You will be able to access your own summary information electronically by logging into a secure website, also called a portal, with your chosen username and password.

Health professionals will access information either directly through the DHB’s computer system or remotely via a secure health professional’s portal. The system will also exchange data with other electronic health information systems, such as those used by your midwife or GP.

Security of information

Your information is kept safe by using a secure data communications network and by following the recommendations in the Health Information Security Framework. All information will be encrypted during transfer, and only authorised users will be able to access it.

The Connected Health network

The network being used for the Maternity Clinical Information System is Connected Health. Connected Health is already being used by New Zealand health providers, and is set up to ensure data is not lost, transferred incorrectly or subject to intrusion. Read more about Connected Health.

The Health Information Security Framework

The recommendations in the Health Information Security Framework ensure the secure collection and storage of personal health information.

  • All data will be stored in New Zealand, on computers located in secure premises.
  • Users will be authenticated according to best practice.
  • System use will be monitored routinely to ensure that any unauthorised access is reported, investigated and censured.
  • Systems for disaster recovery will be in place and data will be backed up regularly.

Read more about Health Information Security Framework.

Requesting a hard copy of the information held about you

Under the Health Information Privacy Code you are entitled to a copy of all your information held in the information system.

You will be able to get a printout of your summary information from the new website.

To get a copy of your full maternity information, you’ll need to ask your midwife, GP or district health board. They must give you a copy of the information they hold about you within 20 working days.

Rules and legislation

Privacy of personal health information is protected by legislation, particularly the Privacy Act 1993, Health Information Privacy Code 1994 and Section 22 of the Health Act 1956. All health care providers are bound by this legislation.

Under the Privacy Act 1993, you have the right to request access to your information, correct it, see who has looked at it, and know what it is/may be used for. Clinicians and health organisations have the important role of custodianship of that information.

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