RECRUITMENT OF PARTICIPANTS & DISCLOSURE OF HEALTH INFORMATION Researchers often propose a recruitment plan that involves a health care provider identifying patients and then supplying the researcher with the contact information of those interested patients. When doing so, obligations arise under the Health Information Act (“HIA”) that require the health services provider to obtain consent of the patient. This is the case even if the contact information supplied is only the patient’s name and phone number. The definition of health information under the HIA is very broad and captures in essence any identifiable information about a patient who has, is, or will be, receiving a health service. Note that the REB has authority to dispense with this consent obligation but can only do so in very limited circumstances. The consent required under HIA must be in writing and must include, at a minimum, all of the following: 1. an authorization for the health service provider to disclose the health information specified in the consent; 2. the purpose for which the health information may be disclosed; 3. the identity of the person to whom the health information may be disclosed; 4. an acknowledgment that the individual providing the consent has been made aware of the reasons why the health information is needed and the risks and benefits to the individual of consenting or refusing to consent; 5. the date the consent is effective and the date, if any, on which the consent expires; and 6. a statement that the consent may be revoked at any time by the individual providing it. When these requirements are met, it does not alter or minimize the requirements surrounding consent to participate in the research project. Also note that HIA is provincial legislation and that other jurisdictions have their own privacy legislation that governs information sharing practices. For research where individually identifiable health information is not solely collected, used, or disclosed within Alberta (i.e. crossing borders or within another jurisdiction), it may be necessary to refer to the other jurisdictions for guidance.