Provincial Provider Registry – General information

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General questions

1. What is the Alberta Provincial Provider Registry?

The Provincial Provider Registry is a centralized source of key information about health service providers who are members of regulated colleges. It compiles information and reconciles multiple records from different data sources and acts as a source of truth for those that are authorized to access the information.

2. Why was the Provincial Provider Registry created?

Alberta is one of many Canadian provinces that is moving toward better management and integration of health data and information. The Provincial Provider Registry will support the information management process in the Alberta Healthcare system and allow for:

  • A single source of up-to-date health service provider information;
  • The assignment of a single, unique identification number (Health Service Provider Identifier);
  • Contributing to the province’s goals of safe, efficient patient care;
  • Health service provider authorization and authentication for systems such as Alberta Netcare; and
  • Effective health workforce planning.

3. Has the Provincial Provider Registry started collecting health service provider information?

Alberta Health and Wellness is currently working with the professional colleges to compile the core data required for the registry.

4. How does the Provincial Provider Registry work?

The regulated colleges supply heath service provider data to the Provincial Provider Registry database. The data is managed to eliminate duplicates, link records between colleges, and assign a unique identifier—the HSPID. The health service provider data will then be accessible to authorized health service organizations such as Alberta Health Services, and divisions of Alberta Health and Wellness, such as the Health Workforce Planning Division.

5. What is the HSPID?

The HSPID is the Health Service Provider Identifier. It is a new unique, life-time identifier that will be assigned to every health service provider in Alberta.

The HSPID will help to consolidate a health service provider’s records. For example, when a health service provider is registered in multiple colleges they will have several registration numbers, addresses, billing numbers, etc. Having a single, unique, lifetime identifier will facilitate accessing a health service provider’s records in various work locations and across the health service provider’s patients’ records.

6. Will the HSPID replace other registration and identification numbers?

No, the HSPID will not replace college registration numbers, or other license or workplace identifiers – such as PRAC ID – but will link those records together. For example, if a health service provider is registered in more than one college, the HSPID will make it easy to show that it is the same person.

7. Will the Provincial Provider Registry replace applications used by Alberta Health Services, Alberta Health and Wellness, hospitals and other health services delivery sites?

No, the Provincial Provider Registry will not replace proprietary systems that stakeholders use to manage health service provider data held within their organizations. However, the Provincial Provider Registry will provide up-to-date information about health service providers to those systems.

8. Who is responsible for the Provincial Provider Registry?

The Provincial Provider Registry is a project of Alberta Health and Wellness.

9. Who else has contributed to planning the Provincial Provider Registry?

Alberta Health and Wellness has engaged the former health regions, Alberta Health Services, regulated colleges and Alberta Health and Wellness application managers in the planning for the Provincial Provider Registry.

Provider information questions

1. What health service provider information will the Provincial Provider Registry include?

The Provincial Provider Registry will include core health service provider data that is essential internally for identity management, including: name, college and registration number, date of birth and gender.

Data elements that will provide Alberta Health Services and other authorized health service organizations with information about health service providers’ scope and authorization to practice include: the college and category of register, registration numbers, status, expertise, conditions, enhancements and restrictions to practice.

2. Where will the information come from?

The colleges of regulated professions are the designated primary and trusted sources of information for health service provider information. Health service providers can only be created in the Registry by the colleges. Secondary sources, such as Alberta Health Services, may append additional business contact information to existing health service provider records.

3. What are "regulated professions"?

Professional colleges that have been proclaimed under the Health Professions Act are considered regulated professions.

4. Are health service providers required to give consent for their information to be included in the Provincial Provider Registry?

The college registrars of professions regulated by the Health Professions Act are required to collect specified information from their members.

  • Section 122 (1)(b)(i)-(ii) of the Health Professions Act (HPA) enables the Minister to request health service provider information from the College.

A Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) has been completed in Alberta to ensure that the legislation is followed and that the privacy of the health service providers is protected.

5. How does the Provincial Provider Registry ensure that the information in the database is accurate?

It is the responsibility of the regulated colleges to ensure the accuracy of their data. Data from the colleges will be submitted on a routine basis, ensuring that the data remains up-to-date and accurate. A feedback process has been established to ensure data issues are addressed.

6. Can health service providers update their own information?

Individual health service providers will not have access to data in the Provincial Provider Registry. Health service providers are encouraged to verify that their information is up-to-date and accurate through their professional regulatory college.

7. Can information be removed or hidden?

The Provincial Provider Registry database will retain all data for historical purposes.

  • Access to any data field will be controlled through the data permissions built into the application, which will prevent the data from being seen by unauthorized consumers.

Alberta Health and Wellness will work with all consumers of health service provider data to ensure that the information disclosed is limited to what is required for the intended purpose, in accordance with the Health Professions Act.

8. How will duplicate records be recognized and consolidated?

When a new record is added, the Registry automatically checks specific data elements against existing records to identify potential duplicates. The Directory Administrator will resolve the duplicate with the respective colleges.

9. Why are you collecting information about date of birth and gender?

Date of birth and gender are important identifying pieces of information, and are used internally within the Provincial Provider Registry for identity resolution and assignment of HSPID. They may be accessed by other authorized systems, such as Alberta Health Services, if needed for identity resolution.

10. Why are you collecting information about practice status?

Providing practice status information through the Provincial Provider Registry will facilitate verifying that a health service provider is licensed to practice.