Standard helps keep patients’ identities secure

The pandemic caused a rapid shift towards online services across the economy, and healthcare was no exception. But there are still few standardized ways to present and consume identity information online and in-person with confidence, while respecting the rights of individuals, including their privacy.

“Digitization of health care and the secure access to healthcare data has never been more critical. It enables the goals of patients, providers, and payers across the industry to securely access critical information and improve health outcomes.  Standards like 103-2 will enable acceleration, while also creating an opportunity for the next generation of intellectual property in the healthcare sector.”


A standard from the Digital Governance Standards Institute published in 2021 and recently reaffirmed aims to change this. The standard (CAN/DGSI 103-2:2021 (R2023) specifies minimum requirements for user-centric health networks that bind a patient’s identity to a set of digital credentials to facilitate secure access to services.

The standard provides the basis for implementing a user-centric, interoperable health network for the delivery of healthcare services. It includes provisions associated with user agency, data standards, privacy, consent, identity re-use and identity federation governance.

“Nothing is more personal than your health. Canadians, rightly, expect that their information will be well protected by healthcare providers, but they also want fast and convenient access to care online. This new standard is the result of input from a broad range of stakeholders and will provide a firm basis for innovation in the sector that respects patients’ privacy rights.”

Keith Jansa, CEO, Digital Governance Council and Member of the Ontario Health Data Council

Additionally, Darryl Kingston, Executive Director, Digital Governance Standards Institute said “This standard represents a significant step towards not only strengthening and protecting highly sensitive personal information but also inoculate against devastating impacts on patient outcomes by securing access to healthcare data.”


Get Involved
Our standards development process is collaborative and open to all. If you are interested in contributing to the work of the technical committees on either of these statements, please get in touch through the join a committee page or contact Darryl Kingston.

For media inquiries:
Darryl Kingston
Executive Director
Digital Governance Standards Institute

About the Digital Governance Standards Institute
The Digital Governance Standards Institute develops digital technology governance standards fit for global use. The Institute works with experts, as well as national and global partners and the public to develop national standards that reduce risk to Canadians and Canadian organizations adopting and using innovative digital technologies in today’s digital economy. The Institute is an independent division of the Digital Governance Council. To learn more about the organization and its initiatives, visit or contact

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