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Program Security Policy

McGill Ophthalmology Program Security Policy


Resident education must occur in a physically safe environment (Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, standard A.2.5; College of Family Physicians of Canada).  
The McGill Ophthalmology Program not only recognizes that residents have the right to a safe environment during their residency training but acknowledges the fact that  resident safety
includes physical, emotional, and professional security.
This Security Policy must be communicated to the Postgraduate Trainee at the beginning of the rotation.


To demonstrate the commitment of McGill Ophthalmology to health, safety and protection of its postgraduate medical trainees. 
To minimize the risk of injury and promote a safe and healthy environment at the McGill University Health Center and Affiliated Hospitals
To help report hazardous or unsafe training conditions and injury along and a mechanism to take corrective action.


For Residents
•    To provide information and communicate safety concerns to the Residency Program Committee and to comply with safety policies.
For the Ophthalmology Residency Training Committee 
•    To act promptly to address identified safety concerns and incidents and to be proactive in providing a safe learning environment.


These policies apply only during residents’ activities that are related to the execution of residency duties:
•    When residents are traveling for clinical or other academic assignments by private vehicle, it is expected that they maintain their vehicle adequately and travel with appropriate supplies and contact information.

•    Québec laws will be adhered to regarding cell phone use and text messaging in the performance of residency duties while driving. For long distance travel for clinical or other academic assignments, residents should ensure that a colleague or the Ophthalmology Administrative Office is aware of their itinerary. Residents should not be on call the day before long distance travel for clinical or other academic assignments by car. When long distance travel is required in order to begin a new rotation, the resident should request that they not be on call on the last day of the preceding rotation. If this cannot be arranged then there should be a designated travel day on the first day of the new rotation before the start of any clinical activities.

•    Residents are not to be expected to travel long distances during inclement weather for clinical or other academic assignments. If such weather prevents travel, the resident is expected to contact the Administrative office promptly. Assignment of an alternate activity is at the discretion of the Program Director. Residents should not work alone after hours in health care or academic facilities without adequate support from Security Services.

•    Residents are not expected to work alone at after-hours clinics. A supervisor or co-worker must be present:  (a) while the Resident is seeing a patient after hours in clinic. This would not apply if the patient is being seen in an emergency room. (b)  When the Resident does home visits.  (c)  At the end of office hours if the Resident is still with patients.   The supervisor can be a physician (including another Resident), a nurse, a technician or social worker depending on the encounter.  

•    Residents should only telephone patients using caller blocking. Residents are not expected to walk alone for any major or unsafe distances at night. This includes walking on the hospital premises and parking lots. The residents are expected to request security escort if such circumstances occur. Residents should not drive home after call if they have not had adequate rest. When interacting with patients with potential for violence, residents should ascertain that there is backup from security staff and that the patients are seen in an area which allows for safe and easy exit. 

•    The physical space requirements for management of violent patients must be provided where appropriate. Site orientations should include a review of local safety procedures. Residents should familiarize themselves with the location and services offered by the McGill University Occupational Health Office.  This includes familiarity with policies and procedures for infection control and protocols following exposure to contaminated fluids, needle stick injuries, and reportable infectious diseases. Residents must observe universal precautions and isolation procedures when indicated.

•    Residents should keep their immunizations up to date. Overseas travel immunizations and advice should be sought well in advance when traveling abroad for electives or meetings.

•    Pregnant residents should be aware of specific risks to themselves and their fetus in the training environment and request accommodations where indicated. 

•    Residents should consult the McGill University Occupational Health Office for information or the McGill University Security Office  many services are provided including a Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) System as a program of realistic self-defence tactics and techniques for women.

If a Resident identifies a personal safety or security breach, it must be reported to their immediate supervisor and/or Program Director to allow resolution of the issue at the local level. 
If a Resident feels that his / her own personal safety is threatened, s/he should seek immediate assistance and remove themselves from the situation in a professional manner.  The Resident should ensure that their immediate supervisor has been notified and/or Program Director, as appropriate.  
 The ophrpc [dot] med [at] mcgill [dot] ca (McGill Ophthalmology Administrative Office) (514-843-1544) is available for consultation during regular work hours, particularly if the Program Director is not available.  If an issue arises after regular office hours, where the clinical supervisor and/or Program Director may not be available, contact Security of the institution where the Resident is based.


•  Learning environments must be free from intimidation, harassment, and discrimination. When a resident’s performance is affected or threatened by poor health or psychological conditions, the resident should be granted a leave of absence and receive appropriate support. Such residents should not return to work until an appropriate assessor has declared them ready. The chief resident as an ombudsperson has to ensure that all residents in the program are informed as to the policies regarding the ombudsperson role and contact information. Residents should be aware of and have easy access to the available sources of immediate and long-term help for psychological problems, substance abuse problems, harassment, and inequity issues. A useful resources is the McGill  Social Equity and Diversity Education (SEDE) Office.

If you feel that you have been harassed or discriminated against, you may contact an Assessor to discuss your options. Assessors are members of the McGill Community that have been appointed and trained to receive and investigate complaints under the McGill Policy on Harassment, Sexual Harassment, and Discrimination Prohibited by Law. To contact an Assessor, call 514-398-4911.

Other useful resources are:
Quebec Doctor's Self-Help Group: Programme d'aide aux Médecins du Québec: 1-800-387-4166 ou (514) 397-0888
Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada
Collège des Médecins du Québec
Fédération des médecins résidents du Québec
FMRQ/MSSS Collective Agreement


•  Some physicians may experience conflicts between their ethical or religious beliefs and the training requirements and professional obligations of physicians. Resources should be made available to residents to deal with such conflicts. Examples include the Collège des Médecins du Québec, McGill University Faculty of Medicine. McGill Ophthalmology respect religious holidays. Residents will have adequate support from the program following an adverse event or critical incident. McGill Ophthalmology promotes a culture of safety in which residents are able to report and discuss adverse events, critical incidents, ‘near misses’, and patient safety concerns without fear of punishment. Our Residency Program Committee Members do not divulge information regarding residents. It is the responsibility of the residency Program Director to make the decision and to disclose information regarding residents (e.g. personal information and evaluations) outside of the residency program committee and to do so only when there is reasonable cause. The resident file is confidential. With regard to resident files, McGill Ophthalmology complies with the 1982 (R.S.Q., c.A-21) Québec Commission d’accès à l ’information Act. Resident feedback and complaints are handled in a manner that ensures resident anonymity, unless the resident explicitly consents otherwise. However, in the case of a complaint that must be dealt with due to its severity or threat to other residents, the Program Director may be obliged to proceed, against the complainant’s wishes. In that case the Associate Dean of Postgraduate Medical Education will be consulted immediately. Depending on the nature of the complaint, the Collège des Médecins du Québec may need to be informed and involved. In general, the Program Director should serve as a resource and advocate for the resident in the complaints process. Residents must be members of the CMPA and follow CMPA recommendations in the case of real, threatened, or anticipated legal action.
•  In addition to CMPA coverage for patient actions, residents are indemnified for actions or lawsuits arising from the actions or decisions made by committees (e.g. tenure, appeals, residency training) they may serve on, under the university insurance for lawsuits related

Cyberspace Safety

Make sure you are familiar with the Responsible Use of McGill IT Resources policy.  Even if you did not sign a confidentiality agreement when hired by McGill, all staff have a legal obligation to ensure the privacy of any information that contains personal data.

 1. Routinely and securely delete all confidential files from your system. 2.  Store all work-related data in an appropriate location on McGill’s central file servers. Never use the local drives on your computer (or your personal USB or external drive) for storage. Refrain from using email or online storage options such as DropBox to share confidential files. Encrypt all sensitive data where possible.  3. Password protect your iPad, BlackBerry, iPhone or other mobile device. You can remotely wipe the data off a BlackBerry, iPhone, and many other ActiveSync devices in the event of loss or theft, providing it is not stored on a media card. 4. Evaluate the sensitivity of data and the physical spaces employes have access to. Supervisors can, and should, request a alexandra [dot] gregorian [at] mcgill [dot] ca (security background check) on all new staff. Avoid potential conflicts of interest.  5. Don’t forget to de-provision the accounts (revoke access to network shares, websites, etc.) of any employees that leave, even if they are simply transferring to another department. Human Resources offers a checklist for handling transfers and terminations contact ICS Service Desk when you leave the program.  6. Use strong passwords to protect your workstation and all other electronic devices. Never use the same password or PIN for multiple accounts, even if it is convenient.  7. Print only what you absolutely have to; store in a secure place (e.g. locked cabinet) or shred when no longer needed. You can still recycle shredded paper. Use uPrint’s “Secure Release” print functionality and only release confidential print jobs while you are at the uPrint device.  8. Report the loss or theft of any device that may contain sensitive or confidential data immediately to McGill Security Services at 514-398-3000, and then fill out the theft/loss report form online. Make sure to mention if any institutional data was stored on the device.  9.  McGill offers free internet security software to all staff and students. If you choose not to use it, ensure you are continually protected with an up-to-date firewall and antivirus/malware scanner on all electronic devices. Even with the best security software available, you must still use caution when installing software or opening email attachments from an unknown source.  10.   Practice safe online habits and learn to spot and avoid phishing scams, malware, and other online threats.

Thank you for helping us make both McGill and your personal information more secure. Should you wish to learn more about safeguarding information, we encourage you to visit the IT Security Best Practices Roadmap.