Health Records FAQ

Health Records Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Health Record?

A health record is comprised of:

  • Personal information (e.g. name, date of birth, gender, address, Health Card Number and extended health insurance numbers).
  • Personal health information (e.g. information relating to previous health problems, diagnosis, the record of your visits to the hospital and what health care was provided to you during those visits).
  • This information can be accumulated and stored in several mediums and in several locations, e.g.:

           in a hard copy hospital chart housed in Health Record Services

  • an electronic patient record
  • documents created and stored in patient care areas and private offices
  • diagnostic images and reports
  • photographs
  • videos
  • microfilm

What is the role of Health Record Services?

Health Records Services at Alexandra Marine and General Hospital oversee the collection, storage, retention and access to your hospital health record. They respect and maintain the confidentiality of your personal health information. Health Records Services Team Members manage correspondence inquiries and requests for copies of your hospital health record.

Obtaining a copy of a Health Record

Requesting a copy of your own health record:

You can obtain a copy of your own hospital health record by submitting a written request using the Authorization for Disclosure of Medical Records Information to the Health Records department. Collection, use and/or disclosure of personal health information is governed by Ontario law (Personal Health Information Protection Act 2004).  

 

Consent for collection, use and/or disclosure of personal health information is obtained from the patient, regardless of age, if the patient is capable of understanding the information presented to them and the impact of consenting or declining. If the patient is not capable, consent is obtained from the Substitute Decision Maker. In the case of conflict, the capable patient’s decision prevails with respect to consent to collection, use and/or disclosure of their personal health information.

Obtaining a copy of your health record or the health record of another individual:

Consent for the collection, use and/or disclosure of personal health information is obtained from the patient, regardless of age, if the patient is capable of understanding the information presented to them and the impact of consenting or declining. If the patient is not capable, consent is obtained from the Substitute Decision Maker (SDM) who may be:

  • The individual's (patient's) guardian of the person or guardian of property
  • The individual's attorney for personal care or attorney for property
  • The individual's representive appointed by the Consent and Capacity Board
  • The individual's spouse or partner
  • A child or parent of the individual
  • A parent of the individual with only a right of access
  • A brother or sister; or
  • Any other relative.


In the case of a conflict, the capable patient's decision prevails with respect to consent for the collection, use and/or disclosure of their personal health information.


Obtaining a copy of your Health Record for other Health Care Providers:

When requested, copies of your health record may be released to health care providers outside the hospital to ensure the best continuing care for you.

 

Your attending physician at the hospital may also share reports or summaries of your treatment at the hospital with other physicians and health care providers involved in your care to ensure they are aware of treatments or medications that may affect your ongoing care.

 

Obtaining a copy of your Health Record for a third party:

You can request that a copy of your hospital health record be released to a lawyer, insurance company, or any other third party specified by you, by completing a written request to Health Record Service using the Authorization for Disclosure of Medical Records Information form


Obtaining a copy of the health record of a deceased individual:

If you are requesting a copy of the hospital record of a patient that is deceased, you must submit proof of your legal signing authority as well as a written request using the Freedom of Information-written requests, to the Health Records department.

 

You must provide either:

  • a copy of the deceased person's Will naming you as the Executor or,
  • in the absence of a Will, a letter notarized by a lawyer to confirm your legal signing authority.

 

Viewing a Health Record:

A person can view their own health record at the health care facility where they were treated. The same guidelines apply for viewing the health record of an individual, as in Obtaining a copy of a Health Record, as outlined above.

 

Retention of your Health Record:

The law requires Health Care Facilities to retain a Health Record for a specified period of time. Alexandra Marine and General Hospital oversees the storage and management of your hospital record according to these laws and hospital bylaws. Health Records that are older than 10 years may no longer be available.

 

Release of Information:

Authorization for Disclosure of Medical Records Information form can be printed or picked up from Health Records Services. Please make sure that all the information is completed on the form, ensuring it is dated, signed by you and signed by a witness to your signature.

Release of Patient Information Fee Schedule can be mailed, or dropped off in person to the Health Records Department. This authorization is valid for 6 months and pertains to the release of information specific to treatment received on or before the date signed. 

 

Written Requests:

For your protection, a copy of a health record will not be released without your current written authorization. Health Information cannot be released over the phone. Health services at one hospital cannot release the health records from another hospital. Please complete the Authorization for Release of Patient Information Form.

 

Collection, use, access and/or disclosure of personal health information is governed by Ontario law (Personal Health Information Protection Act 2004). You have a right, by law, to access your own hospital health record either by viewing or requesting a copy.

 

Write to:

Health Records Department

Alexandra Marine and General Hospital

120 Napier St

Goderich, ON N7A 1W5


Contact Information

Health Record Services is open from Monday to Friday, 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Phone: 519-524-8689 Ext 5401

Fax# 519-524-5579