How to request a copy of your health record.

 

Everyone treated at one of our facilities has a health record. These records contain documents such as reports from care providers, test results, treatments, and pharmacy information. Health records can be paper based, electronically generated or a combination of both.

How do I request my health records?

You or your authorized representative can request access to or copies of your health record by completing the forms below and submitting it in person, by fax, or by mail to the Health Records Department at the location where you received care. They will assist you in accessing the records you wish to see and are entitled to receive.

If you do not see your facility listed, search in our directory and call the location directly to find out how you can get your record.

  • How long will it take to obtain copies of my health record?

    You will receive a response within 30 business days from the date we receive your written request.

  • Is there a fee?

    Generally no, but you may be charged for special processing of your request. For example, courier fees, special delivery, or other special processing services.

  • Who can sign the authorization form?

    In most cases, it is essential that the patient who is the subject of the requested records sign the authorization form. As a public body, hospitals in B.C. are bound by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA) and require written, informed consent before disclosing personal information. Unless an exception to this rule applies (as outlined below), please ensure that your authorization has been signed by the patient. Otherwise, we will be unable to grant your request.

  • What if the patient is a minor?

    The patient’s authorization is required if the patient is 12 or over and is actively involved in decisions about health care or has provided consent for care.

    Consent from the patient’s guardian is required if:

    • The patient is under 12 years of age; or
    • Under 19 years of age and not actively involved in decisions about health care

    A guardian is a person who has been appointed by court order, under a legal agreement, or a parent who has lived with or regularly cared for the child.

    Please note that Section 40 of the Family Law Act states that a child’s guardian may exercise all guardian responsibilities as long as they do so in consultation with the child’s other guardian(s), unless consultation would be unreasonable or inappropriate in the circumstances.

    Please provide the authorization form, signed by a guardian and include confirmation that the requestor is the patient’s guardian (this may consist of a copy of the court order or agreement, or a letter from a professional such as a physician, lawyer or teacher), and an explanation of the reasons for the request.

  • What if the patient is incapable of giving consent?

    If an adult patient is incapable of giving consent, any of the following, acting within the scope of their duties or powers, may provide authorization on behalf of an adult:

    • Committee appointed by court order (where records are required to carry out committee’s duties)
    • Person acting under a power of attorney (where records are required for financial or legal matters)
    • Litigation guardian (where records are required for litigation)
    • Representative under a representation agreement (where records are required to carry out representative’s duties)

    The request must be made on behalf of the patient and in the patient’s best interests. Please provide the Authorization for the Release of Health Records form, signed by the person providing authorization; documentation of the person’s legal authority; and an explanation of the reasons for the request.

  • What if the patient is deceased?

    A person does not lose his or her rights to privacy after death. In situations where a family member or personal representative requests records concerning a deceased person, we must have as much information as possible to determine whether the request is in the deceased’s best interest and whether the disclosure of any information would be an unreasonable invasion of the deceased’s privacy.

    Please provide the following:

    • The Authorization for the Release of Health Records form, signed by the executor or administrator of the deceased’s estate, or the deceased’s nearest relative;
    • Any documentation concerning the appointment of an executor or administrator; or documentation providing proof of relationship to the deceased (e.g. birth certificate);
    • A full explanation of the reason for the request.
    • All requests for records of deceased persons are assessed on a case-by-case basis. We may be unable to disclose some or all of a record.
  • How can I request corrections to the information in my health record?

    If you believe there is incorrect information in your health record, you can write to the Health Record Department at the site where you received care. They will work with you to address your concerns.

  • What happens if I don't pick up my records?

    Please contact the Release of Information Office at the facility you are requesting records from to make other arrangements. Documents not picked up will be destroyed after six months.

Resources

HIMconnect.ca

A website providing centralized health information resources to patients, physicians and clinicians, researchers, and institutions across Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island and the Okanagan. Health Information Management (HIM) represents Fraser Health, Providence Health Care, Provincial Health Services Authority, and Vancouver Coastal Health.