Access to Records
The Personal Health Information Act (PHIA)
How do you get a copy of your health records?
If you have been a client of PMH you can request access to your health information by submitting a written request to a PMH Privacy Officer.
- The completed and signed form may be faxed or mailed to a designated Privacy Officer.
What information should your request include?
If you are unable to print the above form, you may submit a written request to a designated PMH Privacy Officer. Your request must include the information listed below:
- Full name
- Date of birth – use abbreviations for the month (e.g. Jan)
- PHIN – 9 digit
- Mailing address
- Telephone number(s)
- Identify the facility or program and community that your services were provided
- Type of information you are requesting
- Time period the information is from
- Date of the request
- Your signature
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Access:
1. How do I request access to my health information while I am still a patient, client, or resident within the region?
When you are a patient or client within PMH you may ask your healthcare provider to see or receive a copy of your information. If your request involves a large amount of information or is not available to the healthcare provider you will be required to contact a PMH Privacy Officer.
Prior to viewing your health information you may be asked to provide a proper form of identification to protect the privacy of this information.
2. Does it cost anything to request my health records?
If your request is to have information sent to another physician or health care provider, there is no charge. If you are requesting to view your record or obtain copies of your record, there is an administrative fee and photocopy charge.
3. How soon will I be able to view or receive copies of my information?
When PMH receives your request, your health record will be reviewed and you will be contacted within:
- 24 hours if you are an inpatient in a hospital
- 72 hours if you are a resident in a personal care home; or are receiving community or outpatient services
- 30 days if you are not currently receiving care
4. What if I want my records released to another individual?
- If you would like your information provided to another health care provider who will be providing care to you, we can send this information to them at your request.
- If you would like the information released to family, a lawyer, police, or any other person who will not be providing care to you, we will require that you provide us with an original signed consent form.
- A PMH consent form is available for you here.
5. How do I obtain records on an individual who has deceased?
To obtain records on a deceased individual, we require a Request to Access Personal Health Information form signed by the personal representative (e.g. executor/executrix) prior to providing access to the information. The form is available for you here.
6. How do I obtain records on an individual who is not capable of providing consent?
PMH has an Alternate Decision Maker policy. Health care decision making authority, for the purposes of this policy, include decisions related to health care intervention, as well as authority to access or consent to disclosure of personal health information, on behalf of the client. It is the Alternate Decision Maker who acts on behalf of the client who can authorize access to, or disclosure of, the client’s record.
Establishing the Alternate Decision Maker:
The hierarchy in this policy is reviewed sequentially by the health care providers to determine:
- who is legally authorized to exercise the rights of a client
- when does the alternate decision maker’s authority take effect, and
- to what extent the alternate would have authority
Part of this determination is verifying the scope of the alternate decision maker’s authority to act on the client’s behalf by reviewing legal documents, where applicable, and to ensure the authority includes health care decision making. For example, a Power of Attorney (POA) is often limited to having authority to manage financial and legal affairs only and does not include language about having authority to make decisions related to health care. The POA must not be considered a legal authority in this circumstance.
Once the legal authorities in the hierarchy are exhausted, a hierarchy of nearest relatives is then considered for decision making on behalf of the client.