Accessing your Health Record
Providence Healthcare’s Health Information Management department oversees the collection, storage and retention of inpatient health records according to Ontario’s Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA). Confidentiality of all patient/resident/client personal health information is respected and maintained at all times. The department is responsible for the release of patient/resident/client personal health information, including providing copies of health records to authorized individuals.
If you are a patient/resident/client of Providence Healthcare/Cardinal Ambrozic Houses of Providence/Outpatient Clinics, you can access your personal health record by submitting a written request to us.
Please note, Providence Healthcare will keep your personal health information as long as necessary to provide care or as required by law. The Public Hospitals Act requires us to keep your information for a period of 10 years past the date of last admission.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I get a copy of my health record?
Information is released only as authorized by the patient/resident/client, legal representative or as required by law. If you are/were a patient/resident/client of Providence Healthcare/Cardinal Ambrozic Houses of Providence/Outpatient Clinics, you can direct us to send copies of your health record by submitting a written request. Please provide the following:
- A letter signed and dated stating the specific medical information required and why this information is needed.
- A signed consent form
- Appropriate fee – there is an administrative fee applicable to non-medical requests of $30.00 for the first 20 pages, 0.25 cents for each additional page plus applicable taxes.
Please mail your request to:
Health Information Management
3276 St. Clair Avenue East, Toronto ON M1L 1W1
Or fax your request to: 416-285-3635
Or call us to set up an appointment: 416-285-3666 x 5044
Please Note: We require the original signed consent form in order to complete your request. The request should be dated within 90 days of receiving it.
2. I want my records released to my family or a friend. How do I go about getting these records?
Whether you want your records released to a relative or a friend, you need to submit your request in writing (with the applicable fee) along with a consent form giving the hospital authorization to release your information. The form should be signed, dated and witnessed. Please mail to the address above.
3. I want my records released to my family doctor. How do I go about getting these records?
If your family physician’s name is listed on your chart, a copy of a discharge summary will be sent to him/her automatically, without further consent. If you doctor’s name is not listed on your chart or he/she requires additional information, you must complete the consent form. The form should be signed, dated and witnessed. Please mail to the address above.
4. I am inquiring about records of an incapable or deceased patient/resident/client. How do I go about getting these records?
To obtain medical information for a patient/resident/client who is incapable of signing a consent or who is deceased, please provide proof of legal signing authority or a copy of the deceased patient/resident/client’s will showing you are the Executor of the Estate along with a request letter and consent form . The form should be signed, dated and witnessed. Please mail to the address above.
5. Does it cost me anything to request a copy of my records?
There is an administrative fee applicable to non-medical requests of $30.00 for the first 20 pages, 0.25 cents for each additional page plus applicable taxes. Payment can be made by cheque (payable to Providence Healthcare) or cash.
6. My relative/friend passed away and I would like his/her records for insurance purposes. How can I access these records?
The Executor of the Estate or a court appointed administrator (in cases where there is no will document) must issue an authorization for you to request the deceased patient/resident/client’s records. The authorization form should be signed, dated and witnessed and sent along with a copy of the will showing the name of the Executor of the Estate to the Health Information Management Department.
7. I was told to get a copy of the proof of “Executor of the Estate” in order to get my relative/friend’s records. He/she never made a will. How do I go about getting these records?
When someone dies without a will, an Estate Trustee without a Will is authorized to issue an authorization for the release of the deceased patient/resident/client’s records. You must check with Ontario Superior Court of Justice (former Surrogate Court) for a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee Without a Will.
8. How do I get a copy of my family member’s health records?
If you are the patient/resident/client’s Power of Attorney for Personal Care or Substitute Decision Maker, you can access his/her records, otherwise you must obtain the patient/resident/client’s written consent.
9. Can I obtain the Death Certificate from Providence Healthcare?
Death Certificates must be requested at the Office of the Registrar General. Please visit the Government of Ontario website.
10. My relative would like his/her health record forwarded to a new doctor but is unable to sign an authorization. How can I get access to these records?
An authorization should be issued by the patient/resident/client’s Power of Attorney for Personal Care or Legal Next of Kin to request health records.
11. Can I photocopy my health record?
According to our policy, charts cannot be removed from the Hospital. Photocopying can only be performed by health information management personnel.
12. I am concerned about the management of personal health information at Providence Healthcare. What should I do?
If you or your family have concerns or questions about the management of personal health information at Providence Healthcare, we invite you to contact our privacy office:
Director, Risk Management and Chief Privacy Officer, Providence Healthcare
3276 St. Clair Avenue East, Toronto, Ontario M1L 1W1
T: (416) 285-3666 x 4064
You may also register a concern about how your personal health information is collected, used, stored or disclosed by contacting:
Dr. Ann Cavoukian
Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario,
2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400
Toronto, Ontario M4W 1A8
T: (416) 326-3333 or 1 (800) 387-0073 (within Ontario)
TDD/TTY: (416) 325-7539