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.
Requesting a copy of your own health record
You can obtain a copy of your own hospital health record by submitting a written request to the Health Records department.
Viewing your health record
A person can review their own health record at the health care facility where they were treated, by submitting a written request to the Health Records department.
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 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, 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.
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 submitting a written request to the Health Records department.
Obtaining a copy of the 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.