Health Records

The Health Records department at St. Joseph's Health Care London oversees the collection, storage, retention and access to your hospital health record. They respect and maintain the confidentiality of your personal health information.

Release of Information: Staff within Health Records manage inquiries and requests for copies of your hospital health record.

Your inquiries and requests are important to us. Every effort is made to process your request in a timely manner.

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Information for patients, families and visitors

What is a health record?

A health record is comprised of:

  • Personal information (e.g., name, date of birth, gender, address, and extended health insurance numbers).
  • Personal health information (e.g., Health Card Number, information relating to previous health problems, diagnosis, the record of your visits to the hospital and what health care we provide to you during those visits).

This information can be gathered and stored in several ways:

  • A hard copy hospital chart maintained by Health Records
  • An electronic patient record
  • Documents created and stored in patient care areas and private offices
  • Diagnostic images and reports
  • Lab specimens and reports
  • Photographs
  • Videos

Retention of your health record

Retention of health records is governed by Ontario law (Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004). The Health Records department oversees the secure storage and management of your hospital health record.

Accessing a health record

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 representative 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.

Written requests

For your protection, a copy of a health record will not be released to third parties without your written authorization. Health information cannot be released over the telephone. the Health Records department at one hospital cannot release the health records from another hospital. For example, London Health Sciences Centre cannot accept a request to release/copy health records from St. Joseph's Health Care London.

Please complete the Authorization for Release of Patient Information form. This form can be printed from our web site or picked up from any Health Records department location. To avoid delay, please make sure that all information is completed on the form, ensuring that it is dated and signed by you.

This form can be mailed, or dropped off in person at the Health Records Department, ideally at the site where you were treated. To expedite your request, the form may be faxed to the fax numbers on the Contact Information page, however the original must be mailed or dropped off to the site where you were treated. For your protection, copies may not be released without the original, signed form.

This authorization is valid for six months and pertains to the release of information that is specific to treatment received on or before the date signed.

Cost

There is an administrative fee associated with a request to view and/or obtain a photocopy of your health record. The fee for copying varies with the size of the record. Pre-payment of this fee is required prior to accessing your health record. For more information about these fees, please contact the Health Records department.

The fee for requesting a copy of your health records is as follows:

  • Lawyer/Insurance Companies - $30 + HST per request which includes 20 pages/copies and $0.25 + HST per additional page/copy.
  • Patient/Substitute Decision Makers (personal copy) - $30 + HST administrative fee per request which includes 20 pages/copies and $0.25 + HST per additional page/copy.

For more information about these fees, please contact the Health Information Management Department.

Please complete and submit the following form for all release of information:

Information for health professionals

Regional health care facilities

The Health Records departments from within regional hospitals and health care facilities can submit a request for revisions to existing reports or creation of new reports.

Please complete the following form for submitting a request for an Explorer or Gateway report: