Health Information Management

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Niagara Health's Health Information Management (HIM) departments manage the collection, retention, disclosure and access to your Personal Health Information (PHI) record. We respect and maintain the confidentiality of your personal health information.

Niagara Health - Health RecordsHealth Information Professionals Release of Information Specialists (ROI) located at our hospital sites are educated and trained to handle inquiries and process requests for access, corrections and/or provide you with copies of your PHI record, in accordance with current legislation. Keeping patient information confidential is of utmost importance at Niagara Health. All staff are trained and bound by a signed Privacy and Confidentiality Acknowledgement.

What is a Health Record?

A health record is a confidential compilation of pertinent facts about an individual's health history, including all past, present medical conditions, illnesses, treatments and family history. Information documented in the health record is collected from the patient and created by all healthcare professionals providing care and is used for continuity of care. (Canadian Health Information Management Association)

Frequently Asked Questions 

Consent for disclosure of personal health information

How can I get a copy of my health record?

If you are a former patient of Niagara Health, you may request copies of your hospital records by submitting a dated, written and signed request to Health Information Management (HIM) at the hospital where you were a patient. A “Request for Access to Personal Health Information” form is provided below for your convenience. You can print, complete, and mail/fax this completed form to the appropriate hospital site’s HIM department (fax numbers are provided above under the heading “Release of Information, Hours of Operation”). Upon receipt of your faxed request an ROI specialist will contact you to provide further instructions. 

In accordance with the "Personal Health Information Protection Act" (PHIPA), Niagara Health has up to 30 days to process upon pre-payment.     

Does the hospital have all my health records on file?

Niagara Health retains and manages patient records in accordance with the Public Hospitals Act Ontario Regulation 965 (Hospital Management) Section Records of Personal Health Information. PHA s20(3) Pgs 19 -21

What will it cost me to request medical record information?

A fee for service is charged for non-medical requests. The cost is $30 for the first 20 pages and .25 cents for each additional page.

Additional fees may apply.

How do I request birth information?

If you want birth information for yourself or your child (i.e. proof of birth, time of birth), please include mother’s name, mother’s date of birth and child’s date of birth. HIM will issue you a “Proof of Birth” letter, stating a baby boy/girl was born at the hospital, date born, mother’s name, and delivering Physician’s name. (This is not an official birth certificate) This information may be used to apply for your official birth certificate. Application can be made by calling the Office of the Registrar General, Thunder Bay, ON, toll free at 1-800-461-2156, or by applying on-line at www.servicecanada.gc.ca.

A $30 fee applies for birth information.

How can I obtain records for an expired patient?

For patients who are deceased, proof of trustee/executor of the estate, or legal signing authority, must be submitted along with your written/signed request.

Copies of a medical death certificate cannot be provided, in compliance with the "Vital Statistics Act."

HIM will issue you a “Proof of Death” letter, stating date of death, cause of death, hospital location and physician who completed the death certificate. This information can be used to apply for a Medical Certificate of Death. Application can be made by calling the Office of the Registrar General, Thunder Bay, ON, toll free at 1-800-461-2156, or by applying on-line at www.servicecanada.gc.ca

How can I obtain records for an incapable patient?

For patients who are incapable of signing a consent, a proof of legal signing authority must be provided to HIM with the written/signed request for patient information. Proof of legal signing authority such as the Substitute Decision Maker  may also include: the patient’s legal guardian, Power of Attorney for Personal Care, spouse or partner, parent, child, sibling,  other relative, or in accordance with the Personal Health Information Protection Act and the Health Care Consent Act. 

Can my family and friends reach me while I’m in hospital?

Your family and friends may call and request information on your location in hospital. If you do not want this information given out, please inform the registration staff at the time you are being registered for admission.

 


Release of Information Hours of Operation

HIM Release of Information Office is open Monday to Friday (excluding stat holidays) for patient  requests.

Note: The HIM Release of Information specialists can be reached at 905-378-4647.  Please refer below for site specific contact information including fax numbers. 

Hospital Site Ext. Fax Office Hours
St. Catharines Site 44470 905-684-1136 8am-4pm
Niagara-on-the-Lake Site 44470 905-684-1136 8am-4pm
Welland Site 33220 905-732-6725 8am-4pm
Greater Niagara Site 52451 905-358-0829 8am-4pm
Douglas Memorial Site 52451 905-358-0829 8am-4pm
Port Colborne Site 33220 905-732-6725 8am-4pm

For privacy/freedom of information questions or concerns, please contact: Niagara Health System, Privacy/Freedom of Information (FOI) Office (905) 378-4647, ext. 44475

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