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About the Commissioner. He was later appointed to Assistant Commissioner in , where he directed the Tribunal Services Division, Contact Us. Home Health — individuals Accessing the personal health information of a deceased relative. File a health privacy complaint Your health privacy rights in Ontario Accessing or correcting your personal health information Consent and your personal health information What you need to know about your health card Accessing the personal health information of a deceased relative.
Accessing the personal health information of a deceased relative There may be many reasons why obtaining the personal health information of your deceased relative is important to you. Once completed, the form s should be submitted directly to the health information custodian. If you do not accept any changes made to this Agreement, you must immediately stop using the Portal.
This means that each Portal User and Proxy as described below will only be permitted to use the Portal in accordance with this Agreement, will not be able to transfer his or her right to use the Portal to another person, and will not be the only user of the Portal. If you are a Proxy, you agree to only access and use the Portal and Information as directed by the Portal User for whom you are the Proxy.
Except as granted in this Agreement, any use of the Portal or Information, in whole or in part, is prohibited. As will be explained below, to use the Portal, you have to complete and submit a Form and be given an Account. By submitting a Form, you acknowledge and agree that you are providing the information on the Form to all Applicable Members.
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As mentioned, use of the Portal is entirely voluntary and provided only as a convenience to you. In plain language, this means you agree to compensate the Alliance or particular Members for any damages, including money damages that it is required to pay as a result of a lawsuit or other form of claim relating to your use or misuse of the Portal.
The limitations on the legal responsibility of Members to Portal Users set out in this paragraph 10 will apply even if Members knew of or could have anticipated that such damages were possible. Note that you will be responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of and otherwise protecting Information that you have downloaded, stored or printed.
Just as where an Applicable Member provides you with a paper copy of your record, no Applicable Member will be responsible in any way for any loss, damage or inappropriate use of any copy of Information that you or your Proxy download, store or print. You must submit a Form see paragraph 13 to authorize a person to be your Proxy and the person must independently agree to comply with this Agreement.
Each Proxy will be given his or her own Portal User name and password to ensure your Proxy only has access to your Account and so that his or her access to your Account can be tracked. A Proxy will generally be someone who regularly assists you with your health care. You should select any Proxy with care because you will be responsible for any access to your Account and use of your Information by your Proxy, and your Proxy will have access to the same Information through the Portal as you have. You may withdraw your authorization for someone to act as your Proxy by contacting any Applicable Member by using the contact information found in paragraph Note that the Alliance cannot intervene in any dispute between a Portal User and his or her Proxy.
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Contact information for the Applicable Members is in paragraph You will be required to provide personal information such as your full name, address, date of birth and telephone number, and personal health information, such as your MRN s , on the Form. You agree to provide true, accurate, current and complete information about yourself on the Form. Upon receipt of the completed Form, Applicable Members will validate the information that you have provided. You may be contacted if there are any questions about the information you have provided.
If an Applicable Member has reasonable grounds to suspect that the information you have provided is untrue, inaccurate, not current or incomplete, you may be refused an Account and will not be able to use the Portal to access Information of any Applicable Member.
It may terminate your Account and access to the Portal or that of your Proxy at any time if you or your Proxy fail to comply with this Agreement or for any other reason in their discretion. You may terminate your Account at any time by contacting any Applicable Member. Your user name and password will be deactivated and all access and use of the Portal by you and your Proxy will be terminated.
The Portal allows you to request that information related to your health be added to your record at any or all Applicable Member s but the information will not necessarily be added.
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An EMR is a tool that can help facilitate these practices. Physicians should therefore research the available products in order to choose an EMR that meets their needs. Choosing an EMR vendor is a crucial step in the process of transitioning to electronic records. It is strongly recommended that physicians exercise due diligence and carry out research in advance of making this choice for themselves and their practice.
Physicians may choose to convert all existing paper charts into electronic form, or retain their paper charts and begin entering patient information into the EMR on a subsequent basis. Physicians are responsible for ensuring the integrity of the data that have been converted into electronic form.
This includes verifying that documents have been properly scanned and that the entire patient record is intact upon conversion, including all attached notes and handwritten comments. Physicians should establish specific procedures for converting files and document these procedures in writing.
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It may be helpful to enlist a reputable commercial organization to assist in this process. When a physician converts paper records into an electronic format, the original paper records may be destroyed in accordance with the principles set out in this policy, provided that:. Physicians who wish to use Optical Character Recognition OCR technology to convert records into searchable and editable files may do so, provided they retain either the original record or a scanned copy.
Originals or scans of documents that have been converted using voice recognition software must also be retained until the retention periods set out in section 4 of this policy have been met.
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Electronic systems can facilitate transmission of test results and other documents between health-care providers or facilities. This ability to share information presents significant benefits to physicians and patients. Physicians also have the ability to access and contribute to shared resources and health data.
However, physicians have less control over what happens with data stored on external systems. Physicians must also enter into written agreements with service providers who are health information network providers. Physicians are obligated to retain the original medical record themselves and only transfer copies to others.
In some instances, it may be feasible to rely on an external facility or organization to retain records, such as a commercial storage provider, hospital, diagnostic facility, or clinic.
In such instances, physicians must ensure that access to records is possible for authorized parties when necessary. Physicians should establish data sharing agreements when relying upon third parties to retain their medical records and may wish to seek legal advice or consult the CMPA for this purpose.
Notwithstanding the above requirements from the Regulation, the College recommends that records be maintained for a minimum of 15 years. This is because of a provision in the Limitations Act which states that some legal proceedings against physicians can be brought 15 years after the act or omission on which the claim is based took place. Physicians may also be required to retain records longer than the above time periods when a request for access to personal health information under PHIPA is made before the retention period ends.
Where such a request has been made, physicians must retain the personal health information for as long as necessary to allow for an individual to take any recourse that is available to them under PHIPA. Patients have a right of access to their personal health information that is in the custody or under the control of a HIC, including any information that has been stamped or indicated as confidential, unless an exception applies.
Physicians cannot refuse to grant a patient access to their records for the purpose of avoiding a legal proceeding. If a physician has refused a patient access to his or her record, the patient is entitled to make a complaint to the IPC under subsection 54 8 of PHIPA. If a patient requests that a physician transfer his or her records, the transfer should take place in a timely fashion in order to facilitate continuity of care. In some circumstances it will be more efficient for the transferring physician to prepare a summary of the records rather than to provide a copy of the entire record.
This is acceptable to the College as long as it is acceptable to the receiving physician and the patient. The physician is still obligated to retain the original record, in its entirety, for the time period required by the Regulation. Physicians may charge patients a reasonable fee for making a record of personal health information, or part of it, available. Fees charged must reflect the cost of the materials used, the time required to prepare the material and the direct cost of sending the material to the requesting physician. The obligation to pay the account rests with the patient or the party who has requested the records.
Fulfilling such a request is an uninsured service and reasonable attempts may be made on the part of the physician to collect the fee. When a physician relocates they are still responsible for meeting records retention requirements, whether or not they will be providing ongoing health care to their patients. Relocating physicians who wish to transfer custody of records for patients they will no longer be seeing clinically are encouraged to obtain legal advice to ensure that arrangements they make for record transfer and retention comply with their obligations under the Regulation and PHIPA.
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Physicians are also encouraged to document records transfer arrangements in a written agreement. Such an agreement should address, among other things:. When a physician ceases to practise medicine either because they no longer maintain their certificate of registration 31 or due to death two options are available with respect to patient records to ensure continuity of care: 1 they may be transferred, or 2 they may be retained for the periods set out above.
In all cases, the physician will continue to be the custodian of the records until complete custody and control passes to another person or entity that is legally authorized to hold them. Section 42 1 of PHIPA permits a physician to disclose personal health information to a potential successor for the purpose of allowing the potential successor to assess and evaluate the operations of the custodian, if the potential successor first enters into an agreement with the physician to keep the information confidential and secure and not to retain any information longer than necessary for the purpose of the assessment and evaluation.
If a physician dies, the estate trustee of the physician is deemed to be the custodian of the records until custody and control of the records passes to another person who is legally authorized to hold them. Where a physician ceases to practise but is not transferring records to another physician, the physician or his or her representative must notify each patient that their medical records will only be held for two years, and should suggest that patients collect their records or request a transfer of their records to another physician before this two-year period expires.
Notification of patients should take place by way of direct communication with each patient at a scheduled appointment or through a letter or phone call, or in some other way that ensures that patients will receive notice.