Health records & privacy
Collecting and maintaining high quality health records is vital to providing our patients the best possible health care, as is protecting the privacy of the information.
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Protecting your privacy is our priority
If you've ever received care or treatment from any of the programs or services at Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), then you have a health record. These records contain reports from care providers, test results and pharmacy information. All of your records are kept strictly confidential. We collect, use and disclose your information only where permitted or authorized under the BC Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
Contact the Information Privacy Office
If you have any questions or concerns about the privacy of your personal health information, please contact the Information Privacy Office.Information privacy office
How to request your health records
You or your authorized representative can request access to or copies of your health record by completing the Authorization for the Release of Health Records form and submitting it in person, by fax, or by mail to the Health Record Department at the location you received care. They will assist you in accessing the records you wish to see and are entitled to receive.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can access my information?
Our staff, physicians and other authorized individuals collect, use and share your personal information to deliver health services.
They may use and share your information for the following purposes:
- For your immediate and ongoing care
- To help improve your quality of care and services
- For research purposes, if authorized and permitted by law
- For teaching and education purposes (e.g. training doctors and nurses)
- To understand your eligibility for benefits and services and to arrange payment
- To create an electronic patient and or client record
Your personal information may also be disclosed to other authorized individuals as required by law (e.g. to respond to a court order) or under a specific statute (e.g. the Coroner’s Act or Adult Guardianship Act).
How is my information shared?
We use electronic records to share information efficiently and improve the quality of care we deliver. We record your information in our electronic clinical systems and use a shared electronic health record, CareConnect, to provide a single point of access for patient medical information. We also have access to patient identifiers in the Ministry of Health’s Electronic Master Patient Index, which we use to confirm your identity and for audit purposes.
How secure is my information?
We use a variety of safeguards to protect your electronic information including encryption, passwords and access audits. The more sensitive the information, the more protected it is. The E-Health (Personal Health Information Access and Protection of Privacy) Act is legislation that covers designated Health Information Banks. Under this legislation, we may only collect, use, or disclose your personal information for specific purposes as designated. If you have further questions about your personal information at Vancouver Coastal Health, contact the Information Privacy Office; or to request access to your health records, contact the Health Records department at the location where you were treated.
I don't want others to know I am in your care. What can I do?
It is standard practice to tell people who phone to ask about you for us to confirm you have been admitted to one of our facilities. If you don’t want this information to be released, let a staff member know, and they will make a note on your file saying not to release any information about you.