Access and correction
PHIA permits individuals to make a request to examine and have a copy of the record containing their personal health information. They are also entitled to request the record be corrected. The request must be in writing and any required fees for access must be paid by the individual.
Physicians who are custodians are required to respond to these requests. The Department of Health and Wellness developed forms for custodians to use (Section 3) to respond to requests for access or correction.
There are limited exceptions to an individual’s right to access their record or have it corrected. A physician who is a custodian can refuse individuals access to all or some of their records, if the physician reasonably believes any of the following:
- The records contain legal advice.
- The records are protected from access by another law. (For example, if a patient who was adopted requested access to information related to his birth, a physician could sever that information because the Adoption Act is the appropriate legislation for requesting this information.)
- The records were created primarily for the purpose of ensuring quality of care within a physician’s practice.
- The records are part of ongoing proceedings or investigations.
- Access to the records could result in a risk of serious harm to the individual’s treatment or recovery.
- Access to the records could result in a risk of serious harm to the mental or physical health of the individual or another individual.
- The records contain information that could identify a third party who provided information to the physician in confidence.
- Access to the records could result in the release of another individual’s personal health information.
- The request is deemed by the custodian to be frivolous or vexatious.