Access Health Information

The Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) gives a patient (or their substitute decision-maker) the right to see or receive a copy of their personal health information (PHI).  

Before you request access to personal health information, please browse the information provided below. You may also contact your local privacy officer to ask questions or raise concerns about your request for information at any time. 

How to make a request 

Step 1 – Identify what information you’re looking for 

Types of information commonly found in a home and community care health record 
Information includes, but is not limited to: 

  • Assessments and evaluations 
  • Clinical notes 
  • Clinical photographs 
  • Consent documents (e.g. consent to collect, use and disclose information, consent to treatment, patient specific contacts, other consent directives) 
  • Correspondence between our staff and other health professionals regarding your health care 
  • Demographic information 
  • Diagnoses 
  • Equipment and supplies  
  • Health and health care history 
  • Legal documents (e.g. power of attorney documents, guardianship documents, documents designating substitute decision makers, court orders, etc.) 
  • Long-term care home applications 
  • Medication records 
  • Medical Orders from Nurse Practitioners, Physicians, etc. 
  • Referrals for eligibility of services and provision of care (e.g. primary care, hospitals, schools, etc.) 
  • Reports (e.g. service provider reports, consultation reports, discharge summaries, etc.) 
  • Service history 
  • Treatment/Care plans, plans of service 

Step 2 – Learn about who can and cannot make a request for a health record 

If you are making a request for your own PHI, you may need to provide proof of your identity. We presume that you are able to make your own decisions about your personal health information.  

If you are requesting the PHI of another individual, we will get consent from the patient. If the patient cannot make their own decisions, the law tells us who can make decisions for them. You may be asked to provide documentation (i.e. Power of Attorney for Personal Care) to support your role as Substitute Decision-Maker. 

If you are requesting the PHI of a deceased individual, you need to provide proof that you are responsible for the individual’s estate (i.e. certificate of the Estate Trustee and/or Last Will and Testament). 

Step 3 – Learn about fees that may apply 

The following fees may be applied to your request for personal health information and payment may be required before the records are released. If fees apply, you will be provided with an estimate before we proceed with processing your request. 

Flat fee that includes any or all of the following:
Receipt and clarification of the request

Providing a fee estimate

Locating and retrieving the records

Reviewing the contents of the records (first 15 minutes)

Preparation of a response letter

Preparation of the records for copying, printing or electronic transmission

Photocopying or printing of the first 20 pages

Packaging the records for shipping or faxing a printed copy
Additional fees may include:
Photocopying and Computer Printouts$0.25 per page (after the first 20 pages)
Making of providing a paper copy of a record from microfilm or microfiche $0.50 per page
For making and providing a floppy disk, compact disk or USB containing a copy of records stored in electronic form $10.00
Printing a photograph $10.00 to $32.00 (depending on the size of the print)
Review of the records to determine if they contain personal health information to which access or disclosure may or shall be refused $45.00 for every 15 minutes after the first 15 minutes

Step 4 – Submit your request 

  1. Download and print the form.
  1. Complete the form in its entirety. Be as specific as possible when describing the records you are looking for (i.e. a specific document, all documents from a specific date or time period, all documents of a certain type, the full record, etc.).   

If you require any specific accommodations with respect to the release of information (i.e. specific format), please indicate this on the form or contact us directly to discuss your needs. 

If you need help completing the request form, please contact us. 

  1. If fees apply but you would like to request a waiver, you must provide a written request to have some or all of the fees waived. Your statement must explain how paying the fees will cause you financial hardship.  Submit this request along with your request form.   
  1. Either drop off, fax, email or mail us the request form using the contact information noted on the form. 

How we respond to your request  

With very few exceptions, we will respond to you within 30 days from the date we receive your request.  

We will share our decision with you in a letter.  If applicable, the letter will describe your right to appeal our decision and how to initiate an appeal should you wish to do so. 

If fees apply, your contact will inform you if advanced payment is required, or if you will be invoiced.  

We will release the personal health information to you or your designate (e.g. family member or friend) in person, via courier or through a secured electronic method. Ontario Health atHome is committed to making your information accessible to you. If you need us to provide your records in an alternate format please let us know.