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Accessing your Medical Records


Can I access my Medical Record?
In Alberta, your Medical Record belongs to the healthcare providers or institution that create and maintain it. If you've lived in many communities, or have visited many different physicians and clinics, you will likely have a number of different Medical Records. Even though you do not own your Medical Record(s), the law governing health information in Alberta (the Health Information Act) grants you the right to access and even to copy your records under reasonable circumstancesHIA s.7. You can also request for the custodian of your Medical Record(s) to release your information into the custody of another individual or organization, like a family member, or an insurance agency. For more information on the legal aspects of Medical Records, review this helpful resource prepared by the Calgary Legal Guidance organization:

To request the disclosure of your WBPCN Medical Record, please download and complete the form below. Please note, however, that depending on your circumstances, additional documentation may be required. Before submitting a request, we strongly recommend that you review the frequently asked questions below, as incomplete or incorrect requests will be declined and will require resubmission.

I want to speak to someone directly, who can I contact at the WBPCN?
The Wood Buffalo PCN has a Privacy Officer who is responsible for protecting confidential information, and for making sure that patient's rights to access their medical records are respected. This is a legal requirement under the HIAHIA s.62, and all WBPCN patients are welcome to contact the Privacy Officer with any questions, concerns, or requests. Please call us at 780-714-2193, or email

How do I access or get a copy of my Medical Record?
To access or get a copy of your Medical Record, you need to send a formal request to whichever clinic or physician protects the specific records that you are looking for. Requests must be submitted in writing, via fax, mail, or emailHIA s.8(1)(b).

If you are trying to compile a full history of all of your medical records, you may need to submit many requests; for example, to a Family Physician, to a Walk-in Clinic you have visited in the past, and to a Hospital you may have previously been admitted to. At the bottom of this document, we have linked to a number of resources with information on how to request records from other organizations and facilities.

What can the WBPCN provide access to?
The Wood Buffalo PCN can only provide access to Medical Records in its custody. We can provide access to the Medical Records stored in the Wood Buffalo PCN - Central Clinic (in the Syncrude Sport & Wellness Center), or in the custody of the Wood Buffalo PCN - After Hours Clinic. If you are looking for records created or stored in other clinics, you will need to contact them directly.

What information does the WBPCN not have?
The WBPPCN does not have access to Medical Records in the custody of Family Practice Clinics, the Hospital, or any clinics and services administered by Alberta Health Services like 'Public Health'.

My Physician just gave me a copy of some of my records during my last visit, why do I have to submit a formal request to the WBPCN to access my records?
Physicians will regularly provide patients with, for example a sheet with their most recent lab results, for purposes of education and to encourage effective self-management of certain conditions. These are point-of-care disclosures, and can occur during a visit at the discretion of your physician. The disclosure of an entire record, however, is a very different situation, and can require a significant time to prepare and review compared to the printing of your latest results, as we will need to review your records to determine if there are any files which we cannot legally disclose HIA s.11.

I need my records sent to my new healthcare providers, do I have to complete a form for that?
No, not necessarily! Actually, the HIA allows us to disclose your medical records to other healthcare providers who are responsible for providing you with continuing care and treatmentHIA s.35(1)(b). Ask your new clinic or care provider if they can send us a fax to inform us that you're their patient (After Hours Clinic Fax: 780-743-3901, Central Clinic Fax: 780-714-6091), and we will be happy to coordinate with them directly to transfer your records.

How long will it take to have my files released?
Under the Health Information Act, custodians of health information have a legal duty to assistant applicants seeking access to their medical records, and have up to 30 days to respondHIA s.12(1). While that is our legally-mandated guarantee, our turnaround times tend to be significantly shorter than that. To help us to respond to your request as quickly as possible, please be sure to be as detailed as possible in your request, and to ensure that your documents are completed as accurately as possible.

A warning about documentation
To protect the privacy and security of our patients' confidential information, we are very strict about following every requirement and detail of Alberta's Health Information Act when responding to requests for access to health information in our custody. Health Information laws are not the same in every province of Canada; unfortunately, we have had to reject many requests for information from patients, insurance agencies, and other organizations outside of Alberta due to documentation that does not follow the safeguards outlined in Albertan law - for example, even if you submit a disclosure consent form, unless it satisfies the HIA's requirements, we will not be able to proceedHIA s.34(2). If we receive documentation that does not satisfy the requirements of the HIA, we will reject the request and ask that you please resubmit with an appropriate form. Our own forms are available on this page for your convenience. When in doubt, download one of our forms, or contact us directly to speak with our Privacy Officer if you have any concerns.

Online Resources: