Accessing your Medical Records

Frequently Asked Questions


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 circumstances. 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. Click HERE for more information on the legal aspects of Medical Records (from the Calgary Legal Guidance organization).

Click HERE for more information on The Health Information Act of Alberta.

To request the disclosure of your WB PCN medical record, please call The Wood Buffalo Primary Care Network at 780-714-2193.

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 HIA, and all WB PCN patients are welcome to contact the Privacy Officer with any questions, concerns, or requests. Please call us at 780-714-2193, or email info@wbpcn.ca.

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.

What can the WB PCN 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 or 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 Wood Buffalo PCN not have?
The WB PCN 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, such as 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 WB PCN 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.

I need my records sent to my new healthcare providers, do I have to complete a form for that?
Not necessarily. The HIA allows us to disclose your medical records to other healthcare providers who are responsible for providing you with continuing care and treatment. Ask your new clinic or care provider if they can contact us to inform us that you're their patient (780-714-2193), 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 assist applicants seeking access to their medical records, and have up to 30 days to respond. While that is our legally-mandated guarantee, our turnaround times tend to be significantly shorter than that.

More Information

Click HERE for Alberta Health Services (AHS) Access & Disclosure information.

Click HERE for more information on The Health Information Act of Alberta.

Click HERE for information on how to make an access request with the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta (OIPC): The OIPC performs legislative and regulatory responsibilities under Alberta's Information Access and Privacy Acts. They ensure that public bodies and healthcare providers uphold their information management responsibilities under Alberta law. If you have concerns, you can contact them directly at 780-422-6860