Protecting Patient Privacy

Protecting patient privacy is an important part of the patient experience at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton. We recognize that visiting a hospital as a patient is often an anxious time. Access to your personal health information is available to those who need to know to provide care, including: physicians, nurses, technicians, therapists and other health professionals. This is essential in providing you with the best possible care.

In the collection and use of your personal health information, we take measures to ensure the privacy of the information is protected and confidentiality is maintained. St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton’s privacy program regulates how we collect, use, disclose, retain, dispose of and protect your personal health information. Please review our Statement of Information Practices for an overview of how we manage your personal health information

Health Records (Health Information Management) Contact Information, click here

  • St. Joseph’s Healthcare, Hamilton, Health Records Departments manage the collection, storage, retention and access to your personal health information  record for patient care, research, planning and quality/risk management.
  • The Health Records Release of Information Specialist is educated and trained to handle inquires and process requests for access, correction and/or release copies of your personal health information record, in accordance with current legislation. 
  • We have a responsibility to communicate to your family physician, so that he/she may coordinate your care. St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton advises your family physician of your admission and discharge.  SJHH sends information to your family physician that is listed in your health record, for example, your inpatient discharge summary or Emergency or Urgent Care records.  This is to facilitate your continuing care.  SJHH will provide additional information to your family physician if requested or unless you tell us otherwise. There is no fee for information given to other health care facilities or physician, under the Circle of Care.

Access to Personal Health Information:

Provincial legislation provides access to one’s own personal health record, and St Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton has an obligation to make it available to you, with limited exceptions. Exceptions are made if releasing your information would put you, your treatment or a third party at risk.  

Requesting copies/viewing your personal health

If you are a patient of St. Joseph’s Healthcare, you may request a copy of your personal health record for personal, legal or insurance use or request to view your personal health record.

  • Submit a dated, written and signed request to Health Records at the hospital campus where you were a patient.
  • A Request for Access to Personal Information form is provided for your convenience.
  • Completed form or written request will require a signature of patient, Substitute Decision Maker or legal representative and  date (within 90 days of request)
  • You can print, mail or fax the completed form to the appropriate hospital site
  • See below Release of Information, Contact Information, Hours of Operation
  • Charges apply to requests for copies/viewing.  You will be notified of the applicable fee and will be required to submit the payment prior to processing your request. 

Click here for fee schedule.

Diagnostic Imaging:   Requesting access to Diagnostic Imaging records

Correction of your personal health record

Upon request, you have a right to correct your own personal health record.   Please contact the hospital site at the location of your treatment. PHIPA s55. (8)(9)(10)(11)(12)(13)

Click here for form

Response Time for Access and Correction Requests

In accordance with the “Personal Health Information Protection Act” PHIPA, St. Joseph’s Healthcare has up to 30 days to respond to your request. S54. (2).

Requesting records for patients who are incapable/incompetent

If the patient is deemed incapable to give consent for access, use and/or disclosure of health information, the consent decision falls to the appointed substitute decision maker, such as a Guardian, Power of Attorney, Spouse, Parent, or the Public Guardian and Trustee.  Proof of legal signing authority must be provided to Health Records with the written /signed request for patient information.

Requesting Birth Information

If you want birth information for yourself or your child (i.e.: proof of birth, time of birth) please include mother’s name, mother’s date of birth and child’s date of birth.  Health Records will issue you a “Proof of Birth” letter, stating:  baby boy/girl was born at the hospital, date born, Mother’s name, and delivering Physician’s name. (Applicable charges apply) Click here for fee schedule.

Health Record does not issue birth certificates.  St. Joseph's Healthcare does not keep nor have access to official birth certificates. Letters may be provided as proof of birth that your child was born at St. Joseph's Healthcare. This information may be used to apply for your official birth certificate or travelling out of country if your official birth certificate has not arrived.  Application for birth certificate can be made by calling the Office of the Registrar General, Thunder Bay, ON, toll free at 1-800-461-2156, or by applying online at www.servicecanada.gc.ca

Requesting Records for Expired Patients

For patients who are deceased, proof of trustee/executor of the estate (first and last page of will), or legal signing authority, must be submitted along with your written/signed consent. Copies of medical death certificate cannot be provided, in compliance with the “Vital Statistics Act”.

Health Records will issue you a “Proof of Death” letter, stating date of death, name of responsible physician, hospital location (applicable charges apply).  This information can be used to apply for a Medical Certificate of Death.  Application can be made by calling the Office of the Registrar General, Thunder Bay, ON, toll free at 1-800-461-2156, or by applying online at www.servicecanada.gc.ca

Reaching patients while they are admitted

Your family or friends may call and request information on your location in hospital.  If you do not want this information given out, please tell the registration staff at the time you are being registered for admission.

Information Desk Hours of Operation:

Monday-Friday 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday 1 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Information Desk Contact Information

905-522-1155 Ext. 33221

Insurance Companies or lawyer requiring a patient record

The Release of Information staffs require a written request stating what is needed, on whom and contain the patient’s full name, D.O.B, and area of treatment.  Include with the request an original signed Authorization (valid for 90 days from the date of signing) of the patient/ client or the substitute decision maker with the paperwork proving such.  A prepayment is required at the time of your initial request. Click here for fee schedule.

Related Links:

Access Form
Correction Form
Diagnostic Imaging Fee Schedule
Fee Schedules 
Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA)  
Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario

Other Acts

Public Hospitals Act
Vital Statistics Act
Mental Health Act
Coroner’s Act
Health Care Consent Act

Contact Us

Privacy Office Contact Information

If you have any questions or concerns about how we collect and share your personal or health information contact:

Privacy Office:

Telephone: 905-522-1155 Ext. 35088
Email: privacy@stjoes.ca 
Facsimile:   905-308-7211

Mailing Address:  

St. Joseph’s Healthcare
Privacy Office
50 Charlton Ave. E
Hamilton, ON    L8N 4A6

Health Records Contact Information

For more information on St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton's release of information procedures and policies, contact the Health Records Department at:

Charlton Campus

West 5th Campus

King Campus

50 Charlton Avenue East
Hamilton, Ontario  L8N 4A6
Phone: (905) 522-1155 Ext. 33417
Fax: (905) 521-6096

Email:relinfo@stjoes.ca

 

100 West 5th Street
Hamilton, Ontario
P.O. Box 585  L8N 3K7
Phone: (905) 522-1155 Ext. 35504
Fax: (905) 381-5614

Email:relinfo@stjoes.ca

2757 King Street East
Hamilton, Ontario  L8G 5E4
Phone: (905) 522-1155 Ext. 38207
Fax: (905) 573-4825

Email:relinfo@stjoes.ca