Health Records

Health Records

Health Records oversees the collection, processing, storage, and retention of patients’ health records after a visit to GBGH. We respect and maintain the confidentiality of every patient’s personal health information and its custody according to government legislation and health centre policies.

Note: GBGH may only maintain some of your records. Please be sure to bring your Health Card and/or valid personal identification and debit/credit card for applicable payments.

Accessing a Health Record

Collection, use, access and/or disclosure of personal health information is governed by Ontario law (Personal Health Information Protection Act 2004). You have a right, by law, to access your own hospital health record either by viewing or requesting a copy. There is no charge to send copies of a health record to another physician or health care provider under the circle of care.

Obtaining a Copy of your Health Record or the Health Record of Another Individual

Consent for the collection, use and/or disclosure of personal health information is obtained from the patient, regardless of age, if the patient is capable of understanding the information presented to them, and the impact of consenting or declining. If the patient is not capable, consent is obtained from the Substitute Decision Maker who may be:

  • The individual’s (patient’s) guardian of the person or guardian of property
  • The individual’s attorney for personal care or attorney for property
  • The individual’s representative appointed by the Consent and Capacity Board
  • The individual’s spouse or partner
  • A child or parent of the individual
  • A parent of the individual with only a right of access
  • A brother or sister; or
  • Any other relative.

In the case of a conflict, the capable patient’s decision prevails with respect to consent for the collection, use and/or disclosure of their personal health information.

You can obtain a copy of your own hospital health record by submitting a request form to the Health Records department by fax: 705-526-4491. Please click here to download a copy of the request form, which includes instructions on submitting the request.

Obtaining a Copy of the Heath Record of a Deceased Individual

If you are requesting a copy of the hospital record of a patient who is deceased, you must submit proof of your legal signing authority, as well as an authorization form to the Health Records department.

You must provide either:

  • A copy of the deceased person’s Will naming you as the Executor or,
  • In the absence of a Will, a letter notarized by a lawyer to confirm your legal signing authority
  • The hospital does not issue Death Certificates. A Medical Certificate of Death is completed by the hospital and is sent to the funeral home with the deceased. A Statement of Death is completed at the funeral home and the death is registered with the Office of the Registrar General. To obtain a Death Certificate, please contact the Office of the Registrar General at 1-800-461-2156 or through the Ministry of Health website.

Birth / Death Record / Certificates

To ensure your child’s birth is registered, the hospital staff will provide you with the necessary documentation at the time of birth.

To obtain Birth/Death Certificates please contact the Office of the Registrar General Online Certificate. The application can be found here.

By Mail:
Office of the Registrar General
P.O. Box 4600
189 Red River Road, 3rd Floor, Thunder Bay, ON, P7B 6L8
Phone Number in Toronto416-325-8305
Toll-free Outside Toronto1-800-461-2156
Fax Number: (807) 343-7459

Obtaining a Copy of Your Heath Records for a Third Party

For your protection, a copy of a health record will not be released to third parties without your written authorization.

You can request that a copy of your hospital health record be released to a lawyer, insurance company, or any other third party specified by you, by having the third party submit a written request with your authorization to Release of Information.

Obtaining a Copy of the Heath Record for Other Healthcare Providers

When requested, copies of your health record may be released to healthcare providers outside the hospital to ensure the best continuing care for you. Your attending physician at the hospital may also share reports or summaries of your treatment at the hospital with other physicians and healthcare providers involved in your care to ensure they are aware of treatments or medications that may affect your ongoing care.

Errors in my Health Records

An individual who believes the information in their health record is incomplete or inaccurate may make a request to correct their record. Please click here to download GBGH’s Request for Corrections Form. For more information about the request for corrections process, please contact the Regional Privacy Office.

My Health Care

my health care is a secure, online patient portal that provides you, authorized friends, family members and caregivers access to your electronic health record from our partner hospitals, anywhere, at any time. Please click here for more information about my health care.