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Information Privacy Office

Protecting your privacy

Everyone treated at one of our facilities has a health record. These records contain documents such as reports from care providers, test results and pharmacy information.

All of your records are kept strictly confidential. Protecting your privacy is our priority.

We collect, use and disclose your information only where permitted or authorized to under the BC Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.


Learn more about how we protect your privacy

Who can access my information?

Our staff, physicians and other authorized individuals collect, use and share your personal information to deliver health services.

They may use and share your information for the following purposes:

  • For your immediate and ongoing care
  • To help improve your quality of care and services
  • For research purposes, if authorized and permitted by law
  • For teaching and education purposes (e.g. training doctors and nurses)
  • To understand your eligibility for benefits and services and to arrange payment
  • To create an electronic patient and or client record

Your personal information may also be disclosed to other authorized individuals as required by law (e.g. to respond to a court order) or under a specific statute (e.g. the Coroner’s Act and Adult Guardianship Act).

To our patients and clients

Patients and clients collection of personal information

Below is an example of the poster which you should find displayed in all Northern Health facilities at each intake area. These posters ensure the public are aware of Northern Health’s commitment to protecting their privacy.

How is my information shared?

We use electronic records to share information efficiently and improve the quality of care we deliver.

We record your information in our electronic clinical systems and use a shared electronic health record, CareConnect, to provide a single point of access for patient medical information.

We also have access to patient identifiers in the Ministry of Health’s Electronic Master Patient Index, which we use to confirm your identity and for audit purposes.

Learn more about how we care for your information

Is my information secure?

We use a variety of safeguards to protect your electronic information including encryption, passwords and access audits. The more sensitive the information, the more protected it is.

The E-Health (Personal Health Information Access and Protection of Privacy) Act is legislation that covers designated Health Information Banks. Under this legislation, we may only collect, use, or disclose your personal information for specific purposes as designated. Learn more about eHealth.

If you have further questions about your personal information at Northern Health Authority, contact the Information Privacy Office; or to request access to your health records, contact the Health Records department at the location where you were treated.

What if I don’t want others to know I am in one of your facilities?

It is standard practice to tell people who phone to ask about you for us to confirm you have been admitted to one of our facilities. If you don’t want this information to be released, let a staff member know and they will make a note on your file saying not to release any information about you.

Client notification for the use of digital communications

Digital communications can be a convenient way to communicate with your care team between visits, but there are risks when using these technologies to send personal information.

How do I request my health records?

Call one of the the facilities in your area for more information or fill out an Authorization for Disclosure of Clinical Record Information form and send it to the location where you were treated.

Can't find the number you need?

Contact Health Records Services at the location you were treated and ask for the Release of Information Department

Is there a fee?

Normally you do not need to pay for a copy of your health record defined as standard processing. However, there may be a fee if special processing services are needed. If you are requesting non-health or corporate records a fee will apply accordingly. A letter will be sent to you in advance outlining the charges. Payments for requests of less than $200 must be made in advance. If the estimate exceeds $200, applicants may be requested to make a 50% deposit. GST does not apply. Applicants levied a fee under s.75 of the Act are entitled to appeal the initial fee to the health authority. The health authority maintains the right to waive, reduce or continue with the levied fees.

When can I expect a response?

You will receive a response within 30 business days from the date we receive your written request. If we need to consult with others or if we have a large volume of records to review, the time may be extended, as permitted under the BC Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

If you are not satisfied with the response you receive or you have any questions or concerns about your privacy, contact the Information Privacy Office. If you would like to apply for a review, you may contact the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for BC.

Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for BC
PO Box 9038 Stn. Prov. Govt.
Victoria, BC V8W 9A4
Phone: 250-387-5629
Fax: 250-387-1696

If you have any questions or concerns about your privacy, contact the Information Privacy Office.