Issue 1: March 2023
New Standard Regarding Managing Medical Records: What Physicians Need to Know
All physicians, irrespective of practice setting, must take reasonable steps to ensure there is a process in place establishing reasonable and enduring access for patients to their charts.
Whether in paper or electronic form, from the moment a patient record is created, the physician has a responsibility to ensure it is appropriately stored, secured, and maintained.
Irrespective of practice setting, all physicians must take reasonable steps to ensure they have a process in place establishing reasonable and enduring access for patients to their charts.
While physicians own medical records, patients have a right to access their medical records. This right endures after the physician-patient relationship ends, regardless of whether the ending is planned or unexpected. A patient’s enduring right to access their own medical record is limited to the length of time when records are required to be retained by their physician.
Physicians in group practices must have agreements in place to ensure the enduring right of patients to access their charts in the event the practice closes or their physician leaves the practice. An Information Sharing Agreement template has been included in the College’s Professional Standard Regarding the Management of Medical Records.
Physicians may wish to refer to resources provided by the Canadian Medical Protective Association which include: