Patients admitted to RVH will be allowed one visitor, once a week, for one hour during specific, pre-booked times. Click here for COVID-19 Information.

At RVH, we recognize that the health information of our patients deserves to be treated with respect and sensitivity and our patients’ privacy must be protected. 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. When it comes to collecting and using your personal health information, RVH takes measures to ensure the privacy and confidentiality of the information is protected.

Contact us

For more information about privacy at RVH contact us:

Phone: 705-728-9090 Ext. 42537

Collecting Your Personal Health Information

When you receive care at RVH, we collect personal information about you. Information that we collect may include your name, date of birth, address, health history, records of your visit and the care that you received.

Collecting Your Personal Health Information

When you receive care at RVH, we collect personal information about you. Information that we collect may include your name, date of birth, address, health history, records of your visit and the care that you received.

We will collect your information directly from you or someone with the legal authority to consent for you. We will only collect as much information as is necessary to meet the purpose of the collection.

  • To treat and care for you
  • Maintain a record of your care
  • Obtain payment for your treatment (i.e. OHIP, WSIB)
  • Conduct risk management activities (i.e. patient safety audits)
  • Improve the quality  of hospital services (i.e. post care surveys)
  • To support RVH’s research and educational programs
  • Comply with legal and regulatory requirements

  • Your next of kin or a legal representative of your choosing
  • Other healthcare providers involved in your circle of care (i.e. family physician)
  • Health regulatory agencies (i.e. Ministry of Health)
  • Public authorities (i.e. the local health unit)

  • Visitors or callers so they can locate you in the hospital. If you do not want RVH to tell visitors or callers that you are in the hospital, let us know when you are registered and share this with your health care team.
  • Connect you with a religious or spiritual advisor from the community who may visit you in the hospital. If you do not want this service, please tell us when you are registered.
  • Share your information with the RVH Foundation. If you do not want to be contacted for fundraising after you leave the hospital, please let us know when you are registered or you may also call 705-739-5600.
  • For more information, please contact the RVH Privacy Office at 705-728-9090 ext. 42537 or

Frequently Asked Questions for Patients

RVH uses your information for the delivery of direct patient care, administration of the health care system, research, teaching, statistics, fundraising, and to meet legal and regulatory requirements.
Examples of potential uses include:

To identify your record quickly and accurately each time you visit the hospital.

To provide the most appropriate treatment. Your visit to the hospital may include a number of assessments and treatments. All of this information is recorded in your chart and made available to those involved in your care. RVH keeps a history of your health information for your future care.

To comply with legal and regulatory requirements. For example, we collect your health information because it is required to fund health care services.

To improve the quality and efficiency with which we provide health care services.

To support RVH’s research programs. Researchers working on approved studies can have access to health information, provided that consent and privacy issues have been addressed.

To support RVH’s educational activities. Health information is available for teaching purposes with measures taken to protect privacy and confidentiality.

To share your contact information with the RVH Foundation. Our Foundation works to support excellence in healthcare by raising funds for medical research, medical education and the improvement of patient care. Telephone (705) 739-5600 if you do not wish to be contacted.

RVH is required to disclose patient information to several other organizations. This includes the Ministry of Health, The Canadian Institute for Health Information, Public Health and Cancer Care Ontario. Information may also be disclosed to other physicians directly involved in your care. RVH places appropriate safeguards on the transmission of all information disclosed to other organizations and seeks to ensure that health information protection measures are in place and in accordance with the Ontario Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA).

RVH does not sell patient information.

RVH requires patient consent, or a court order to disclose health information to any organization or person not directly involved with the provision of patient care. RVH will ensure that proper controls are in place to only disclose what is required.

You have a right to access your personal health information, and RVH has an obligation to make it available to you, with limited exceptions. Exceptions are made if releasing your information would put yourself or a third party at risk, in which RVH may choose not to disclose some, or all of that information.

When you are a patient at RVH, you should ask your healthcare provider for information that you want to know. If your request is voluminous or substantial, or not covered by the information available to the attending healthcare provider, you will need to contact Release of Information to obtain or view your RVH patient record. Please allow a reasonable amount of time for RVH to locate your record.

Release of Information will ask you complete a Request Access Form, present the proper identification and prepay an access fee in order for you to access your chart. You may access your own personal information however you may not access third party information, information about individuals other than yourself that may be in your patient chart.  Click here for more information on requesting access to health records and associated fees. 

Although you have the right to access your records, this right does not automatically extend to family members and/or friends. If you consent to let a friend or family member see your records, then the friend/family member may access the part(s) that you have consented to let them see.  Your consent will be documented in your record by your healthcare providers.

Only RVH staff involved in your care may access your patient record. All RVH staff are bound by a strict confidentiality agreement, which is signed as a condition of employment. This agreement seeks to ensure staff only access information on a need to know basis.

If required, RVH will release information to your family physician to support your care.

No, health information is not publicly available on the Internet. RVH may use the Internet to transfer unidentifiable health information securely through the e-mail system. These systems are secured by a combination of authentication and encryption.

There are three components to protecting patient information at RVH:

Administrative Safeguards: The RVH Privacy Policies govern the manner in which all RVH care providers and other employees manage patient information. Furthermore, all RVH employees must sign a confidentiality agreement as a condition of employment.

Physical Safeguards: RVH has a number of physical safeguards which range from locked doors to staff wearing photo identification to identify themselves as RVH employees.

Technical Safeguards: RVH’s technical department upgrades the security capabilities of the patient information system on an ongoing basis. We have implemented role based access controls to ensure staff only may access information on a need to know basis. The RVH patient information system also uses passwords to protect the system from inappropriate accesses from within and a firewall to protect our system from users on the Internet.

When you call RVH, staff have no way to verify that you are who you say you are. Therefore, in order to protect patient privacy, only a minimal amount of information is given out over the phone.

In general, patient records are kept for 10 years past the date of last admission. For the purpose of research, some patient groups’ medical records are kept for longer. A core record of your care at RVH is maintained in the Health Records Department. Many departments within RVH, including Imaging Services, Mental Health Support Services and some of the clinics you may visit also maintain an additional record of your personal health information.