Accurate and complete dental records are vital In order to provide optimal care and continuity and to ensure patients get proper care when they need to see multiple providers. Dental clinics in Montreal and around the country are keepers of patients’ sensitive personal information. So what are your rights as a patient when it comes to your dental records? A dentist in Westmount explains.
Your Legal Rights as a Patient
Because dentists require patients to provide private and accurate details regarding their health, dental clinics and other health care providers are obligated to protect the security and confidentiality of this information. Although original dental records are the property of your dentist or dental clinic, you have a legal right to control the dissemination of the information therein. You must be informed before the release of information, which must be for a specific reason or singular event.
You must also be given an opportunity to review the information requested before it can be released to a third party, and you are entitled to examine and copy records for your own use. You are permitted to withdraw prior consent and records can only be shared with your written consent. Records cannot be used for any other purpose than the specific use that’s requested.
Responsibility to Inform
Dental health care providers have a responsibility to inform patients of how sensitive information is handled and how their privacy is protected. Some dental clinics have broad consents records that allow them to release information beyond the scope of a specific condition or situation. Patients are often unaware of the information third parties may have access to according to the consent to release of information they have signed. That’s why it’s vital to thoroughly read all consent documents before signing.
When a third party such as a government agency or insurance company has your permission to obtain records for financial audits, unrelated information such as health history and other personal details should be removed from copies of the records. No third party can demand access to any dental records without written consent by the patient, legal statute or court order.
If you have questions about your dental records and how sensitive information may be shared, contact your Westmount dental clinic in Montreal.