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  • Writer's pictureJennifer La Grassa

Why Having a Copy of Your Medical Record is Essential: Insights from Medical Experts

Updated: Mar 3

CBC News · Posted: Nov 15, 2023 4:00 AM EST

Experts say patients will feel more informed, empowered in their care

Experts say patients should have a copy of their medical records, but they acknowledge there are still many barriers to getting this information into the hands of people. (Chris Ensing/CBC)

As cyberattacks become more common in the health-care sector, experts say Canadians should have a copy of their medical records.


In this digital age, experts argue that having a copy of health records gives patients more control and authority over their care — particularly if those records become inaccessible to health-care providers.


"We should have immediate, easy, digital access to it so that we are informed of what's going on in our own health and in our own lives," Tracie Risling, member and past president of the Canadian Nursing Informatics Association. 

"I think it helps patients to feel more empowered in their own care."


Five southwestern Ontario hospitals impacted by a ransomware attack last month are still trying to recover their systems — a process that is expected to take until mid-December. But with systems down, some patient procedures and treatments have been stalled. 

In a joint statement last week, the hospitals said that while systems are down, doctors might not have access to a patient's past records or medical history, a person's current list of medications or reports from other clinicians involved in their treatment. 


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