File retention requirements across Canada

As rehab practitioners, there is a requirement to act as a health information custodian, over the personal health information that is collected in accordance with the services that are delivered to any client. Good client record-keeping is an important topic with many facets to the responsibilities that come with being a custodian/steward over this information. One of these is file retention.

 

As you can review in the Therabyte Terms of Service, Therabyte acts as the container for practitioners to hold that information (like what a filing cabinet would be to a paper file). The practitioner is always the custodian and each active Therabyte account is required to have a personal health information custodian who looks over a client’s personal health information (PHI). We have pulled together some resources for you as a quick at-a-glance view of the requirements for file retention across Canada for various professions.

 

DISCLAIMER: The list below is a guide to the different file retention requirements per profession and region. This content is NOT legal advice and should be reviewed prior to use. The information is also only as accurate as of the date it was collected, May 24, 2022. Direct links are provided below to the official websites and sources for the data collected.

 

Occupational Therapists

Province Source(s) Image # of years
British Columbia COTBC and Retention and Destruction of the Occupational Therapy Record “16 years from the date of last entry … (or) the date 16 years after the day…the client reached … 19 years old whichever is later.”
Alberta ACOT and Practice Guideline Standards for Documentation “11 years and 3 months after the last date of service…. If the client was a minor,… 11 years and 3 months after the date on which the client turns 18.”
Saskatchewan SSOT and Document Standards and Guidelines “A minimum of 3 years after the conclusion of client treatment or 3 years after the client reaches the age of majority, whichever is longer.”
Ontario COTO and Standards of Record Keeping “10 years from the later of the date of the last entry in the record or the date 10 years after the day on which the client reached…18 yrs old.”
Nova Scotia COTNS and Practice Standard: Recording Keeping “20 years from the last entry in the record or 20 years after the day on which the client reached…19 years of age.”
Quebec OEQ and Regulation respecting the keeping of records and consulting rooms and the cessation of practice  Information not adequately represented for reposting. View source links for further information.

 

 

Speech-Language Pathologists

Province Source(s) Image # of years
British Columbia CSHBC and documentation and records management “16 years from the date of last entry … (or) the date 16 years after the day…the client reached … 19 years old whichever is later.”  **disability – indefinitely
Alberta ACSLPA and Documentation and Information Management “11 years and 3 months after the last date of service…. If the client was a minor,… 11 years and 3 months after the date on which the client turns 18.” “Records for “persons with disability” are retained for 3 years and 3 months after the individual’s death.”
Saskatchewan SASLPA and Documentation and Record Management Guidelines  “A minimum of 10 years from the date of last discharge or until age 19…, whichever period is longer”
Ontario CASLPO and Record and signing records “10 years from the later of the date of last contact. Period of at least 10 years following the date at which they would have become 18 years of age.”
Nova Scotia AQOA Information is not adequately represented for reposting. View source links for further information.
Quebec NSCASLP Information is not adequately represented for reposting. View source links for further information.

 

 

Psychologists

Province Source(s) Image # of years
British Columbia College of Psychologists BC and code of conduct  Information not adequately represented for reposting. View source links for further information.
Alberta College of Alberta Psychologist and Standards of Practice “When the client is an adult, not less than 10 years…” “When the client is a minor,…2 years after the date the client reaches the age of majority or 10 years after the last date…of service…whichever is longer.”
Saskatchewan Saskatchewan College of Psychologists and Professional practice guidelines “…not less than seven years after the last date that services were rendered or in the case of a minor not less than seven years after they reach the age of majority (18 years).”
Ontario College of Psychologists of Ontario and Standards of professional conduct “Ten years following the client’s last relevant clinical contact; or if the client was less than 18 years of age…ten years following the day the client became…eighteen.”
Nova Scotia NSBEP  Information not adequately represented for reposting. View source links for further information.
Quebec Ordre des Psychologues du Québec Information not adequately represented for reposting. View source links for further information.

 

**If you have questions, concerns, or would like to add to the information contained in this article, please contact team@therabyte.ca   To support practitioners in their various phases of clinical private practice. Therabyte offers a storage plan (read-only) for $5/month to support best practices of file retention as noted in this article.   Reach out to our team at support@therabyte.ca if you have any questions about file retention and the transition to a storage plan.

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