💡 Managing your personal health as a remote worker in BC
3 min read

💡 Managing your personal health as a remote worker in BC

Illustration showing two health practitioners chatting, in what looks like a medical setting.

I work remotely, and have done so for several years. In my experience, remote workers often use their mobility to access more varied services. Possibly the biggest thing this has an impact on, is healthcare. You may have used more than one dental practice or drop-in clinic over the past few years.

A remote worker is more free to seek services from different hospitals and clinics, not just the ones close to home or office.

Considering that a many people don't have a family doctor, and instead seek services from drop-in clinics, the number of us who have health records scattered across different service providers is likely many more than only those of us who work remotely.

So when we go to one drop-in clinic, they don't have access to our case history from another clinic. A nurse or doctor trying to help us doesn't have important context that they could use to improve the level of care.

So it falls to us to collect and manage our own records so that we can share, reference, and answer their questions about our health history accurately.

Public healthcare providers

In many cases, the British Columbia's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Sources: 1) allows us to get copies of our health records. BC's health authorities have resources that make it easy to request copies.

For example, Vancouver Coastal Health has a form and mailing addresses (http://www.vch.ca/your-care/request-health-records) for VGH, Lions Gate Hospital, UBC, and so on. Providence Healthcare has the same resources (https://www.providencehealthcare.org/health-services/additional-services/patient-records) for St. Pauls and their network.

All it takes is to mail in or drop off a form, and your records will be ready in 30 business days. And if you pick it up yourself, there's no cost.

Your experience with private providers will vary. Some are very helpful, whether or not they already have a defined process for handling your request.

Private providers, especially new or smaller ones, are generally less aware of privacy laws and security practices. Be sure to not accept an offer transfer you records via email. Ask for a secure download link or a paper copy. If you're a healthcare provider yourself, use the guide below to send files safely.

☕️ Step-by-step: Safely send files and text using Bitwarden Send
We’ll walk you through each step of securely sending a file using Bitwarden Send.

Dental providers

All practising dentists in BC are regulated by the College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia. Page 14 of their Dental Recordkeeping Guidelines state:

"Patients have the right by law to access a copy of their complete dental record and dentists are obligated by law to provide copies of what the patient has requested, including radiographs, study models, photographs and other items. If the patient moves to a different dental practice, records should be transferred within one to two weeks to the new practitioner. If the new dentist requests records electronically, they may be provided in that format." (Source: 2)

Meta

Sources

  1. https://www.bclaws.gov.bc.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/96165_00
  2. https://www.cdsbc.org/CDSBCPublicLibrary/Dental-Recordkeeping-Guidelines.pdf
Manil is the editor of Majorcord. He's previously worked with remote-only teams (like InVisionApp) and remote-friendly companies like UBC and Digitalist. This piece was published for majorcord.com's new series, WFH tips. You can find more of his writing at manil.space.