Confirm a Patient's Identity - ECR.02

Last updated on February 27, 2019

Definitive identification helps ensure clinical information is associated with the correct patient. Medical practices must safeguard their patient personal information by ensuring that individuals are who they say they are before accessing or disclosing any information.

Identifying a Patient

To identify a patient:

  1. Ask for their B.C. health card (i.e., B.C. Services Card or CareCard).
  2. If the patient does not have a B.C. Services Card, a second piece of trusted identity documentation (see below) should be requested to ensure the patient's name, birth date, and gender are correctly entered:
    • Birth Certificate
    • Canadian Citizenship ID Card
    • Canadian Forces ID Card
    • Canadian Record of Landing
    • Change of Name Document
    • Confirmation of Permanent Residence
    • Driver's License
    • Marriage Certificate
    • Native Status Card
    • Passport
    • Permanent Resident Card
    • Provincial Health Insurance Cards from other Canadian Provinces
  3. If the patient presents a B.C. health card, use the PHN to find them in the Client Registry. If you receive a notification that the patient does not exist, contact the Client Registry Administrator at:
  4. If the patient does not have a B.C. health card, search the Client Registry using the information from a trusted identity document. If the patient does not exist in the Client Registry (e.g., they are visiting from out-of-province and haven't received B.C. health services previously), assign them a PHN.

Fraudulent Use of PHN

Services may be declined if a person presents someone else's B.C. health card (i.e., B.C. Services Card or CareCard). Anyone having details of possible misuse of a B.C. health card is encouraged to notify Health Insurance BC (HIBC).