Updates to Patient Demographics - ECR.04

Last updated on February 27, 2019

Prior to changing a client's name, date of birth, or gender in the Client Registry, you must:

  • ensure you have selected the correct patient record, and
  • confirm the client's information by viewing trusted identity documentation

Making patient name corrections in the Client Registry without looking at trusted identity documents is only permitted when:

  • Name is obviously incomplete (e.g., replace an initial with the complete name)
  • Special characters have been omitted (e.g., O'Brien spelled Obrien)
  • Spelling of the name is incorrect (e.g., Smith spelled Smitg); or
  • Surname and first name are in reversed order

Declared and Documented Identities

'Declared' identity - is an identity that is captured when a client presents for a health care service. This identity may or may not be the same as the 'health care', but when sent from the PoS it will be stored as 'declared'.

'Documented' identity - is an identity that has been verified through the process of issuing of a B.C. Services Card. The name, date of birth, and gender fields for this type of identity will be stored and locked down in the Client Registry; and the client must be advised to contact ICBC or HIBC to make any necessary changes.

Note:  After viewing trusted documentation changes can be made to a declared identity.

‘Documented’ identity – is an identity that has been verified through the process of issuing of a BC Services Card. The name, date of birth, and gender fields for this type of identity will be stored and locked down in the Client Registry.

Note: If the client wants to make changes to their documented identity they must be advised to contact ICBC or HIBC to make any necessary changes.

Name Changes

Name changes must be substantiated by trusted identity documentation. It is important to record names accurately, as misspelling may cause mismatches and prevent correct linkages.

The following rules apply to name changes in the Client Registry:

  • A full legal name must always be used
    • Only using initials is not permitted, unless the patient's name is actually a one character name (e.g., J)
  • A two part given name should include a dash (-) or space
    • If the client indicates a hyphen, apostrophe, or space in their name it must be included
  • A two part surname (e.g., joining the surnames of spouses) may be done based on trusted identity documentation
    • Otherwise the patient must be advised to contact the Vital Statistics Agency for a legal name change
  • Titles (e.g., Mr., Dr., Jr., or Sr.) must not be submitted as part of a name unless supported by trusted identity documentation
  • A maiden name can be changed to a married name if substantiated by trusted identity documentation
    • It is good practice to tell patients to contact MSP to inform them of the name change so that a new B.C. health card will be issued
  • Aliases and nicknames must not be submitted, however, your POS application may provide separate fields for aliases or nicknames
  • Anonymous or unidentified clients (e.g., entered as John Doe in the PoS application) must not be submitted
    • Check with your vendor for information on how these names are handled in your POS application

Date of Birth Updates

Changes to a date of birth must be substantiated by trusted identity documentation.

  • Estimated date of birth must not be submitted
    • If the date of birth is unknown record it as 1800/01/01
  • Day of birth "01" may mean the patient was born on the first of the month or the Client Registry does not have a valid day of birth on file
    • A correction can be made to the day "01" without looking at trusted documents if the patient confirms the day is incorrect

Gender Changes

A patient's gender may be updated when:

  • If a client has not been issued a BC Services and therefore does not have a Documented identity on the Client Registry then the gender can be changed after viewing trusted documentation
  • The gender is returned as "U" (unknown)
    • In the rare instance that a client’s gender is not known, the gender may be recorded as “Unknown”
    • Note: if the gender is later determined ‘unknown’ can be changed to M or F
  • Gender X – BC Services Card
    • If a client does not wish to be identified as either M or F they can be identified as Gender X. An X will be printed on the BC Services Card however, a U will be stored as the documented gender within the Client Registry

Client Addresses

Addresses in the Client Registry must be permanent home addresses and must not include special characters. Temporary addresses may be stored in your POS application in a temporary address section, but must not be sent to the Client Registry.

Special Circumstances

In the following special circumstances record the patient's address as noted:

Child in Foster Care Record the foster family's permanent address.
Child in Temporary Care Record the parents address while the child is in care.
Client in Prison

Record the patient's last known physical address.

Note: It is acceptable to capture the prison address as the physical address.

Client in Residential Care Record the physical address of the residence for a person residing in a care facility (e.g., extended care, mental health).
Client under Care

Record the last known physical address for a person with a sensitive address (e.g., under the care of the Ministry of Social Development or the Ministry of Children and Families).

If the last known address is not known, follow the instructions under 'Unknown Address'.

Client with a Foreign Address

Record the patients foreign address as their permanent address.

Note: If the address includes a 'province' enter it on the last address line.

Client with an Unknown Address Record 'unknown address' in address line 1, and enter the city, province, and postal code of the physical address where service is being performed for a patient is not able to provide their last known physical address.

Canada Post Addressing Standards

The following list provides Canada Post Addressing Standards that users must adhere to in order to correctly send an address to Ministry systems.

Some of the rules refer to 'line 1' or 'line 2' which reflects the usual structure of a physical or mailing address. In most cases address 'line 1' will be used to enter the street address and address 'line 2' will be used for other designations (e.g., Rural Route or PO Box).

For clarity please review the rules and the examples given in the following section.

# Rule
Add. 1 Use these Canada Post Addressing standards when capturing a permanent physical or permanent mailing address.
Add. 2 Address line 1, the city and the province fields must be completed.
Add. 3 Do not use special characters such as # , : ; ( ) in the address fields.
Add. 4 Use - (dash) to connect apartment number to street number.
Add. 5

Many rural areas have a civic address and a "rural route" address.

In this case, the civic address must be captured in line 1 and the rural address in line 2.

Add. 6

The city and province must be in separate fields.

Add. 7 Use abbreviations for the street type and the province (i.e., use St not Street, Ave not Avenue, Rd not Road. Use BC, AB, SK etc. for the province).
Add. 8 Do not enter neighbourhood/municipality specific information in the address lines (e.g., for a Victoria address, do not add a municipality such as Oak Bay or a neighbourhood such as James Bay).
Add. 9 Victoria address, do not add a municipality such as Oak Bay or a neighbourhood such as James Bay).
Add.10 Use the full name of a street address. Do not the slang or abbreviated name (e.g., use Patricia Bay Hwy not Pat Bay Hwy).
Add. 11

Always enter the postal code in the correct alphanumeric format.

Note: The postal code is a six-character uniformly structured, alphanumeric code in the form "ANA NAN" where "A" represents an alphabetic character and "N" represents a numeric character.

Add. 12 Use punctuation only where you know it is a standard part of the address (e.g., St. Andrew's Way).
Add. 13 The use of Country Codes are optional but, if included, they must conform to ISO 3166 - Country Codes.
Add. 14 All international addresses must have the name of the country on the last entry of the address.
Add. 15 Additional address information (e.g., Attention or C/O John Smith) must be put in the first address line.
Add. 16 Information such as: Bsmt, Upper, Lower, or Pad#, must be put above the street address. In the rare case where there is also a C/O address, the C/O goes in address line 1, the BSMT or Upper or Lower or Pad# would go in address line 2 and the street address would go in address line 3.
Add. 17 If the address is a post office box number it must be placed on the line above municipality, province and postal code. A post office box must only be associated with a mailing address, not the physical location of where a person resides.

Examples of Valid Addresses

Examples - Canadian Urban Addresses
10-2202 Cornwall Ave (Not #10-2202)
Vancouver BC <postal code>
1145 Kingsway
Vancouver BC <postal code>
439 11TH St E (Not East 11th Street)
North Vancouver BC (Not N. Van) <postal code>
405 North Rd
Coquitlam BC <postal code>
10-123 Main St NW
Montreal QC <postal code>


Examples - Canadian Rural/Postal Addresses
2765 7th Concession
RR 8 Stn Main
Millarville AB <postal code>
4145 Steward Rd
PO Box 4001 Stn Yarrow Main
Chilliwack BC <postal code>


Examples - US Addresses
4417 Brooks St NE
Washington DC US <zip code>
200 Madison
Suite 2300
Chicago IL US <zip code>


Examples - Foreign Address
2-2-29 Raidencho Kounosu
Saitama JP (Always enter City name)
Stotsmarken 18 DK-2970
Horsholm DK
138 Tiyu Road E Tianhe District
Guangzhou CN

Date of Death

A valid date of death is recorded in the Client Registry by the B.C. Vital Statistics Agency.

If the Client Registry returns a record indicating a date of death for a patient presenting for care, you must verify that the correct record has been retrieved.

To determine whether or not a B.C. health card (B.C. Services Card or CareCard) is being used fraudulently verify the:

  • Client's identity by reviewing trusted identity documentation
  • Demographics were entered correctly; and
  • PHN (if provided) was entered correctly

If a date of death has been applied to the client in error contact the Client Registry Administrator at: