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AZ Sint-Lucas Brugge automates follow-up of applications from patients who want access to their medical records


Patients have a legal right to review their medical records and to request a copy of them. Forms are available from the hospital’s ombud or the hospital website. The patient simply returns the completed form to the hospital.

But how does the hospital make sure the application ends up with the right person? Does the application meet all requirements, and is it handled within the legal deadlines? What about the privacy of the patient and the GDPR regulations? And how can a hospital respond to the growing number of applications as patients become increasingly involved in their own care? At face value it should be a simple process, but it’s not that obvious…




AZ Sint-Lucas Brugge did not have to think about a solution for long: the hospital, which already uses Workflower to automate several HR processes, decided to use the same tool to handle requests from patients who want access to their medical records, as well. And the hospital’s IT department, which already mastered the tool and its process-based approach, was able to do the necessary developments on its own.

What do the users think?

“In the coming years, we expect an increase in the number of requests from patients to review their patient record or to receive a copy. We wanted to be ready for this. Our patients can already view their electronic medical records via the website. But if the patient requests access to an older part of his (paper) file, an electronic follow-up of this process is not a superfluous luxury. We want to correctly follow up on the requests, and to respect the legal deadlines and the privacy of the patient. In addition, we do not want requests to get lost, and we want to comply with all questions.”

Kristof Duthoy, manager ICT, AZ Sint-Lucas, Brugge



How it works

  • The patient completes the form available on the hospital’s website.
  • The hospital’s lawyer receives the form, and checks that the application is complete and meets all the requirements:
    For deceased patients, only the individual’s trustee may view the patient record. For minor patients, the requesting parent must enclose a certificate of family composition, etc.
  • If the lawyer is unavailable, an escalation procedure comes into effect to ensure the legal deadlines are respected. In this case, the request goes to the medical director or, in his absence, to the general manager.
  • The patient is informed if the file is incomplete or if he is not registered as a patient in the hospital.
  • If the file is complete, the request is sent to and handled by the unit responsible for nursing files. If they do not have sufficient time, the request is forwarded to the EPR administrator for follow-up.
  • Patients who request a copy of their file will receive it by surface mail. If they request to review their file, they are contacted by telephone to make an appointment.
  • An automatic reminder is enabled if the legal deadline is about to expire.
  • The process ends when the patient receives feedback.
  • Standard documents are available for each type of feedback; these are delivered to the patient either electronically or on paper (if the e-mail address is not known).