Provincial Registration Standards and Practices (PRSP)

The Provincial Registration Standards and Practices (PRSP) have been developed by Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services (AHS) to support the practice of identity management in a consistent manner at any point of care throughout the province.

To provide a consistent experience for Albertans, this process should be applied during every interaction with the health system.

The requirements for accurately creating/ updating a person’s record are:      

Step 1: Identify the Person

The first step in the registration process is to positively identify the person who is presenting for service. This ensures that the services provided at your facility will be linked to the correct person, which is important for future interactions with that person and for accurate billing.

Supporting Identification

Every person that interacts with the Alberta health system must present at least two pieces of identification to establish a unique identity for their record.

Photo-identification and Personal Health Number or provincial/territorial health card is preferable. If the person does not have these documents, then two other acceptable documents that prove identity can be used. Examples of commonly accepted proof of identity include:

•   Valid Provincial/Territorial Health Care Card (e.g. Alberta Health Care card)

•   Valid Driver’s License (including out-of-province or out-of-country issued licenses)

•   Federal, Provincial and/or Territorial Government issued identification with a photograph

•   Passport

•   Birth Certificate

•   Citizenship/Immigration status documents

If the client presents with no documentation, the registration will be initiated with the verbal information provided by the client. The client or their sponsor (i.e. family member, relation, close friend, co-worker, guardian or interpreter) will be asked to provide documentation to conclude the initial registration process.

Step 2: Search for the Person

Once you have proof of the person’s identity, search for existing records in your registration system. Search methods will vary based on the registration system you are using. Most systems perform well when searching by last name, first name and date of birth  (DOB).

If a client who cannot communicate presents for health care service accompanied by someone who is able to communicate on their behalf (i.e. family member or interpreter), staff will conduct a thorough search for  client prior to creating a new client registration

Select a record by matching the data attributes on the record to the individual’s demographic information from the documentation provided. Use First Name, Last Name, DOB, Gender and PHN/ULI for search criteria.

It is important to conduct a thorough search before registering a person. This will reduce the number of duplicate records within the Alberta health system and help to ensure continuity of medical care.

Step 3: Verify the Person's Identity

If a potential matching record is returned, the information on the record must be verified to ensure that the record belongs to the person requesting the service and that it is up-to-date.

Don’t read the information to the person, but instead ask the person to verbally state their name, date of birth, gender, address and all telephone number(s). Any information that does not match should be verified to determine which is correct, then updated in the system. For example, if the person says their name is “Betty” but the documentation is for “Elizabeth”, the name should be entered to match the documentation.

If there is no matching record for the person, a new record should be created. Please double-check all of the information you have entered into the registration system before saving the newly created record. Descriptions of the registration data fields are provided below.


The registration for the person must include their documented name as collected from an acceptable proof of identity. The registration should accurately reflect the person’s complete first, middle and last name. This allows for consistent identification across the health system.

A change / update / correction of a previously recorded name must be supported by documentation.

A person may request to be identified by their preferred name, middle name, nickname or alias name. If supported by the registration system, these names should be collected and displayed as a secondary identification option. Documentation for a secondary name is not required.

When necessary, an “unknown” name may be entered to complete the registration process. Please refer to the allowable values of the registration system you are using. Names such as “John Doe” or “Jane Doe” should never be used.


All registrations must include a gender value of either M (Male) or F (Female) for administrative purposes. The gender is recorded as the person presents or requests. If the person indicates the gender previously recorded on the registration system is incorrect, proof is not required before a correction can be made.

Date of Birth

The date of birth is a mandatory data attribute when registering a person. The registration must include a complete date of birth (year, month and day), and must be confirmed by the person’s identification documentation.

If the date of birth is unknown or the person is not able to provide a complete date of birth, a default value should be used for the components that are not known.

A change / update / correction of a previously recorded date of birth must be supported by documentation.

If the person indicates the name, gender or date of birth on their Alberta Personal Health card is incorrect, they should be advised to contact Alberta Health at 780-427-1432 (Edmonton) or Toll-free dial 310-0000 then 780-427-1432.

They can also update their information by visiting one of several select registry agent locations offering Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan registration service. To locate the nearest office, they can visit the Alberta Health website at


An address is a place where the person can be reached. A residential address should be collected from the person at the time of registration. The person may also provide other addresses, such as a mailing address, if different than the residential address.

If the person is unable to provide an address, or indicates they are homeless, an “unknown” address may need to be entered to complete the registration process.

When the person has two residences (an example may be a child who lives equally with both parents), both addresses should be recorded, with one of the addresses noted as the primary address.

An entry or change / update / correction of an address can be updated as stated by the person.

Telephone Number

The telephone number may be the home, cell or work number provided by the person. All available phone numbers should be recorded whenever possible to ensure patient can be contacted in the future.

An entry or change/update/correction of a telephone number can be updated as stated by the person.


An identifier is a data attribute that is used to uniquely identify an individual. Identifiers such as a Medical Record Number, Provincial Health Number (PHN) and/or Unique Lifetime Identifier (ULI) should be distinctive for each person. Each registration must include at least one identifier.

Step 4: Registering the Person

Every registration in the Alberta health system should include a ULI as one of the unique identifiers.

All demographic information as provided by the client is entered into the registration system. This completes the registration process and allows the client to proceed for health service.

Two pieces of original supporting Identification Documentation to establish their unique identity. Children under 18 will present at least one piece of original supporting documentation to establish their unique identity. Only true and accurate data about clients is recorded in the registration system and must include a minimum set of demographic information which consists of Last Name, First Name, Date of Birth, Gender and a unique identifier.

Your health facility will have its own procedures for registering a new client in your system(s) and for assigning identifiers such as a medical record number and Alberta ULI. When a person cannot be positively identified or when the minimum required information is not available, the person may be assigned a medical record number but not an Alberta ULI.

Once all the information has been entered/updated in the appropriate system(s), a final confirmation of the information should be completed prior to saving the record.

This process is important to ensure that all of the records maintained within our health system are accurate. Accurate records play a critical role in the person’s safety and quality of care. 

For further details about the PRSP, its standards and practices including various scenarios could occur during the registration process, please refer to the Provincial Registration Standards and Practices Manual.