What is the Health Information Exchange (HIE)?
A Health Information Exchange is an electronic health information system that stores patient health information from multiple health care providers who treat the patient and who participate in the HIE. The HIE allows your health information from one of your health care providers to be available electronically to your other health care providers if they participate in the HIE.
Texas Health Resources participates in HIEs to include the following:
- Texas Health Resources Health Information Exchange (Texas Health HIE), which connects to the North Texas Accountable Health Care Partnership Health Information Exchange.
- Care Everywhere
Why is the Health Information Exchange important?
The HIE gives health care providers a view of the patient’s past health information for continued care. It can help improve quality, coordination of care among providers and perhaps reduce health care cost.
How will I benefit from participating in electronic health information exchange?
If you agree to electronic release of your health information, the health care team will have more information about you. This will help them better meet your health care needs in a safe, effective and timely manner. The HIE can:
- Reduce the possibility of medical errors due to incomplete or inaccurate information.
- Improve appropriate treatment recommendations.
- Improve patient-physician communication, as well as communication across the continuum of your care
- Reduce the need for you to manually pick-up and/or deliver medical records.
- Reduce orders for duplicate test and procedures which may reduce cost.
What does Health Information Exchange mean to my provider?
The HIE gives providers convenient access to timely information about the patient which helps facilitate informed decision making. It provides a patient record containing information from all participating care points regardless of where the care was provided. It saves the provider time in tracking down important patient information and helps the provider give better patient care.
What types of information will be made available via the Health Information Exchange?
The following types of information will be included:
- Family/Medical/Surgical/Social history
- Test Results (Lab, X-ray, EKG)
- Vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, temperature)
- Discharge information
- Provider Progress notes
Is there a cost associated with me sharing my information electronically?
No. There is not a fee for using this service.
Will sensitive information be included in the information exchange?
There is specified information that requires additional authorization and will not be included in the HIE, such as certain mental health records, alcohol or substance abuse diagnosis and treatment information, HIV test results, and some occupational health records.
Are my records private and secure?
Yes. The privacy and security of your health information is very important to Texas Health Resources. Information is encrypted during transmission of the information between systems and health care providers have a secure login to access your information. Policies and procedures are in place to maintain the confidentiality of your information and used appropriately as described in the provider’s Notice for Privacy Practices.
Is my health information automatically shared with the Health Information Exchange?
No. Although your information is stored within the electronic system, patient authorization is required for it to be viewable within the HIE. When you arrive for an appointment or visit, you will be asked to sign an authorization which will allow you the option to opt-in to make your information viewable or opt-out to make your information not viewable.
Texas Health Resources will be exchanging health information with health care organizations, including:
In addition, Care Everywhere allows the exchange with more than 100 other leading hospitals and health care systems in cities across the United States. Follow this link to see a listing of other organizations on the Care Everywhere network, made possible by the underlying software from Epic Systems Inc.
What are my rights? Can I choose not to participate in the Health Information Exchange?
It is your right as the patient to not share your patient information. When presented with the authorization, you can elect to opt-out of the HIE. By opting-out of the HIE, your information will not be viewable to your future providers within the Health Information Exchange.
How does my choice to participate affect me?
Each of my providers who are participating in the Texas Health HIE will obtain from me an authorization to opt in or opt out at each visit. If I elect to opt out, none of my information in that visit and all prior visits will be available for view by HIE participating providers. My most recent choice controls all prior treatment information from all participating facilities and providers.
If I agree to participate, can I choose to opt out at a later time?
Yes. Participation in this service is voluntary and you will have the right to change your mind at any time. If you decide to change your participation option, contact your provider, a Health Information Management (Medical Records) department at a Texas Health facility, or submit a request at TexasHealth.org/HIE Contact Us.
If I opt out and agree to participate at a later time, will my past medical history be available during the time I was not participating?
Yes. At the time you select to participate in the HIE, all of your past and future information from participating providers will be viewable by your providers.
If I have requested a restriction on disclosure of health information and the restriction was agreed to by us or other participating HIE healthcare providers, should I elect to opt-in to the HIE?
No, the HIE is not able to manage restrictions on disclosure of your health information. A restriction is a request by the patient to not disclose certain information to certain people or companies. If the restriction is or was agreed to by us or other participating HIE healthcare providers, then you must elect to opt-out of the HIE in order to protect your restriction. This must be done at each HIE participating provider you visit.
As a legally authorized representative for the patient, am I able to sign the authorization for the electronic exchange of the records? (Ex. Biological Parent/Legal Guardian for minor, healthcare agent for activated Power of Attorney, etc.)
Can my spouse or domestic partner sign the authorization on my behalf?
No, not unless the person qualifies as the legally authorized representative.
If I participate, is there tracking of who accesses my health information and can I find out who has requested access to my health information via the Health Information Exchange?
Yes. Audit logs are available to track where, when and how health information records are accessed. You have the right to request a list of the information accessed, the provider(s) who accessed your health information and the relationship between you and the health care provider accessing your information. Request can be submitted through the Contact Us page.
Can I receive a copy of the records that my provider obtained from the HIE?
Yes. To receive a complete medical record, we recommend you contact each facility that provided care to you.
Can I request changes to my health record or other information included in the Health Information Exchange?
Yes. If there is information within your health record that you would like amended, contact the facility or provider’s office in which the original documentation was created.
Who should I contact if I have additional questions?
If you have questions about how your health information was used for your care, visit with your health care provider at any time.