Patients

WHAT IS A HEALTH INFORMATION EXCHANGE?

A health information exchange (HIE) lets health care professionals appropriately access and securely share your medical information electronically. These professionals may include doctors, hospitals, labs and others who need to know your medical history and test results.

WHAT IS HEALTHIE NEVADA?

HealtHIE Nevada is a private, nonprofit, community-based company dedicated to connecting health care organizations in our state. We believe that sharing medical information immediately, safely and accurately improves the quality of your care.

WHY DO I NEED THE HIE?

Your medical care team needs your health information to correctly diagnose and treat you. Each member may have a piece of your medical history, and if all of your team can see your entire medical history, they can provide better care, helping to avoid readmissions and medication errors, decrease duplicate testing and improve diagnoses.

HERE IS HOW THE HIE CAN HELP YOU:

  • HealtHIE Nevada gives your doctor a quick and easy way to see your health information. Health information can be lab, X-rays and other test results that make up your medical history.
  • As your information becomes available, the HIE will quickly send your data to your doctors. A complete medical history lets your doctor make faster and more correct choices when caring for you.
  • When your doctors share your medical history, they can manage your care better. Specialists will have the information they need faster. The emergency room staff can care for you even if you cannot answer questions.
  • The HIE is safe and secure and can only be seen by the people caring for you.
  • You will repeat the same tests less often.
  • Your records will still be safe and available if there is an emergency or natural disaster.

WHO CAN SEE MY HEALTH INFORMATION?

Only doctors, hospitals, laboratories, radiologists and pharmacies that are members of the HIE can see your personal information. Your medical care team can use your information only to diagnose and treat your medical problems.

WHAT IS CONSENT?

Your medical information will pass through the HIE, but you control whether your doctors can see it. This is called consent or permission. Your doctor will give you an information sheet and a consent form. Giving consent is your choice. You only have to fill out the form once, unless you change your mind.

There are three choices on the consent form. You only need to choose one:

I CONSENT:

If you make this choice, you will be giving permission for all members of the HIE that are a part of your medical care team to see your medical history electronically.

– OR –

I DO NOT CONSENT:

If you make this choice, your doctor will still have access to your records at his office. However, your medical care team will not be able to share your information with each other through the HIE. This will be true even in an emergency.

– OR –

I CONSENT ONLY IN THE CASE OF AN EMERGENCY

If you make this choice, your medical care team will not be able to view your medical information unless it is an emergency. An emergency is a case when there is an immediate risk to your health, such as extreme illnesses, broken bones, unconsciousness, and sudden or extreme pain. Your doctor or an emergency physician will decide if your situation is an emergency.

HOW IS MY HEALTH INFORMATION CURRENTLY SHARED?

Without the HIE, your health information is shared among your care team by telephone, fax, mail or through limited computer networks. These methods can take time, and can slow down decisions on your care.

WHAT HEALTH INFORMATION WILL BE SHARED?

Your provider visit summaries; lab, X-ray and other test results; medication and immunization history; transcribed diagnostic and treatment records; records of allergies and drug reactions; and other transcribed clinical reports provided by your medical care team.

HOW IS MY PRIVACY PROTECTED?

HealtHIE Nevada uses several safety measures to protect your health information. We are a candidate for accreditation by the Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC) for meeting proper security and privacy standards. These standards include technical security measures as well as written policies and procedures regulated by federal and state privacy laws, to which all participants must agree. Additional measures include staff training and limiting access to only those with a need to know the information.

ARE THERE PRIVACY RISKS?

Yes. This is true for both paper and computerized records. Use of strong passwords and encryption helps keep access to records without proper permission from happening. However, there is always a risk that the safety measures will not work. This means that someone may get, see or use your health information without a legal reason.

HOW DO I KNOW IF MY DATA HAS BEEN ACCESSED?

HealtHIE Nevada is required to maintain a log of all access to patient information. Regular audits are performed to ensure that access to health information is appropriate. If unauthorized access to records occurs, we will perform a thorough investigation that may result in retraining, sanctions, termination of employment or a criminal investigation, depending on the nature of the incident. In the case of a large-scale breach, all patients will be notified.

WHAT IF I CHOOSE NOT TO PARTICIPATE?

Your doctor will still treat you and your insurance will still cover you if you decide that you do not want to consent. Remember that if you do not give consent, your doctors may not have all of the information they need to care for you. Your medical care team will still share your information by telephone, fax, mail or through limited computer networks.

IF I DO NOT CONSENT, CAN I CHANGE MY MIND LATER?

Yes. If you deny consent, you may choose to participate later. Simply fill out a new form. After choosing to participate in the HIE, all of your previous electronic health information will become available.

HOW CAN I OPT IN?

You may opt in and participate in HealtHIE Nevada by signing up at your participating provider or clinic.

NEVADA MEDICAID

Nevada law mandates that “a person who is a recipient of Medicaid or insurance pursuant to the Children’s Health Insurance Program may not opt out of having his or her individually identifiable health information disclosed electronically” (NRS 439.539).