Patient Privacy & FAQs
What is Health Information Exchange?
Health information exchange (HIE) makes patient health information available electronically to doctors, nurses, hospitals, and health care organizations when needed for patient care. The exchange of patient information is protected through strict medical privacy and confidentiality procedures. HIE improves the speed, quality, safety, and cost of patient care.
Why is the Florida HIE important to me?
The Florida HIE allows your health care providers to access your health information quickly to give you the best care possible. The Florida HIE can improve the care you receive and remove burdensome practices such as:
- Having to remember all the medications you take or having to bring in all of your medications to your appointments
- Bringing x-rays or other test results to a specialist or referral appointment
- Having to remember what medical procedures or tests you have had performed
- Having unnecessary or repeated tests
Allowing your doctors to share your health information improves the coordination of the care you receive from your family doctor, specialists, and hospitals.
How is your medical information kept private?
The Florida HIE takes patient privacy very seriously and recognizes your right to decide who has access to your health information. The Florida HIE meets or exceeds the national and state standards for the security of electronic health information, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009 (HITECH) to protect patient health information.
In addition to privacy and security protections outlined by law, the infrastructure of the Florida HIE offers additional protections. Only legally authorized users can access, view and share your data and must establish secure connections that protect against unauthorized access to your data.
How does your doctor use the Florida Health Information Exchange (HIE) Services?
The Florida HIE assists your health care providers in securely exchanging health information with other providers who are involved in your care. Once you have authorized access to your data, health care providers will be better prepared to offer safe, efficient, and effective medical care.
The Florida HIE offers services that allow for the secure exchange of health information.
- The Encounter Notification Service (ENS) provides authorized users with real-time notifications about hospital and emergency department visits. This allows members of your care team to better engage in care coordination and ensure proper follow-up care is received.
- Query Solutions allow health care organizations that have your consent to look for and retrieve your medical records from other organizations that have also provided you with health care. This allows your provider(s) to have a better overall picture of your health.
Do health care organizations need authorization to access your health information?
Yes. Health care providers that want to retrieve your health information must have appropriate patient authorization/consent before they can send or receive your information.
During a medical emergency, if you not able to respond and your authorized legal representative is unavailable to provide consent on your behalf, health care providers may use Query Solutions to access your health records. A medical emergency means that you have symptoms that could place your health in serious jeopardy, including damage to organs or bodily functions.
How do you authorize your provider to access your health information?
Providers participating in health information exchange will typically provide information on HIE practices to patients at the time of service. An authorization form signed by you or your authorized legal representative allows a health care provider to obtain your health records from another provider through the Florida HIE.