Frequently Asked Questions
What does it mean to “securely share” information and how can it help you get better care?
In a paper-based medical system, your medical tests or lab results are either mailed or faxed to your primary care doctor. But sometimes paper or faxed records are lost or don’t arrive in time for your doctor visit. With electronic sharing, your doctors and authorized health providers are able to share your health information in a safe and timely manner.
What medical information is available to be securely shared?
Authorized medical practices will be able to share several types of health information about you, including but not limited to:
- Hospital: Admission and discharge information from hospitals that use the service
- Medical history
- Medicines you take
- Allergies – including allergies to medicines
- Lab test results and radiology reports
- Doctor visit information
- Health plan enrollment and eligibility
Who can view your medical information electronically?
Only people involved in your care have access to your information. This may include doctors, nurses, and other care providers who are providing and coordinating your care. Your health insurer may also view your information to help coordinate or manage your care.
How is your medical information protected?
Health Information Organizations or HIOs are required by federal law – the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or HIPAA – to protect your private medical information. Any person given access has a unique username and password and gets training before they can see your information, so that they know how to protect it. In addition, the system records every time someone looks at your medical information, and you can ask for a list of who has viewed your information and when. Information is shared using secure, encrypted transmission and can be viewed only with permission.
What is a Health Information Organization (HIO)?
According to Arizona Revised Statutes, Chapter 36, Section 3801:
“Health information organization” means an organization that oversees and governs the exchange of individually identifiable health information among organizations according to nationally recognized standards. Health information organization does not include:
(a) A health care provider or an electronic health record maintained by or on behalf of a health care provider.
(b) Entities that are subject to title 20 or that are health plans as defined in 45 Code of Federal Regulations section 160.103.
(c) The exchange of individually identifiable health information directly between health care providers without a separate organization governing that exchange.
An HIO must be an organization that is independent and separate from a health care provider or health care provider organization such as a hospital system, and the definition of an HIO does not apply to health plans.