Health Information Exchanges
HIE stands for Health Information Exchange. An HIE allows medical records to be shared electronically. HIE relies on using networking technologies to enable your doctor to share records with another health care provider over the Internet, instead of by fax. As a result, doctors participating in an HIE may have a much more complete picture of your medical history to work from, even if they have only had limited or even in some cases, no previous contact with you as a patient.
WPF has done a lot of work on HIE privacy. Our work is linked below and included in the blog posts.
World Privacy Forum’s HIE Tips, Glossary, and FAQ for Patients:
This FAQ, glossary, and tipsheet about Health Information Exchanges is designed to work in tandem with our HIE map and directory of California HIEs, available here. If you have questions about HIPAA beyond those answered here, please see our extensive resource, A Patient’s Guide to HIPAA.
WPF’s Interactive Map of HIE’s in California:
This map identifies Health Information Exchanges in California. HIEs are an increasingly popular way for hospitals, pharmacies, labs, and emergency room physicians to share patient information. Some HIEs just share information within one hospital network, some share information across many hospitals or physicians in a region, and some HIEs share information across the state. If your health information is being shared through an HIE, your lab test results, medications, medical history, or other clinical information related to your health care may be included in the sharing. It’s important for you to know when your records are being shared, where, and what controls you have over that.
More HIE information are in the blog posts below.
Data brokers — WPF will be speaking at the CFP conference on two panels. On June 15, Pam Dixon will participate in a plenary session on data brokers. On June 16, Dixon will moderate a health care privacy panel. This panel will focus on electronic health care in the state of California and the current privacy issues in electronic health exchange.
Announcement | CalPSAB — WPF executive director Pam Dixon has been appointed by California Secretary of Health and Human Services Kim Belshe to the California Security and Privacy Advisory Board. Dixon will serve as interim co-chair of the board, which is tasked with addressing health information exchange (HIE) privacy and security efforts in California. The board’s meetings will be open to the public.
AHIC – National Health Information Network — The American Health Information Community Workgroup on Confidentiality, Privacy and Security requested public feedback regarding its working hypothesis. WPF responded to the request with public comments encouraging the adoption of a unified policy architecture and encouraging AHIC to focus on enforcement mechanisms that are intended to directly benefit consumers. WPF also encouraged AHIC to look comprehensively at the demands a new national electronic health exchange network will make on privacy in the health care sector.
The World Privacy Forum has been particularly interested in developments related to EHRs and the NHIN. Given the impetus of the 2004 Executive Order  mandating forward movement in these areas, and the broad impact digitized medical records will potentially have on patients and on the healthcare sector, the World Privacy Forum believes that the decisions this Committee and others shaping these efforts arrive at will be of lasting importance. Given the transition of many parts of our society from analog to digital, it is crucial to ask what this digitization will look like and to carefully examine and discuss what form EHRs and related systems should take in regards to patient choice, privacy, and security.