Video: Correcting and amending medical records in an HIE

This video is part 4 of a 14-part WPF video series on health privacy and health information exchanges  

How can I correct my medical file after it has gotten put into an HIE?

HIE stands for “Health Information Exchange.” We encourage all patients to request a copy of their medical records to check for errors, whether in paper or digital format. If you have received a copy of your medical record from your doctor and you find mistakes or errors, it is a good idea to correct those files as quickly as possible. The first step is to correct the file at the health care provider where you received your treatment, whether that be a hospital or a doctor’s office. After that, the next step is to check to see if your health care provider has exchanged your records more widely through an HIE, and get corrections there.

If you discover that your incorrect medical information has already been distributed through an HIE, you will need to contact the HIE and ask for specific instructions on how they handle corrections. Your next steps depend on the policy of your health care provider and the HIE. There are a variety of ways they could amend, correct or remove the erroneous material. Some HIEs will send you back to the doctor who treated you to correct the information, then will allow the corrected record to replace their existing files. Some HIEs will allow you to remove records from HIE circulation by opting out of the HIE altogether.

HIPAA gives patients the right to request their medical files, and to make a “request for amendment,” which in HIPAA-speak, means correction. Your health care providers can do the following things with your request, with some exceptions:

  • amend your records by keeping them the same, but adding new information
  • change your record
  • full deletion (rare)
  • segregate the erroneous information

In cases of medical ID theft, erroneous records are usually handled a little differently. Often, the incorrect information is completely segregated from any records with your name. For more, see our Patient’s Guide to HIPAA and our HIE FAQ . For more on medical ID theft, see our Medical ID Theft resources.

Watch the video (1 min. 42 sec.) 

Read tips and FAQs about HIEs and your health privacy


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