Video: How to request all of your medical files from a health information exchange

This video is part 6 of a 14-part WPF video series on health privacy and health information exchanges

How can I find all of the medical files that my hospital or doctor has send through a Health Information Exchange?

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. Begin any process of HIE discovery with your health care provider. It will likely be your health care providers who are able to let you know if your records have been exchanged, and if so, where. It would be very unusual to contact an HIE first and have the exchange confirm the either the presence of your records or who has requested and received them.

First, request the privacy notice from your health care provider, sometimes called the Notice of Privacy Practices or NPP. Each HIPAA-covered entity (like your doctor or a hospital or pharmacy) must provide a copy of its privacy notice to anyone who asks for one. In addition, a copy should be available on the website of each covered entity (if the covered entity has a website).

After you have the policy in hand, read or search the notice for any mention of “health information exchanges” or electronic sharing of records. In an ideal world, any health care provider participating in a HIE will note the name and contact information of the HIE right in the privacy notice, and discuss your sharing options.

If there is any confusion at all, be persistent and ask your health care provider directly about HIEs. You may need to go to an administrator or the medical records office for a full answer. A best practice for a health care provider is to tell patients up front and in writing that they participate in one or more HIEs.

Another step to take is to look on the WPF HIE map to find the name of your health care provider (in California only). To do this, scan the text list on the map. If your health care provider is listed under an HIE, you will find the HIE name, HIE web site phone number, and other details as available.

Watch the video  (3 min.)

Read tips and FAQs about HIEs and your health privacy

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