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.
The World Privacy Forum today filed its comments on the proposed changes to the HIPAA privacy rule, supporting some proposed changes and suggesting additional changes to enhance patient choice. In particular, the WPF supports the new patient right to an access report that has been added (p. 4), and has requested that Health Information Exchanges also be required to provide accountings of disclosures to patients (p. 18). The WPF generally argued that HHS needs to look forward and allow changes in information technology to fully benefit patients by providing the facility for more accounting rather than less (pp. 2-3). If the HIPAA rule gives patients a greater ability to monitor how their information is used and disclosed, patients will pay attention and requests for accounting of disclosures will become more common.
Joint Comments on HIEs — California has proposed regulations for health information exchange projects in the state. WPF has submitted comments encouraging more privacy protections, and we are joined in our comments by Privacy Activism and the Center for Digital Democracy. One key request in the comments is that California not allow patient consent to be waived in HIE projects. We are also requesting that California create a unified web listing of its HIE projects for increased transparency and to facilitate patient access to HIE information and policies.
California has proposed regulations for health information exchange projects in the state. WPF has submitted comments encouraging more privacy protections, and we are joined in our comments by Privacy Activism and the Center for Digital Democracy. One key request in the comments is that California not allow patient consent to be waived in HIE projects. We are also requesting that California create a unified web listing of its HIE projects for increased transparency and to facilitate patient access to HIE information and policies.
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.