Technology has changed the way we shop, work, and communicate. Now, it’s changing the way that healthcare is provided. For most people, healthcare involves a variety of providers and locations – doctors, nurses, hospitals, specialists, laboratories and pharmacies. With the switch from paper records to electronic ones, Wentworth-Douglass Health System’s Health Information Exchange (HIE) makes it easier for you and your providers to access your health records.
How can the HIE benefit me?
A Health Information Exchange (HIE) allows health providers – such as the doctors who care for you – to share health information with each other, electronically, and in a secure and timely manner. Through the HIE, doctors involved in your care can share information about:
- Your overall health
- History of illnesses or injuries (ex: diabetes, a heart condition, a broken bone)
- Test results (ex: blood tests, x-rays)
- Medications you take and more
If you see multiple doctors who participate in the Wentworth-Douglass HIE, they can access a more complete picture of your health through the HIE and, in turn, make more informed treatment decisions.
The overall goal of the HIE is for you to receive coordinated care more efficiently, getting your providers your health information where and when they need it, without delay.
How will my information be used?
Medical information obtained through the HIE will be used for treatment, payment and operational/business purposes only. Federal and State policies limit how your information can be used or disclosed through our HIE. The HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices from your healthcare provider explains in detail how and why your information is used.
Can anyone access my records?
No. Only healthcare providers who are treating you and their associated staff who are specifically given rights to the HIE can access your records. For example, if one of your providers participates in the Wentworth-Douglass HIE, he or she can access your health information maintained by your other providers who also participate in the Wentworth-Douglass HIE.
Other "Connected HIEs"
Wentworth-Douglass Health System is creating secure connections to other community-based HIE networks like our own. These HIE connections can be beneficial if you have health providers who are both part of the Wentworth-Douglass HIE and in another HIE network. For example, if you are being treated by two doctors –one in the Wentworth-Douglass HIE and another who participates in a different HIE – these two doctors could share your medical information through a secure connection between their two HIEs to better coordinate your care.
Be assured that the Wentworth-Douglass HIE will not connect to another HIE unless it meets our high standards for privacy and security.
How secure is the Wentworth-Douglass Health System HIE?
Very! Special features keep your information secure and prevent your records from being accessed by anyone not authorized to view them. HIE technology also has added security features, such as audit logs, which track who has accessed your records, and when. Data encryption provides an even higher level of security. However, in the unlikely event that improper access were to occur, the law requires that you be notified, and Wentworth-Douglass would immediately take steps to correct the problem.
What about my sensitive health information?
"Sensitive information" that is specifically restricted by more protective State or Federal laws will generally be disclosed on a case-by-case basis and only with your permission. Sensitive information includes information such as:
- Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
- Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
- Venereal diseases
- Drug and alcohol treatment records
- Behavioral health treatment records
- Genetic testing
Your privacy is our top concern. The Wentworth-Douglass HIE has safeguards to ensure that sensitive information is accessed appropriately and with your permission.
Can I access my own electronic medical records?
Yes! If you were a recent patient at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, you received a Patient User Guide before your discharge. This user guide tells you how you can login to our MyWDconnect Patient Portal. After filling out the guide, you will receive a validation key code and a link to MyWDconnect. The User Guide will also provide step-by-step instructions for how to use the portal. Currently, the myWDconnect system will allow access to key clinical information from your recent hospital stay including admission and discharge data, reason for hospitalization, lab test results, medication allergy list, procedures performed, problem list, vital signs at discharge, smoking status, summary of care, discharge instructions, as well as information about your care team.
How do I sign up?
There is no need to do anything further – your health information is already on the Wentworth-Douglass HIE, and is accessible by your authorized Wentworth-Douglass HIE participating providers.
However, if you do not want your Wentworth-Douglass HIE health information to be electronically accessed by your healthcare providers, you must submit a completed HIE Opt-Out form.
If you previously submitted an HIE Opt-Out but have now changed your mind, you must complete, sign and submit a Revocation of Prior Opt-Out form.