News About the Vermont Health Information Exchange, Patient Options, and Providers’ Role | October 2019
About the Vermont Health Information Exchange and VITLAccess
The Vermont Health Information Exchange, operated by Vermont Information Technology Leaders (VITL), aggregates patient health records from practices and hospitals across Vermont. Most Vermonters have information in the Vermont Health Information Exchange, including records of their health and the tests and care they have received from multiple providers. Providers can view information about their patients in the Vermont Health Information Exchange by logging into the provider portal, VITLAccess, and seamlessly through some electronic health records.
In March 2020, the Vermont Health Information Exchange will become an “opt-out” system – each Vermonter’s information will be viewable to their treating providers unless they have actively opted-out. Health information will remain in the system. Patients who choose to opt-out are opting out of their treating providers viewing their health records in the Vermont Health Information Exchange. There will be several ways to opt-out, including calling the VITL hotline or telling staff at a practice or hospital that has agreed to transmit this information to VITL.
Education The Department of Vermont Health Access and VITL are asking health care organizations (practices, hospitals) to educate patients about their options by having a brief conversation at check-in and providing a brochure. Patients expect to hear from health care organizations about how their health care information is being used.
Practices may also choose to insert a paragraph in their HIPAA / notice of privacy practices paperwork.
The script, printed brochures, sample privacy practices paragraph, and an FAQs document will be part of a toolkit provided by the Department of Vermont Health Access and VITL in early 2020. The toolkit will also include resources for organizations that want to share information about the Vermont Health Information Exchange in their newsletters, social media, and other communications channels. Processing Opt-Outs Organizations that currently collect electronic patient consent (opt-in and opt-out) will continue to collect opt-out decisions and send that information to VITL. Organizations that do not process consent will refer patients to the VITL hotline. The people at the VITL hotline can also answer patient questions.
More information will be shared with health care organizations and providers in late 2019 and early 2020. A patient-education campaign will also launch in 2020, including a website with more information for patients. In the meantime, please contact Andrea De La Bruere, Director of Client Services, Vermont Information Technology Leaders (VITL) 802-861-1800 | Clientservices@vitl.net with any questions.
For more information go to http://vthealthinfo.com