We’re excited to be participating with NC HIE, a secure statewide health information exchange that helps us share your important health information with other caregivers involved in your health care. The system helps us and your other caregivers make better decisions about your care and reduce the chance of medical errors.

This new technology is available to us through our partnership with an independent nonprofit called NC Health Information Exchange (NC HIE). NC HIE combines information from separate health care sites to create a single electronic patient health record. This record combines health information from all your health care providers and allows authorized health care professionals to see it when caring for you.

NC Health Information Exchange (NC HIE) Questions and Answers

Q. What information is used to identify patients in the system?

A. Information used to identify patients in the system is: name, date of birth, sex, address, telephone number, and last four digits of the social security number. NC HIE uses this information to make an accurate patient match and reduce errors.

Q. Is it against the HIPAA Privacy Rule for you to have shared my information?

A. No. The HIPAA Privacy Rule does not require patient consent when information is used to support treatment, as is the case with NC HIE. In its contract with participating organizations NC HIE is defined as a business associate under HIPAA. This allows NC HIE to act as a “virtual medical record department” to collect and store medical records on behalf of participating organizations. As a business associate, NC HIE is authorized to provide secure and limited access to your information to authorized providers through the NC HIE network when necessary to carry out treatment, care coordination, or payment activities without patient consent. Having a third party entity such as NC HIE to provide electronic health information management services for busy practices and hospitals is a common practice that allows your providers to have timely access to the right information at the right time.

Q. What if I receive care at a health care organization that is not participating in NC HIE, what happens to my records?

A. Only providers who are participating in NC HIE can access and include information in the system. If your provider does not participate in NC HIE, they will continue to update your medical record in their own system, and they will share your medical records as they always have, by mail, email or fax. However, the goal is that all providers in North Carolina will participate in the future so that your information is available where it’s needed, when it’s needed, and by whom it’s needed.

Q. What about mental health provider records? Are those part of my record?

A. Information collected by a licensed mental health provider or facility will be included in the NC HIE system, however, information that comes from substance abuse treatment facilities will not be included. If you are taking medications prescribed by a doctor at a substance abuse treatment facility and those are part of our medical records here, the medications will appear in your NC HIE health record. It is important for your providers to be aware of your medications so they can provide you with the best care possible.

Q. What if there is a mistake on my record, how will I get that fixed?

A. Your NC HIE record includes information created by the health care providers caring for you. If you know of an error, please let your provider know about it so that they can update the information. Once they do this, it will be automatically updated in NC HIE.

Q. How can I find who has viewed my record? Is there a record of who has viewed my health information and why?

A. NC HIE will keep track of who views your record, and offers patients’ access to audit reports. Please let us know if you have questions and concerns about access to your records.

Q. Will my medical information be posted on the Internet or sold for someone’s mailing list?

A. No. Absolutely not. NC HIE uses a secure private network. Information that identifies you will never be sold and you will not be added to any mailing list.

Q. How often is the system checked for security failures/hackers?

A. Security tests are performed on an ongoing basis, to make sure that the records remain secure. For more information about security, please contact NC HIE directly.

Additional FAQs are available on NC HIE’s website (http://nchie.org/).