HIE Participant FAQs

Health Information Exchange in Connecticut: A Physician's Perspective

Jessica Isom, MD, MPH

CSMS explains the benefits of the Health Information Exchange in Connecticut

Matthew Katz, Executive Vice President / Chief Executive Officer CSMS

Read more FAQs

What is Health Information Exchange (HIE)?
HIE is the electronic exchange of clinical information among healthcare organizations. This exchange of patient clinical data allows physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers to securely and efficiently access patients’ health records.

Why is health information exchange important?
HIE allows healthcare providers to quickly access their patients’ data across disparate healthcare systems, reducing treatment delays and enhancing clinical decision making. Additionally, HIE improves patient care coordination and transitions of care by allowing healthcare professionals to access their patients’ most recent test results, procedures, diagnosis, medications, allergies and more.

What patient data comes into an HIE?
Patient data received by the HIE may include: a list of facilities where the patient was seen, admit and discharge dates, lab results, procedures and diagnoses, current and past medications, allergies, chief complaint, visit notes, operation notes and the patients’ primary care providers.
Will CTHealthLink connect with other HIEs?
CTHealthLink connects with other HIEs in Connecticut and across the nation. CTHealthLink also connects with public health agencies, federal agencies such as the Veteran’s Administration, national lab companies and prescription monitoring programs.

How will CTHealthLink help our state connect for better care?
Physicians and other clinicians can securely share critical patient information at the point of care, supporting improved care quality and better patient health outcomes. Patients will be able to easily view their medical information from participating providers on one secure patient portal. Physicians and other clinicians can more easily meet quality reporting obligations under the emerging performance- and value-based payment systems being adopted by federal and commercial health plans.

How do we know CTHealthLink will work?
The proven HIE technology is already successfully operating in Kansas and similar efforts are under way in Georgia, Louisiana, Missouri, New Jersey and South Carolina. This is a “turnkey” HIE for Connecticut.

Who is in charge of CTHealthLink?
CTHealthLink began its initial startup in the spring of 2017 with a physician advisory committee appointed by the Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS). The advisory committee developed foundational policies and procedures to support the HIE infrastructure. The diverse advisory committee includes healthcare providers, healthcare facilities, government, consumers, payers, and other stakeholders. CTHealthLink controls access to and use of all exchange data, all subject to applicable Connecticut law and federal law, including HIPAA.

Who will participate in CTHealthLink?
Patients receive care from many types of clinicians, so CTHealthLink encourages physicians, nurses, psychologists, and other health professionals to participate. Patients receive care in many locations, so CTHealthLink encourages physician offices, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, behavioral health facilities, federally-qualified health centers (FQHC), and other sites to participate in the exchange.

Will patients have to participate in CTHealthLink? Will they have to pay?
Patients can choose to opt out of including their personal health information in CTHealthLink. There is no charge for patients to participate in CTHealthLink.

For patients who authenticate their CTHealthLink information through the patient portal, there is a nominal one-time charge from the CTHealthLink help desk. There is no charge for patients who authenticate at a participating provider’s office or facility.

How can I exchange health information in Connecticut?
To receive more information regarding the exchange of health information in Connecticut please contact CTHealthLink at 844.424.4368.

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