Electronic Exchange of Health Information

Loyola Medicine is participating in health information exchanges. This enables your healthcare team to share electronic health information with outside providers involved in your care, including hospitals, nursing homes, home care agencies and non-Loyola doctors. Being able to see your health information from other healthcare providers may help your providers take care of you in a safer, more effective and timelier manner. This electronic health record system (EHR) helps your healthcare providers coordinate your care.

How to Participate

Loyola will obtain a patient’s signed consent before sharing health information electronically. Consent will be obtained as part of a visit with a healthcare provider. A patient can revoke such consent at any time. To revoke consent, a patient would complete the attached Revocation of Consent form and mail it to the address listed on the form.

Frequently Asked Questions

To help you understand how the electronic health information exchanges work, below are some frequently asked questions.                        
                       
What is a health information exchange?
A health information exchange is a health information network that enables healthcare providers’ electronic health record systems to communicate with each other and share patients’ health information electronically.
                
What are the benefits of health information exchanges?
Allowing a healthcare provider to access your health information through health information exchanges may improve the quality of your care.

  • Your doctors will have quicker access to a more complete picture of your medical history and may make better informed and safer decisions about your care.
  • You may not need to complete as many forms every time you visit another doctor.
  • You may not need to take the same medical tests over again.    
  • Your healthcare costs may be lowered.

Why should my health information be shared?
Currently, your health information may exist in many different locations with different healthcare providers. For instance, if you visit a specialist who is not affiliated with your primary care doctor, your primary care doctor may not have access to the specialist’s information. Healthcare providers may be able to make better decisions about your care when they have access to up-to-date health information such as medications, allergies, lab tests and more.
                    
When will my health information be shared on a Health Information Exchange between LUHS and other healthcare providers?
Your health information will be shared upon request by a healthcare provider who is involved in your care but is not affiliated with LUHS. Here are some examples:      

  • When you receive care from a healthcare provider who is not affiliated with Loyola, that provider may want your health information located in the Loyola EHR in order to provide better care.
  • When you have lab tests done at Loyola, a healthcare provider who is treating you but is not affiliated with Loyola may want to view the results of those lab tests located in Loyola’s EHR to provide you with better treatment.                        

Your health information will be shared by Loyola with other healthcare providers not affiliated with Loyola when necessary to provide continuity of care for you. Here are some examples:

  • If you are treated in Loyola’s or Gottlieb’s emergency department or if you have a surgical procedure performed at Loyola, Loyola may transmit a summary of your care to another healthcare provider who is not affiliated with Loyola but who is involved in your care.
  • When you are an inpatient at Loyola and transferred to another facility, or when you are discharged and need to follow up with a healthcare provider.                

Loyola may transmit necessary healthcare information to these other healthcare providers.
    
What needs to happen before my health information in the Loyola EHR is shared on a health information exchange?
You must sign the Health Information Consent form. Your signature indicates you agree to have your health information available for access by and disclosure to other healthcare providers on the health information exchanges in which Loyola participates.
                   
What health information will be shared electronically?
The health information sent depends on each organization’s electronic health record system. It may include these and other health records:

  • Allergies
  • Behavioral/mental health and developmental disability care records
  • Clinic and hospital visit notes
  • Diagnoses (including HIV, genetic tests)
  • Drug and alcohol history and/or treatment
  • Genetic testing information
  • HIV status and/or treatment
  • Immunizations
  • Medications
  • Medical, surgical, family and social history
  • Procedures
  • Test results (including HIV, genetic, drug and alcohol tests)                       

Can I hold back some health information that I do not want to be shared through a Health Information Exchange?
No. At this time, Loyola cannot exclude specific health information from being shared through the health information exchange. Loyola does, however, restrict sensitive information that it can filter from transfer. This information includes any health information written by a psychiatrist or psychologist. 
                        
From which healthcare providers will Loyola get my electronic health information?
Loyola can get your health information only from healthcare providers that allow Loyola access to such information. The other healthcare providers may require Loyola to ask you to sign a consent form.           

What if I do not want my information shared electronically through a health information exchange in which Loyola is participating?
If you do not want your health information to be shared by Loyola through a health information exchange in which it is participating, you do not have to sign Loyola’s Authorization for Release of Health Information through a Health Information Exchange form. If you have already consented, you can revoke your consent at any time. To revoke your consent, you will need to fill out the Health Information Exchange Revocation of Consent Form. In some cases you may be asked to sign multiple forms. You can opt out at the time of check in for your appointment or by contacting the medical records department at 708-216-3862.     
            
What will happen if I do not consent to allow Loyola to share my health information electronically through a health information exchange?
If you do not consent, healthcare providers outside of Loyola will not be able to retrieve your health information in the Loyola EHR through the health information exchange. In addition, Loyola will not be able to transmit through the health information exchange information about your care provided by Loyola to your other healthcare providers, such as your primary care physician if he/she is located outside of Loyola.

If I am a legally authorized representative for a patient, am I able to sign Loyola’s Health Information Exchange Consent Form or the Health Information Exchange Revocation of Consent Form for the electronic exchange of the patient’s health information?
Yes. You may be requested to provide proof of such authorization.
    
What if I have more questions?
Please talk with your healthcare provider. They want you to have the information you need to make an educated choice about the way your health information is shared with other healthcare providers. You can also contact Loyola’s medical records department at 708-216-3862.