Health Information Exchange (HIE)
If you are a patient at UC San Diego Health, your electronic health information is automatically enrolled in a health information exchange so that your vital health data can be securely made available to doctors – no matter where you receive care.
Health information exchanges exist to improve the quality, safety and cost-effectiveness of healthcare. UC San Diego Health currently participates in two health information exchanges:
- Epic’s Care Everywhere, which allows your provider to query other treatment centers that use Epic platforms for electronic medical recorder keeping
- San Diego Health Connect, which connects different hospital systems, medical practices and health care organizations in San Diego and Imperial counties
What Does This Mean to You as a Patient?
By participating in a health information exchange, doctors and other health care personnel are permitted to use and share your health information through a health exchange network for HIPAA-permitted purposes only.
Your electronic health information is made accessible only to doctors and health care personnel providing you with medical care. Your electronic health information is stored only within each treating provider’s secure electronic medical record system.
The two health information exchanges that UC San Diego Health participates in only store your identifying information and some markers about where you have received care. The health information exchanges do not store any clinical information about you. They are only a means of exchanging information.
This means that UC San Diego Health may share your personal health information with:
- Providers who are treating you
- The San Diego Immunization Registry
- San Diego County Public Health services as mandated by federal and state laws
What Information Is "Exchanged"?
At a minimum, lists of your ongoing health conditions, medications, and allergies are shared with other participating providers. Your lab and procedure results and physician notes can be exchanged with some but not all health information exchange participants.
What Information Is Not Exchanged?
Certain types of sensitive health information (such as psychotherapy notes, records of substance use treatment, and genetic testing) may not be disclosed under federal laws without the patient's prior written authorization.
Opting Out of the Health Information Exchange
Your or your personal representative may elect to opt-out of health information exchanges at any time and without any effect on your access to care at UC San Diego Health. Opting out prevents your personal health information from being shared in the health information exchanges, with two exceptions:
- The opt-out right does not apply when the disclosure is made to public health authorities and the purpose of the disclosure is permitted by both HIPAA and applicable California law
- Your information may also be disclosed through a health information exchange to facilitate emergency medical treatment
Your opt-out notification will apply to both Care Everywhere and San Diego Health Connect. Please allow up to two business days for processing an opt-out request.
How to Opt Out or Opt In
You may choose one of the following three methods to notify UC San Diego Health of your decision to opt out of or opt in to the health information exchanges:
- Submit an online opt-out form using your MyUCSDChart account:
- Log into MyUCSDChart
- From the Menu, choose Sharing Hub under the Sharing section
- Select sharing your health information with "A health care provider"
- Select "Health Information Exchange sharing options" in the next section to access an online form
- Contact a staff member at the UC San Diego Health Medical Records office during business hours at 619-543-6700
- Print out and complete an opt-out or opt-in form. Mail to the address on the form.
Informing Individuals of Their Right To Opt-Out of Health Information Exchanges
UC San Diego Health will notify individuals or their personal representatives about:
- The benefits of the health information exchanges
- An individual’s right to opt out of the health information exchanges and the potential consequences
- An individual’s right to rescind a previous decision to opt-out
- The process of exercising the right to opt out or rescind a previous decision to opt out
For patients who do not opt out, health care participants are permitted to use and share patient information through the health information network for any HIPAA-permitted purpose.
Additionally, California state law allows mental health patient information, pharmacy records, communicable disease records, and home health care records to be accessed and disclosed for permitted purposes through the health information exchange network, except that participants may not make available to the health information exchange any psychotherapy notes, substance abuse treatment records, or other types of health information that may not be disclosed under applicable federal laws without the patient's prior written authorization.