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All FAQs

What happens if I don’t give consent to view?

Your health care provider won't be able to see any information about you that is available through the Vermont Health Information Exchange, and won'tt be able to use that information to give you better health care. A health care provider can still seek information about you by other means, such as calling and faxing other places where you may have received care.

From where can I access VITLAccess?

VITLAccess is a secure internet portal and can be accessed from any web browser.

What happens to the physical consent form?

This will depend on the workflow that your organization decides to implement. In many cases, the consent form will be scanned into the your medical record so that your organization has a record of the signed consent. The organization will then set a notification flag in the VITLAccess system to indicate your consent. The organization must keep records of your consent for audit purposes.

Where can I get a VITLDirect Address?

VITLDirect addresses are available from Vermont Information Technology Leaders by contacting clientservices@vitl.net.

How long is my consent good for?

Patient consent is good indefinitely until it is revoked by the patient signing a revocation form. 

Do office staff/clinical staff have access?

Yes, your office staff and other clinicians will have access. The provider portal has role-based security, which enables the access for each user has to be tailored to his or her role. For example, a physician could have complete access to the patient record while a front desk person could be limited to seeing only patient demographics.

Does data go into the VHIE regardless of whether a patient consents?

Yes. Because VITL holds data in the VHIE on behalf of participating health care providers, there is no patient consent required for data to be stored in the VHIE. Patient consent is only required for data stored in the VHIE to be viewed.

Will I be able to exchange information with other providers who have a Direct address?

With VITLDirect, you can securely exchange patient information with any other provider who has a Direct exchange service, you simply need to obtain their Direct address.

If I do give consent to view, can I change my mind later?

Yes, you can change your mind at any time. To withdraw consent, you must tell your health care provider and sign a revocation form.

What are some of the measures VITL uses to ensure data is secure?

Please see the Privacy and Security page for more information.

Is there a way for patients to control which individual providers see their data?

No, patients cannot decide which individual providers access their data. Once consent is granted, any provider who is treating the patient can access the patient's data.

Where can I find the Direct address of providers I need to send patient information to?

Just like any email address or phone number, you should contact the person that you would like to communicate with using VITLDirect to obtain their Direct address. 

Is my consent specific to a single health care organization?

The Policy on Provider Access to Protected Health Information establishes the concept of global consent. When you sign a consent form, any provider involved in your care can access your information through the Vermont Health Information Exchange. The policy does not have an option to provide consent on an organizational level.

I get reports from hospitals and referring physicians, so why do I need VITLAccess?

Even if you receive reports from a local hospital and referring physicians, your patients may be receiving care outside of the area that you are unaware of. By getting consent to view data on the VHIE, you will be able to see records from health care organizations in other parts of the state that have provided care for your patients.

Is substance abuse treatment data included in the VHIE?

It depends on whether the provider is subject to a federal law regulating the handling of patient data for substance abuse treatment (42 CFR Part 2). If so, then substance abuse treatment information from that provider may be excluded from the VHIE until VITL is able to comply with all the technical requirements of the federal law. But not all providers who offer substance abuse treatment are subject to Part 2, so there may be some information about substance abuse treatment in the VHIE.

How does a healthcare organization request an immunization interface, or check the status of their interface request?

Interface development projects are requested by completing an order form which is attached to a new or existing VHIE Services Agreement. The actual work on an interface is dependent on the ability of your EHR vendor to meet the technical requirements to connect with the VHIE, and to allocate appropriate resources to the task. VITL will work with you and your vendor and will begin work as soon as possible. A current list of EHR vendors and their readiness to connect to the VHIE can be found at https://www.vitl.net/connect/connectivity-services/public-health-interface-services/immunization-interface-technical.

To request a new service, please contact clientservices@vitl.net. For status on an existing interface project, please visit www.myvitl.net.

Can my information be accessed in an emergency, without my consent?

Yes. In emergency situations, if the provider treating you cannot obtain consent because of your medical condition, the provider may access your health information. You or your legal representative must be notified of this access as soon as reasonably possible. If the provider wishes to continue accessing your information after the emergency has ended, he or she must obtain written consent to do so.

How many/what kind of practices are currently contributing data?

All of the Vermont hospitals, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and Samaritan Hospital in Troy, NY are contributing data to the VHIE. In addition, all of the Federally Qualified Health Centers in Vermont, many specialty and primary care practices, and a few home health agencies contribute information. Please see the Network Statistics page for more information about contributing organizations.

How can patients find out who has accessed their data?

Under the Vermont consent policy, you have the right to see an audit report of each  by a provider of the information available about you. To request an audit report, please call the VITL offie at 802-861-1800 or Contact Us.

Where can I find information from the Vermont Department of Health regarding Meaningful Use?

Please visit the Vermont Department of Health website for information about meaningful use measures related to public health at http://www.healthvermont.gov/health-professionals-systems/hospitals-health-systems/meaningful-use

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