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All FAQs

How do I get started with VITLAccess?

Please contact us at clientservices@vitl.net and one of our eHealth specialists will contact you about enrollment. Completion of a VHIE Services Agreement is part of the enrollment process.

What is the benefit to sharing my health information in the VHIE with all of my providers?

Your health care provider will have more complete information about your health history, which is very important for your provider to have when determining what could be causing your medical problems now and recommending treatment. If your health care provider can see the results of tests you've had in the past it may mean that the tests don't have to be unnecessarily repeated. Health care providers, including those participating in the Vermont Blueprint for Health and other health care reform initiatives, can also better coordinate the care you are receiving if they can see your complete record.

Who is responsible for health IT policy and planning in Vermont?

The State of Vermont's director of health care reform is responsible for coordination of health care reform efforts across state government. For more information, go to http://hcr.vermont.gov

What is the benefit of patient consent to the practice?

Providers who receive patient consent to view data through the Vermont Health Information Exchange can have more complete information to use when making diagnoses and treatment plans. Access to medication lists increases patient safety and makes reconciliation easier. Viewing the results of previous tests and procedures can help speed up the process of providing treatment and reduce the need to repeat tests. Practices can also view demographic data submitted by other organizations.

Is there an installation cost for an interface to the Vermont HIE?

Many first-time costs of conecting to the VHIE can be reimbursed through a grant from the Vermont Department of Health Access. Fees for other organizations vary. Please contact us at clientservices@vitl.net for specific information.

What information will be shared?

If you give permission, your health care provider will be able to view any of the information about you that has been contributed to the Vermont Health Information Exchange by other health care organizations. This may include: the medications you have been prescribed; the medical procedures and treatments that you've had in the past; a list of your current and former medical conditions; lab test results; radiology exam reports; hospital discharge summaries; and patient demographics. If you've had mental health or substance abuse treatment, in some cases information about that may also be included. In some cases, such as medication lists, the information may come from sources outside the Vermont Health Information Exchange.

What is Vermont doing to reform health care?

Please see our Vermont Health Care Reform page for more information about some of Vermont's health care reform efforts.

Will VITLAccess create more work for me?

You may have to do a few new things, such as asking patients to sign a consent form and answering some patient questions. However, there may be other things you have to do less of such as calling or faxing other provider offices for patient information.

What is VITLDirect?

VITLDirect is a messaging system that follows the Direct technical standard for exchanging health information between health care entities (e.g. primary care physicians, specialists, hospitals, clinical labs) in a trusted network. It is secure, easy-to-use, inexpensive, and approved for use by nationally-recognized experts and organizations. VITLDirect functions like regular email with additional security measures to ensure that messages are only accessible to the intended recipient, per the protection regulations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Can I decide which types of information will be shared?

No. Once you give consent, providers involved in your care may view any of the information about you that is available through the VHIE.

How does VITL support Vermont's health care reform initiatives?

VITL connects the electronic health records (EHR) of physician practices participating in the Blueprint for Health to the HIE, so that patient data can be collected from the EHRs and transmitted to the Blueprint's electronic registry. Providers participating in the Blueprint then use the registry to analyze patient care and identify opportunities for intervention and improvement. As the Blueprint expands statewide, VITL will increase its capacity to connect providers participating in the Blueprint to the HIE. Act 128 of the 2010 Vermont Legislature, which set the Blueprint expansion schedule, also requires hospitals to maintain connections with the HIE as a condition of their annual budget approval process. VITL will be accelerating the connection of hospitals to the HIE so that lab tests and other electronic data is available to providers participating in the Blueprint.

Will VITLAccess affect my work flow?

For some office staff members there will be a workflow change. A VITL representative will provide training and help you incorporate asking for patient consent and/or the provider portal into your daily routine.

What is a Direct Address?

A Direct address is needed to exchange health information using Direct. Because Direct is based off of
existing e-mail standards, a Direct address looks very similar to an email address. Like email addresses,
Direct addresses can be issued to individuals or to organizations, departments or specific devices. An
example of a Direct address is b.wells@direct.aclinic.org. While this may look and function similar to an
email address, it is important to know that a traditional email account (e.g. gmail, yahoo mail, or your
company e-mail) are NOT Direct addresses. Messages sent to or from traditional email accounts are not
secure and will fail to send via Direct. (www.healthit.gov)

How will my health information be used?

Information from the statewide electronic medical record will be used by your health care provider(s) in treating your medical conditions. For example, your provider may find the information useful in ruling out certain medical problems, or in determining which drugs are safer to prescribe for you. Some or all of the information from your statewide electronic record may also be added to the permanent record kept by an individual provider.

What is the benefit to the provider?

Providers who receive patient consent to view data on the Vermont Health Information Exchange can have more complete information to use when making diagnoses and treatment plans. Access to medication lists increases patient safety. Viewing the results of previous tests and procedures can help speed up the process of providing treatment and reduce the need to repeat tests.

What if the patient has a question I don't know the answer to?

A VITL representative will train you on how to answer the most common questions from patients. VITL will also provide you with a quick reference card for frequently asked questions. If a patient asks a question you don't know the answer to, you can give the patient VITL's toll-free Consent Line, 1-888-980-1243.

Why Do I Need VITLDirect?

Certified Electronic Health Record Technology (CEHRT) 2015 Edition and later are required to provide Direct exchange capabilities. If you are using an EHR system that does not support Direct exchange, contact us at clientservices@vitl.net.

How secure is my information?

Please see our Privacy and Security page for more information.

How quickly is data available?

Data is constantly being added to the Vermont Health Information Exchange. Some data, such as lab test results, are sent to the VHIE as soon as the test is completed by the lab.

What happens if the patient does not sign the consent? Do they need to sign a form to opt out?

According to Vermont consent policy, all patients are opted out by default. If a patient does not sign the consent form, he or she remains opted out and his or her information in the VHIE cannot be accessed except in emergency situations as defined by the policy.

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