All FAQs

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.

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.

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.

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.

How often does the consent need to be signed?

Once signed, a consent is good until revoked. When a minor turns 18, they will need to sign a new consent form as a legal adult.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.