All FAQs

After a patient signs the consent form, how long is consent good for?

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

Who may give consent to access the VHIE for a minor age 12 or older?

Unless a minor is established as a legally emancipated minor, a parent or legal guardian must provide consent for a provider to access a minor's health information on the VHIE. However, there are a number of situations when a minor may consent to treatment and therefore should be providing the consent to access his or her record which may include information related to that treatment.

These situations may include:

  • Minors age 12 or older consenting to treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, drug dependence or alcoholism.
  • Minors age 14 or older seeking voluntary inpatient treatment for a mental health condition.
  • Minors of any age seeking treatment related to reproductive health or sexual abuse.

Because information regarding treatments for which the minor has consented may be mixed with information regarding other treatment received by the minor, VITL suggests that providers obtain written consent from both the parent or legal guardian and a minor age 12 or older to access the minor's protected health information on the VHIE. Consent may be revoked by the minor alone.

Can patients see information about them that is available on the network?

There is no direct patient access to the VHIE at this time. However, under the Vermont patient consent policy, a patient does have the right to see information about them that is available in the exchange. The patient can either ask a participating health care provider to see the information or contact VITL. Providers will be able to use the portal to make a clinical summary file, which can then be given to the patient upon request. A paper printout would also meet the requirement.

Does Patient consent for provider access to the VHIE affect our organization's EHR and being able to correspond with other providers?

No. The Vermont patient consent policy only applies to accessing a source of patient data like the VHIE or the Blueprint for Health registry, where information has been compiled from multiple health care organizations. It does not apply to accessing your organization's own data, and it does not affect communicating directly with another provider.

Can I access out-of-state data?

Data is being contributed to the VHIE from Vermont health care organizations and a few organizations in neighboring states (such as Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center) that treat a significant number of Vermonters.

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.

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.

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

Please see the Privacy and Security page for more information.

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.

From where can I access VITLAccess?

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