All FAQs

Can my health information be used for purposes other than treatment?

Yes. When the pieces of information that identify you (such as your name and address) are removed, your health information may be used for research, quality improvement and public health purposes.

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.

Is my consent specific to a single health care organization?

Vermont revised the Policy on Provider Access to Protected Health Information in March, 2014. The revised policy establishes the concept of global consent. When you sign a consent form, any provider involved in your care can now access your information through the Vermont Health Information Exchange. The revised policy does not have an option to provide consent on an organizational level.

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.

How long is my consent good for?

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

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.

What if I am seen by a provider out of state?

Only health care providers who have signed a contract with VITL have access to information through the Vermont Health Information Exchange. Providers in other states who see Vermont patients may sign contracts with VITL to participate in the network and the same rules will apply to them.

How secure is my information?

Please see our Privacy and Security page for more information.

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.

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.