The Value of Sharing Your Health Records Safely and Securely
When you go to a physician, hospital or other medical facility for the first time, you’ll probably be asked to sign a form. That form gives your healthcare providers permission to access your medical records. This is called providing consent.
You may wonder if you should sign the consent form and why it is important.
This article will help answer your questions and describe how sharing your medical records could affect your healthcare.
A Modern Take on an Age-Old Practice
The exchange of health information between doctors is nothing new. Physicians and other healthcare providers have long shared your medical history and health information. Traditionally, they’ve used telephone, fax or mail or it was up to the patient to bring their records to a new provider.
The difference today is that technology now allows your history to be shared more effectively, through health information exchanges. Health information exchanges, like Hixny, provide a quicker, safer and more secure way for your healthcare providers to access information about your medical history and care.
Hixny provides advantages over the old methods:
With telephone, paper or fax, you had to sign a release form with every provider so they could release your information. With Hixny you sign a single consent form to give a designated provider access to your information.
Health information exchange is quicker and more secure
Hixny also gives you control over who gets to see your medical records. That means that providers will not have to delay your medical care because they do not have the information they need. Doctors won’t have to order duplicate lab work and subject you to unnecessary radiation by repeating a recent x-ray. They’ll be able to make treatment decisions more quickly and effectively—and you won’t need to make additional visits to labs or imaging centers for tests you’ve already completed.
Consent Makes Access to Information Quick and Easy
When a healthcare provider, hospital or other facility asks you to sign a consent form, it makes sense to do it. Why? Because that gives them access to the information they need to hit the ground running.
So instead of repeating your entire medical history, struggling to remember when you had test X or lab Y and what the exact results were, the information is right there on your provider’s screen.
There are lots of other reasons to consider signing a consent form, too. Here are just a few benefits to giving your healthcare provider access to a comprehensive view of your health and medical history through Hixny:
- Comprehensive information leads to improved clinical outcomes.
- It allows your healthcare providers to work together and coordinate the care they provide.
- It helps avoid duplicate lab work or other diagnostic tests.
- You save time. Waiting times in emergency departments, for example, may be reduced by as much as 52 minutes.
- You will not have to gather paper copies of lab work, screenings or other medical records from your providers.
- Doctors who know your medical and health history can place more emphasis on wellness and preventive care.
- When doctors can review your comprehensive health records, there is a reduced risk of error.
Hixny Protects Your Privacy
Giving your healthcare provider consent to access to your medical records does not mean you’re signing away your privacy. In fact, Hixny provides more security than paper records. People who are not directly involved in your care may see your paper records when they’re sitting on a desk or delivered from one department to another. But with Hixny, you’re in control of who sees your records. You can grant access to one provider/legal entity but not another, or to certain facilities and not others. The choice is yours.
Here are some of the ways Hixny helps protect your privacy:
- You designate who can see your records when you sign the consent form.
- Hixny uses advanced security and encryption that protects your privacy and keeps your records safe.
- Only providers who are treating you can access your health information.
- The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) continues to protect your health
information and privacy after you sign a Hixny consent form.
- All providers who use the Hixny health information exchange complete training on HIPAA regulations.
There are many good reasons to allow access to your medical information. Most importantly, is that when your doctors and other providers can easily view your medical history, check lab results and review past treatments, they’ll be able quickly make recommendations that will bring you the best possible outcome.