What medical information is included in my record?
Medical information included in your HealthInfoNet record can be the following.
- Patient demographics, insurer, primary care provider
- Visit History
- Laboratory and Microbiology Results
- Radiology Reports
- Adverse Reactions/Allergies
- Prescription Medication History
- Diagnosis/Conditions/Problems (primary and secondary)
- Dictated/Transcribed Documents like hospital discharge summaries and provider visit notes
- Vital Signs
How far back will my records go?
You may have records dating back to as early as December of 2008, because this is when a large number of organizations starting participating in the system. Ask your provider when they first starting sending information to HealthInfoNet’s system. It is different for each provider. Your original medical record at your provider’s office is not being replaced; it will be maintained just as it has always been.
How can I find out if my doctor or local hospital is taking part in HealthInfoNet?
Visit our Participating Healthcare Organizations page for a full list of those participating. However, it’s best to ask your doctor or hospital to be sure.
Who is able to see my health information in HealthInfoNet?
Only authorized users with correct identification and unique passwords can use HealthInfoNet’s portal. This may include your doctor, nurses, medical assistants, pharmacists and other clinical staff involved in your care. And, before they can view your record they must confirm they are involved in your health care and have a need to see your information. This is recorded in the system.
How can I find who has viewed my record? Is there a record of who has viewed my health information and why?
HealthInfoNet keeps track of everyone who accesses your record, when they accessed it, and what information they looked at. Click here to request an audit report of this information. This audit report will include when a provider accesses a patient’s mental health and/or HIV/AIDS data in an emergency situation described above.
Do I need to do anything to participate in HealthInfoNet? Is there a fee?
No. Your information will be included when you visit a participating doctor or hospital. There is no cost to the patient.
What if I do not want to participate?
You can opt-out securely online by filling out an opt-out form, over the phone during business hours at 207-541-9250 or 1-866-592-4352, or through mail by filling out and sending in the form available at your provider’s office. Important: When you opt-out out, your information will be removed from the Health Information Exchange, meaning if you decide to opt back in at a later date, you will have no information in the system.
If I opt-out, how do I know my information was removed and that I won’t be included again?
HealthInfoNet sends you a confirmation email or letter when you opt-out. HealthInfoNet keeps your demographic information, such as your name and birth date, to make sure none of your health information is included in the future.
What if I change my mind and want to include my information in HealthInfoNet?
If you opt-out and later decide to have your information included, you will need to go online and fill out the opt-in form or call HealthInfoNet to do this over the phone. Your medical record in HealthInfoNet will only contain health information created after you decided to opt back into the system. You will then need to separately choose to include mental health and HIV information as explained above. You can also reverse your consent to include your mental health and/or HIV information. This can be done on the same form you filled out to consent to sharing this information.
What about mental health and HIV records? Are they handled differently?
Yes. If you have been treated by a mental health care provider or for HIV/AIDS, this information is only available in HealthInfoNet if you give permission or are in a medical emergency. If you want providers like your primary care doctor or staff caring for you in the hospital to see this information, you need to give them permission. See Your Choices page for more information.
It says that my mental health and/or HIV/AIDS information can be accessed in a medical emergency. Is this true and who decides I’m in a medical emergency?
Yes, unless you have opted out of HealthInfoNet, Maine State law allows a provider to access your mental health, HIV/AIDS information in one of two situations.
- If your provider believes it is necessary to prevent a serious threat to the health or safety of others.
- If your provider believes it is necessary to prevent or respond to imminent and serious harm to your health.
If your provider feels one of these situation exists, they will record this in the system and access your mental health and/or HIV during that emergency only. These legal provisions are included in 34-B MRSA 1207(1)(I) and 5 MRSA 19203(11).
How is the system checked for security failures/hackers?
Security tests are performed on an ongoing basis, to make sure that the records remain secure. Information is always encrypted and sent over private and secure computer connections. Click here for more information about our privacy and security policies and practices.
Who is behind HealthInfoNet?
HealthInfoNet is a Maine-based nonprofit organization founded in 2006. It is independent and is not owned by insurance companies, healthcare providers, employers or the government. It was started by a group of people representing patients, healthcare providers, payers and public health.
Is participation required or mandated?
No. Participation is voluntary for patients and their providers. Your choice to opt-out will not affect your ability to receive medical care.
What information is used to identify patients in the system?
Information used to identify patients in the system is: name, date of birth, sex, address, Medical Record Number (used by your provider), and Social Security Number. Your Social Security Number is never shared and is not visible to HealthInfoNet users.
What if I receive care at a health care organization that is not participating in HealthInfoNet, what happens to my records?
Only providers who are participating in HealthInfoNet can access and include information in the system. If your provider does not participate in HealthInfoNet, they will continue to update your medical record in their own system, and they will share your medical records as they always have, by mail, email or fax. However, the goal is that all providers in Maine will participate in the future.
What if there is a mistake on my record, how will I get that fixed?
Your HealthInfoNet record includes information created by the health care providers caring for you. If you know of an error, please let your provider know about that, so that they can update the information. Once they do this, it will be automatically updated in HealthInfoNet.
How can I access my information in HealthInfoNet?
HealthInfoNet’s system is not set up for patient access at this time. You can review your HealthInfoNet record with your provider if you like. But check back, because HealthInfoNet is working on a way for your to access your information in their system in the future.
Is it against HIPAA rules for you to have shared my information?
No. HIPAA allows us to share your information with your other treating providers when information is used to support treatment, as is the case with HealthInfoNet. In its contract with participating organizations HealthInfoNet is defined as a business associate under HIPAA. This allows HealthInfoNet to act as a “virtual medical record department” to collect and store medical records, and allow authorized providers to review and upload records. Having a third party manage medical records is common practice.
What happens if there is inappropriate access or use (“breach”) of my HealthInfoNet record?
HealthInfoNet must follow all state and federal health record privacy laws, including HIPAA. These laws require HealthInfoNet and/or your provider to inform you if there is a breach of your personal health information. If you feel your HealthInfoNet record has been inappropriately accessed, please contact us.