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Mass HIway

Mass HIway logoBeginning Tuesday, May 19, 2015, patients can sign up for the Massachusetts Health Information Highway (Mass HIway) at BIDMC. The Mass HIway is a secure statewide computer network that allows health care providers to safely and quickly request patient health information electronically from other participating organizations.

BIDMC has joined Mass HIway to provide higher quality care for all of our patients. Giving consent to join the Mass HIway is voluntary; however, BID providers encourage participation so that important health information is available when it is necessary for care and treatment.

 

How would I benefit from becoming a Mass HIway participant?

  • If you are in an accident or have a sudden illness and go to an emergency room, the Mass HIway enables the emergency room doctor to request your medical record quickly and securely. The doctor can then find out if you have any allergies or any other health problems.
  • If you were recently hospitalized and discharged, the hospital can use the Mass HIway to send a note to your primary care doctor about the hospital stay.
  • If you see a new doctor, he or she can use the Mass HIway to find out where else you have received care. Your new doctor can then request your medical record, which may be electronically delivered immediately and securely.*

*Remember, the Mass HIway is new, so all of your doctors may not be using it yet. There will be more benefits to you as more doctors get on board.

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Does the Mass HIway store my medical record on the network?

No. Your medical record is stored by your health care organization. The Mass HIway is simply the method of delivery and cannot “see” any information that is sent through it.

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What information does the Mass HIway keep about me as a participant?

In order for your nurse or doctor to locate your medical record at another health care organization, the Mass HIway must “show” you as a network participant. By giving consent at BIDMC, you authorize the Mass HIway to show an existing relationship between you and BIDMC as your provider. This relationship is visible only to other organizations where you have also given your consent.

The information (kept in a secured database within the MassHIway) is your name, medical record number, date of birth, gender, address, email address and phone number. No other information is kept by Mass HIway.

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Is my personal information protected?

Yes. The Mass HIway was created by the Executive Office of Health and Human Services of Massachusetts and has security measures in place. Only authorized providers can read the information that has been encrypted behind a firewall.

BIDMC, as well as other organizations who participate in the Mass HIway, follow state and federal laws to protect your information. In addition, you need to give special permission to providers for them to receive certain sensitive information (including but not limited to HIV, genetic testing and substance abuse history).

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Who has access to the information on the Mass HIway?

Your consent allows your doctor and other health care workers to request, send and/or receive a medical record. Examples of other health care workers are a lab technician or someone in the medical records office.

At BIDMC, only those members of the caregiving team who need information to assist in your care have access to the Mass HIway.

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How do I give consent at BIDMC?

Patients give consent to participate in the Mass HIway on BIDMC’s secure patient portal, PatientSite. Visit PatientSite.org to set up a new patient profile if you are a new user.

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What if I say ‘no’ to participating in the Mass HIway?

That’s okay. If you do not give consent for the Mass HIway, your doctors will continue requesting and sending medical records using other means, like fax or mail. However, sending mail and faxes takes time and those methods are not always secure. The Mass HIway was simply designed to make this process faster and safer.

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What if I change my mind about participating in the Mass HIway?

If you have already said no and now you want to sign up for the Mass HIway — or if you have already signed up and you no longer want to participate — you should contact the Director of Health Information Management directly at (617) 667-5441 or masshiway@bidmc.harvard.edu.

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Where can I find more information about the Mass HIway?

More information about Mass HIway statewide can be found MassHIway.net.

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