FAQ for Providers

ClinicalConnect HIE strives to help the region’s healthcare providers improve care by providing patient-centered, accountable care, and by creating a model that can be replicated nationwide.

Q: What is a health information exchange (HIE)?

A: An HIE allows the electronic exchange of clinical information about a patient among healthcare providers within a particular region or community.

 

Q: What are the goals of ClinicalConnect HIE?

A: ClinicalConnect HIE will enable the exchange of clinical healthcare information among all its participants. Its initial focus will be on acute care-based providers in the western Pennsylvania region and their affiliated physicians.

Our vision is to expand ClinicalConnect HIE to allow non-acute providers to directly exchange data. This includes independent physician practices, nursing homes, home health agencies, imaging centers, clinical laboratories, and other types of healthcare providers.

 

Q: How was ClinicalConnect HIE formed?

A: The concept of forming an HIE in western Pennsylvania was analyzed for over a year by CEOs and chief information officers (CIOs) from a number of community hospitals and health systems in the region.

 

Q: Who are the providers within ClinicalConnect HIE?

A: ClinicalConnect HIE’s current members are Altoona Regional Health System, ACMH Hospital, Butler Health System, The Children's Institute of Pittsburgh, Excela Health, Heritage Valley Health System, Jefferson Regional Medical Center, Pediatric Alliance, St. Clair Memorial Hospital, The Washington Hospital, and UPMC. New members are encouraged to contact us and learn how to participate.

 

Q: If my organization decides to participate in ClinicalConnect HIE, will that preclude us from participating in other health information exchanges that might operate in the region?

A: No, it will not.

 

Q: Have you addressed all privacy concerns with the proposed arrangement?

A: ClinicalConnect HIE is committed to protecting patient privacy and complying with Federal and State laws, including HIPAA. In order to ensure this, a Data Exchange Agreement, Notice of Privacy Practice (NOPP) and Patient Consent language have been developed. ClinicalConnect HIE has established a workgroup to develop operational policies and procedures. Additionally, ClinicalConnect HIE staff is dedicated to Privacy, Security and Compliance.

 

Q: Will my organization's data and our patients' data become public or available to other providers and payers?

A: No, the HIE is bound by both federal and state law to ensure that information is properly safeguarded and only exchanged as necessary and appropriate. To ensure this, any disclosure of information, whether to the patient or provider will be consistent with the data exchange agreements that each participant will sign.

 

Q: Will ClinicalConnect HIE link with other health information exchanges?

A: ClinicalConnect HIE will eventually be able to directly exchange data with other health information exchanges within Pennsylvania and surrounding states. As the Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) becomes a reality, it is anticipated that ClinicalConnect HIE also will connect to the NHIN to facilitate information exchange across states.

Founding member CIOs gave consideration to the exchange of information among exchanges when they selected dbMotion technology for the HIE.

 

Q: Where can I learn more about HIEs generally?

A: An excellent source on HIEs can be found at Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) website

Additionally, the eHealth Initiative’s Web site provides information regarding health information exchanges.

The US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technologyalso provides comprehensive information on health information technology (IT), including health information exchanges.

 

Q: Who can I contact if I have questions?

A: Please fill out this contact form and we will respond promptly.