Patients & Visitors
SOUTH CAROLINA HEALTH INFORMATION EXCHANGE
Your doctor or health care provider has become a member of the South Carolina Health Information Exchange (“SCHIEx”). This Notice tells you how doctors and other health care providers may use or share your electronic health information through SCHIEx EXCHANGE and with whom it may be shared.
About SCHIEx Exchange:
SCHIEx EXCHANGE makes it possible for your doctor to share your medical history, including medications, allergies, diagnoses, and procedures, with other doctors and health care providers involved in your care. It is a safe and secure network that makes sure your personal health information is available to the aforementioned persons when and where it is needed. SCHIEx does not keep or store your personal health information.
By allowing your doctors and other health care providers to use and share your personal health information through SCHIEx EXCHANGE:
- Your doctor will have more information available to make even more informed health care decisions at the time of your appointment.
- Your doctor may know better which tests or services you have already received, so you can avoid repeated or needless tests and services.
- Your doctors and other health care providers can better coordinate your health care; this can save you time and money by avoiding unneeded tests and doctor visits, paperwork, or appointment delays. Your health information is available when and where it is needed, whether it is a routine office visit or an emergency.
How your electronic health information may be used or shared:
Your privacy and your personal health information are protected by federal and state law. Those federal and state laws also govern the way your personal and electronic health information is used or shared through SCHIEx. Your doctors will use and share your electronic health information with other health care providers involved in your care to provide, coordinate, or manage your health care and any related services. This includes coordinating your health care with other health care providers who have signed on as members of SCHIEx and agreed to follow all of the SCHIEx EXCHANGE policies and procedures.
SCHIEx EXCHANGE members may include health care providers licensed in the State of South Carolina, including medical doctors, dentists, chiropractors, optometrists, podiatrists, pharmacists, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners. SCHIEx EXCHANGE members also may include organizations such as hospitals, ambulatory surgical facilities, home health agencies, pharmacies, case management providers, telemonitoring providers, health information exchanges and organizations within which eligible individuals practice.
- EXAMPLE 1: We would share your electronic health information, as necessary, through SCHIEx EXCHANGE with another doctor who has requested to see your electronic health information to provide care to you.
- EXAMPLE 2: We may share your electronic health information from time-to-time with a doctor, or health care provider (Ex: a specialist/ laboratory) who, at the request of your doctor, becomes involved in your care by helping with your diagnosis or treatment or with whom you start a new treatment relationship.
- EXAMPLE 3: We may share your personal health information, as necessary, through SCHIEx EXCHANGE with your pharmacist. Your pharmacist can track what drugs you take and prevent unwanted side effects or bad reactions when you are prescribed medications by more than one doctor. We may also share your personal health information through SCHIEx EXCHANGE with agencies that audit, investigate, and inspect health programs for the health and safety of the public. We may submit information as required by law, including but not limited to: immunization data, quality reporting data, and communicable disease data to a state or federal agency.
- EXAMPLE 4: If you were diagnosed with the measles or mumps, we would share your personal health information, as required by law, through SCHIEx to report your diagnosis to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. This helps DHEC work to prevent the spread of the disease to others in your community.
In emergencies, including any visits to a hospital’s emergency department that is a member of SCHIEx EXCHANGE, we will allow emergency room doctors and nurses to see your personal health information, so you may receive the most appropriate care. Personal health information that may be shared includes personally identifiable information, general information, diagnoses, test results, prescriptions, claims data, and clinical notes.
Participating in SCHIEx exchange or not:
You may ‘Opt Out’ of SCHIEx EXCHANGE. By opting out, your personal health information will not be shared through SCHIEx EXCHANGE. If you wish to opt out of SCHIEx EXCHANGE, you must ask for, complete, and sign an Opt Out form that tells us in writing that you do not want your personal health information included in or shared through SCHIEx EXCHANGE. Should you wish to opt out using a signed Opt Out form, we will take steps to make sure your personal information cannot be viewed, used, or shared through SCHIEx EXCHANGE.
Please understand that if you opt out, your personal health information will not be used or shared by any doctor or health care provider through SCHIEx EXCHANGE except where required by law. If you change your mind and wish to have your electronic health information shared through SCHIEx EXCHANGE, you may cancel your Opt Out. To cancel your Opt Out, you or your personal representative must complete, and submit a signed SCHIEx form to the office staff stating that you allow us to share your electronic health information through SCHIEx EXCHANGE. We will use our best efforts to make all of your electronic health information available through SCHIEx EXCHANGE. However we cannot guarantee that all of your personal health information will be available at that time. You are required to sign this form, acknowledging that you have received this SCHIEx EXCHANGE Notice of Participation. If you choose to allow your providers to share your electronic health information, you do not need to do anything else. If you choose to Opt Out of sharing your electronic information through SCHIEx EXCHANGE, please complete the information on the form provided.