Hunt Regional Healthcare is now live with HASA—the health information exchange for North, South and West Texas regions—marking a milestone for Hunt County and surrounding areas in which doctors and health care providers will now have electronic access to patient records from other providers. This is especially important in the event of a medical emergency.
HASA’s infrastructure is built to ensure privacy and security of the patient’s record. The data is secure, encrypted, both at rest and in transit, and meets all federal and state requirements for privacy and security.
What you need to know
You already depend on the latest technology to help keep you healthy. So, why not use it to help keep better track of your health records too?
HASA is a non-profit organization that works closely with major healthcare providers in our region to establish secure and patient oriented Health Information Exchange. Our mission is to improve access to healthcare information for Texas families. There are many advantages to streamlining the flow of healthcare information. However, you can choose whether your information is shared in this system.
How is information shared now?
Healthcare providers and insurers can share your health information by telephone, fax or mail or through limited computer networks. It’s time consuming, not the most reliable and still may not provide complete records.
How can HASA help me?
HASA’s services allow providers to locate records from other providers in a matter of minutes. This gives them a more complete and accurate record of your health. HASA will offer the GOAccount, a consumer portal, entirely under your control, where you can track your health information, obtain relevant tips about your health, and request a copy of your medical information. Caregivers, or adults who manage care for aging parents or minor children, can also see their medical information in one place.
What are the benefits?
- Better flow of information in emergencies..
- No need to keep paper copies from every visit.
- Your doctor will have a more complete picture of your health concerns and medications.
- When changing doctors or seeing specialists, your records are there when you need them.
What will healthcare providers be able to do?
- Eliminate duplicate tests and procedures.
- Avoid less secure means of sending patient information, like fax, phone or hand carrying.
- Gain immediate access in emergencies to critical information like allergies, diagnosis and medications.
- Merge medical histories from different organizations.
- Better manage chronic diseases and make more informed treatment decisions.
- Support data collection to identify community trends and improve healthcare for all.
What should I know about the security of my records?
HASA is legally prohibited from using your information in an unauthorized manner. We can’t sell personal information for any reason.
State and federal guidelines are in place to protect you. Unauthorized access violates Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) standards and is punishable by law. Technical safeguards include encryption, password protection and the ability to limit and monitor access to the system. All providers who participate in HASA must be trained and agree to follow these policies.
HASA is fully prepared in the case of a security breach and routinely audits and identifies each user who views your record, to minimize the chance of unauthorized access. You have the right to request a copy of who has viewed your account at any time by contacting HASA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I decide I don't want to participate?
Yes. The decision not to participate in HASA is called “opting out.” If you opt out, your health information will not be available through HASA. Only your name, address, gender, date of birth and opt out status will be viewable.
Your decision to opt out of HASA will not affect your ability to receive healthcare. It applies only to sharing your information through HASA. It does not affect other authorized sharing of health information between your providers.
To opt out of HASA, you can download and complete an “Opt Out Form” at www.hasatx.org/forms. Give it to your provider during your appointment. They will sign and forward it to HASA.
If you opt out, your providers may have less information available when providing care, including when you travel, change providers or in emergency situations.
If I opt out now, can I change my mind later?
Yes. Complete a “Revocation Form” at: www.hasatx.org/forms
Who can access my information through HASA?
You can find a current list of participants at www.hasatx.org. Participating providers will notify you that they contribute to the HASA by visible indicators in their waiting rooms or offices. Limited information may be used for community health purposes to identify health trends, assess service needs and to offer health management services for appropriate patients. HASA staff and contractors will have access to provide technical and administrative support. All access will be strictly on a need-to-know basis.
What health information will be shared?
Your providers determine what information will be sent to HASA. Depending upon what date your provider joined HASA, your records may not be complete. Types of information your provider may share with HASA include:
- Lab and x-ray results
- Medication and immunization history
- Transcribed diagnostic and treatment records
- Records of allergies and drug reactions
- Other transcribed clinical reports
Special consideration is given to information such as drug use, mental health issues and other sensitive diagnoses. HASA makes every effort to ensure the confidential information is blocked from inappropriate viewing. Due to system limitations, certain participating providers are limited in blocking sensitive information at this time. If you have concern about having your sensitive information shared, HASA suggests that you opt out of sharing your information.
Where can I get more information?
For a complete list of Frequently Asked Questions, please visit www.hasatx.org/faq/faqs. Other resources available online include:
- HASA – www.hasatx.org
- Texas Association of Healthcare Information Organizations (TAHIO) – www.linktexas.healthcare
- Texas Health Services Authority – www.hietexas.org