patients - FAQ
What is etHIN?
East Tennessee Health Information Network (etHIN), a non-profit community Health Information Exchange (HIE), was established in 2005 to serve the data exchange needs of the healthcare community. Healthcare providers have been using etHIN’s robust exchange services to meet their data needs for more than 10 years.
etHIN provides a secure health information exchange technology platform to its Community of Care. This secure solution replaces traditional methods of sharing medical records such as faxing, calling, mailing, patient pick-up, and couriers. etHIN gives authorized providers immediate access to patients’ records from providers across the community, including hospitals and other physicians.
Many of the major hospital systems in the region participate in the network, along with numerous physicians’ groups, long term care and skilled nursing facilities, behavioral health providers, labs, and other providers of health care services. View our current Participants here.
What information is available through etHIN?
Participating healthcare providers can view this type of information for patients they have a relationship with:
- Lab and pathology reports
- Medication history
- Office notes
- Radiology reports and images
- Hospital progress notes and discharge summaries
How does etHIN benefit me and my family?
Your healthcare providers who participate in etHIN have access to up-to-date information from many other providers without having to make calls for your records, then wait for faxes to be sent or for you to bring your records in. Allergy and medication information shared by your providers can help your entire care team work together to have a better understanding of your health. They may also be able to view recent lab work and test results without having to call other providers and wait for results.
Having access to up-to-date information can help your doctors improve efficiency, make the best diagnoses, and provide you with the best treatment possible while helping protect you from errors and duplicate tests.
Which hospitals and providers participate in etHIN?
Many hospitals, practices, and other healthcare entities participate in etHIN. View a complete list of etHIN participants here.
Who can see my information, and how can I find out who has viewed my records in etHIN?
Only providers involved in your care have access to your health information. This means physicians, licensed practitioners, nurses, and other healthcare providers who participate in etHIN and have a treatment, payment, or healthcare operations (TPO) relationship with you are allowed see your information.
There are strict legal guidelines that limit who has access to your medical information. All access to medical records through etHIN is monitored and audited by etHIN to ensure patient privacy.
If you do not want your medical information shared, you must inform each of your providers that you want to opt-out of medical records sharing.
You may request an audit of your records by contacting one of your healthcare providers who participates in etHIN. View a complete list of current etHIN participants here.
etHIN is a data utility service for its participating organizations and does not operate as a patient portal. etHIN has no relationship with any patient whose PHI is contained on its Network and cannot verify the identity of an Individual seeking access to or a copy of their PHI as required under the privacy provisions of HIPAA. Therefore, etHIN cannot directly respond to such a request by an Individual.
For that reason, your audit report will be sent to your provider who will give it to you. The audit will allow you to see if your medical records were accessed in etHIN, and if so, by which healthcare provider.
How does etHIN comply with HIPAA and the Information Blocking rule?
etHIN complies with all state and federal privacy, security, and confidentiality laws, including HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) and the 21st Century Cures Act.
It is important for you to know that authorized healthcare providers may only access patient information for patients with whom they have a relationship to support treatment, payment, or operational activities. This means that providers you don’t have a relationship with do not have the right to access your records in etHIN.
etHIN and healthcare providers are subject to strict policies and procedures to protect patient information. All clinicians must complete a stringent onboarding process in order to become etHIN authorized users. All user activity within the Health Information Exchange (HIE) is monitored and audited to enforce compliance with those policies.
etHIN responds in good faith and in a timely manner to requests to retrieve or exchange electronic health information, from and among etHIN Participants, in compliance with applicable law and active Participant and Business Associate Agreements.
etHIN will not knowingly or willingly take any action to limit or to restrict the interoperability of any of its HIE software or the EHR software of its connected Participants.
etHIN responds in good faith and in a timely manner to requests to retrieve or exchange electronic health information, from and among etHIN Participants, in compliance with applicable law and active Participant Agreements. etHIN will comply with the requirements of the 21st Century Cures Act applicable to health information networks and health information exchanges, including any regulations and guidance issued relating to information blocking under 42 U.S.C. § 300jj-52 (the “Cures Act”).
How can I obtain my or my family’s medical records?
If you need copies of medical records or test results for you or your family, you should request them from your provider’s office. View a complete list of current etHIN participants here.
etHIN is a data utility service for its participating organizations and does not operate as a patient portal. etHIN has no relationship with any patient whose PHI is contained on its Network and cannot verify the identity of an Individual seeking access to or a copy of their PHI as required under the privacy provisions of HIPAA. Therefore, etHIN cannot directly respond to medical records requests by an Individual.