Health Information Exchange
Better care. Everywhere.

Thank you for choosing Palmetto Health for your care. Our vision is to be remembered by each patient as providing the care and compassion we want for our families and ourselves. A tool that will help us achieve this vision is our electronic medical record (EMR). An EMR is a computerized health record that provides your doctors with real-time access to your personal health information such as your medications, illnesses and conditions, allergies and reactions, lab results and immunizations. Palmetto Health is launching a health information exchange (HIE) so this information is available to our hospitals and physicians if and when it is needed, such as during an emergency situation.

What is an HIE?

A Health Information Exchange (HIE) is a convenient electronic service that allows healthcare providers at multiple sites to have access to a patient’s EMR. Palmetto Health recently launched Provider HIE, which includes Palmetto Health hospitals and physician practices.

Why is an HIE important?

An HIE is important because healthcare providers need your health information to accurately diagnose and treat you whenever and wherever needed. This secure technology will provide your physicians with access to your medical record. This is especially helpful during emergency situations.

Benefits of participating in the HIE include:

  • Improved quality and coordination of your care
  • Easy and immediate access to your personal health information by all your Palmetto Health healthcare providers
  • More timely care, because physicians won’t have to wait for your medical information to come from another provider
  • Reduced duplicate medical procedures

How do healthcare providers currently share my information?

Today, your personal health information may be shared among providers by telephone, fax, mail or limited computer networks. These methods take time and can be burdensome on you and your providers. In addition, they may fail to provide your physicians with all the available information.

What kind of health information will be shared through the HIE?

Participating providers will share your general health information. Federal and state laws, including but not limited to HIPAA, protect the release of sensitive health information. Sensitive health information generally will not be shared; that includes, but is not limited to, information related to behavioral health, drug/alcohol/substance abuse, sexual abuse, genetic testing, HIV/STDs and adoption.

How is my health information protected in the HIE?

Participating providers utilize a combination of safeguards to protect your personal health information. All providers must abide by policies that govern protection of health information. In addition, providers must abide by both federal and state laws related to privacy. Technical safeguards also are in place to ensure that your health information is secure and your privacy is protected.

Can I choose not to participate in the HIE?

Yes. “Opting out” of the HIE is your choice. If you choose to opt out, your health information will not be shared among healthcare providers through the HIE. Instead, your providers will continue to share your information by phone, fax, mail or limited computer networks. You can opt out using the form provided in this brochure.

Participating in the HIE is voluntary. Your health information will be included unless you opt out. Please read this notice carefully and decide if you want to participate. It is your information and your choice.

Opting out

If you decide to opt out of the HIE, you still can receive healthcare. Participating in the HIE is not a requirement. If you choose to opt out, your provider may not have your most complete and up-to-date information related to your care when needed.

Any decision to opt out of the HIE does not affect the sharing of your personal health information among your providers through other methods.

How can I opt out of the HIE?

If you choose, you may opt out by completing the Opt-Out Form and returning it to:
Palmetto Health
Health Information Management Department
5 Richland Medical Park
Columbia, SC 29203.

Can I change my mind at a later date?

Yes. If you decide to participate in the HIE now and you change your mind at a later time, you can opt out. If you choose to opt out now and you decide at a later time that you want to participate, you can opt in by completing the Opt Back In Form. Be aware that if you opt back in, all of the information that has been gathered by participating providers since you opted out will be available for sharing through the HIE.

For more information, call 803-434-7115 (Richland) or 803-296-5865 (Baptist); visit Provider HIE.org; or talk to your participating provider.