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The UC San Diego Health System and Health Information Exchanges

Health Information Exchanges

A health information exchange allows your provider to access clinical information about you from other treating facilities. The UC San Diego Health System participates in two health information exchanges: Care Everywhere and the San Diego Health Connect, a Health Information Exchange.

Care Everywhere

The UC San Diego Health System participates in the Care Everywhere Health Information Exchange (Care Everywhere). Care Everywhere allows your provider to query other treatment centers that use Epic, the electronic medical record system used at UC San Diego Health System. Use of Epic’s electronic medical record is very common at many hospitals and medical practices across the United States.

Frequently Asked Questions about Health Information Exchange (HIE)

Additional commonly asked questions regarding a health information exchange can be found here.

San Diego Health Connect

UC San Diego Health System also participates with the San Diego Health Connect HIE, which began as the San Diego Beacon Community—an effort to improve healthcare in the San Diego community spearheaded by the University of California. In April 2010, UC San Diego received a $15.3 million Beacon cooperative agreement from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) on behalf of the community. As one of only 17 Beacon grant awardees in the United States, the San Diego Beacon Community was tasked with:

  • Building and strengthening local health information technology infrastructure.
  • Implementing new approaches for making measurable improvements in the cost and quality of health care.

In early 2013, UC San Diego transferred operational and oversight responsibility for the HIE to San Diego Health Connect—an independent, non-profit 501(c3) organization.

San Diego Health Connect is currently sharing information with multiple hospitals and medical practices in San Diego County.

What Does This Mean to You as a Patient?

Your electronic health information will be accessible only to doctors and health care personnel who are providing you with medical care. Your electronic health information will only be stored within each treating provider’s secure electronic medical record system.

When you are seen at a UC San Diego Health System clinical site, you will be automatically eligible for and enrolled for participation in the health information exchanges. Your electronic health information will be transmitted in a safe and secure manner. Care Everywhere and the SD Health Connect HIEs will only store your identifying information and some markers about where you have received care. The Health Information Exchange will not store any clinical information about you.

This means that UC San Diego Health System may share your personal health information with:

  1. Providers who are treating you
  2. The San Diego Immunization Registry
  3. San Diego County Public Health services as mandated by federal and state laws

What information is “exchanged”?

At a minimum, lists of your ongoing health conditions, medications, and allergies are shared with other participating network providers. Your lab and procedure results and doctor’s notes can be exchanged with some HIE participants, but not with all.

Is some of my most sensitive health information provided extra protection?

Certain kinds of health information, including psychotherapy notes, records of substance use treatment, and genetic testing require your written authorization to be shared through health information exchange.

Opting Out of the Health Information Exchange

The patient or their personal representative may elect to disallow his or her patient information maintained by UCSD Health System in the legal medical record from being shared with other Participants through the HIE network at any time. This is also referred to as an “opt-out”. Opting out prevents your personal health information from being shared in the health information exchanges, except in the case of an emergency. Your “Opt-Out” notification (not to share personal health information with an HIE) will apply to both Care Everywhere and to the San Diego Health Connect HIE. Please allow up to two business days for processing your opt out request.

  • The Opt Out right does not apply when the disclosure is made to public health authorities and the purpose of the disclosure is permitted by both HIPAA and applicable California law.
  • Effect of the Opt Out decision on disclosures to Treat an Emergency Condition: The patient information of an individual who has exercised the right to Opt Out may be disclosed through the HIE Network in order to facilitate the provision of emergency medical treatment to the individual.

Informing Individuals or their Personal Representatives of Their Right to Opt Out

  • UC San Diego Health System has established a process to notify individuals about:
    The benefits of the HIE network
  • The individual’s right to Opt Out and the potential consequences to individuals of Opting Out
  • The individual’s right to rescind a previous decision to Opt Out; and
  • A process whereby an individual may exercise the right to Opt Out and the right to rescind a previous decision to Opt Out.
  • For patients that do not opt out, health care participants are permitted to use and share patient information through the HIE network for any HIPAA permitted purpose. Additionally, California state law allows mental health patient information, pharmacy records, communicable disease records, and home health care records to be accessed and disclosed for Permitted Purposes through the HIE network, except that Participants may not make available to the HIE psychotherapy notes, substance abuse treatment records, or other types of health information that may not be disclosed under applicable federal laws without the patient's prior written authorization.

Notifying us of your preference to “Opt-Out” of the Health Information Exchanges (Care Everywhere and San Diego Health Connect).

Choose one (1) of the following methods to opt-out of the HIE. Please provide your full first and last name, gender, date of birth, and a daytime call back number, in case we have questions. You may include your medical record number (if known), but this is not required. If you choose to opt out of HIE, this will not affect your access to care at UCSD Health System in any way.

Choose ONE of the following Opt-Out methods to Notify UCSD Health System

  1. Submit an online Opt Out form using your MyUCSDChart account. http://myucsdchart.ucsd.edu
  2. Contact the UC San Diego Health Medical Records office during business hours (Monday-Friday, 9:00-4:00).
    A staff member will assist you. Phone: 619-543-5707