We’re excited to announce that Family Medicine Associates is joining Pioneer Valley Information Exchange (PVIX) ! This is GREAT NEWS for our patients! PVIX  is a regional Health Information Exchange (HIE) that seeks to improve the exchange of health information between patients, clinicians and healthcare organizations throughout the Pioneer Valley and Western Massachusetts. Caregivers have a view of their patient’s comprehensive medical record at the moment they need it, which enables better health care across the region

Patients of Family Medicine Associates do not need to do anything to take advantage of PVIX integration, as your electronic medical information will be integrated into PVIX by default. There is always an option to Opt Out, for those who do not want (for whatever reason) to take advantage of our health information exchange. Our PVIX integration is expected to be complete before the end of the calendar year. For more information about what PVIX integration means for our patients, please read below.

What is a Health Information Exchange (HIE)?

graphic of health information exchange


A Health Information Exchange (HIE) is an organization which acts as a hub for the purpose of sharing personal health information electronically between or among participating members (i.e., doctors, clinics, hospitals, etc.)  of the HIE within a region, community or hospital system. The sharing organizations combine to form an HIE network. The goal of HIE is to provide safer and more timely patient care. Family Medicine Association is joining PVIX, a Regional (Western Massachusetts) Health Information Exchange.

What information is “exchanged”?

At a minimum, your demographics, lists of your ongoing health conditions and problems as well as  medications, allergies, immunizations, and past hospital visits are shared with other participating network providers. Your labs, radiology other procedure results and doctor’s notes can also be exchanged with some HIE participants, but not with all.

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

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

Why is Health Information Exchange important?

HIE helps improve the quality of patient care and reduces costs:

HIE Improves Care: By getting information from outside sources, your health care providers can get a more complete picture of your medical history, and have it all in one place, reducing the likelihood of conflicting diagnoses, prescriptions, and treatment plans. If you have known allergies, this information alone could be a life saver!

HIE Saves Time: Your health care providers can get your information quickly. This means less time searching, calling and faxing your information. You may also avoid unnecessary return visits because your provider may have near immediate access to medical information necessary for your care.

HIE Reduces Cost: By having access to your outside records, your health care provider may not need to order tests or procedures that you have already had completed at another health care provider.

Who can request my personal health information from “outside” organizations?

Massachusetts law , as well as HIPAA,  prohibits health care providers from sharing your personal health information for most purposes other than treatment, payment, or health care operations without first obtaining special written authorization from you to do so. As a result, only participating members of the HIE organization(s) that require your personal health information for purposes of treatment, or for verifying public or private insurance coverage, can request your information.

How does Family Medicine Associates ensure the security and privacy of my health information – especially when it is being transferred or exchanged?

Your health information is protected by state of the art systems that use many security measures. All systems must comply with the security and privacy provisions of HIPAA and Massachusetts state laws that may apply. Regular audits are performed to ensure that your medical information is not being viewed by unauthorized individuals or parties.

Is PVIX connected with any other HIE network(s) that can also share my clinical information?

At this time, PVIX is focused on the Pioneer Valley and Western Massachusetts, however, PVIX does interface with the larger Massachusetts Health Information Highway (Mass HIway) .

If I do not want my health information exchanged electronically, how do I Opt Out of PVIX ?

You may refuse to allow your information to be exchanged in any of our HIE networks (that is, “opt out”) at any time. You may do this by downloading the Opt Out form from familymedicineofwestfield.com  under Patient Resources. You’ll see a link to the downloadable PDF form named PVIX HIE Patient Consent Form . Just complete this form and return to our office. You can also obtain this from from our Reception Desk. If you opt out, this will mean that your information will not be electronically exchanged with other participating PVIX members, but it may be sent to them by other means such as fax or mail if requested by your health care provider. If you choose to opt out of HIE, this will not affect your access to care at Family Medicine Associates in any way.

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