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1. What is the North Dakota Health Information Network (NDHIN)?

The North Dakota Health Information Network allows health care information to be shared between health care providers within a community or larger region. It allows clinical information to quickly move electronically between the different health care information systems that may be used by a patient's different providers (e.g., specialists, labs) while maintaining the privacy, security and accuracy of the information being exchanged.

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2. What is health information exchange (HIE)?

Health information exchange (HIE) is the secure, electronic exchange of health information among healthcare communities to drive timely, efficient, high-quality, preventive, and patient-centered care.

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3. What is an electronic health record (EHR)?

An EHR is a digital record that can provide your health care provider with comprehensive health information about you.

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4. Why is exchange of health information important?

Health information exchange helps improve the quality of patient care, saves time, enhances privacy and reduces costs. For example, in an emergency situation, it allows a physician to retrieve the patient's healthcare records quickly and efficiently. This results in delivery of appropriate care and a significant reduction in unnecessary duplicative testing, medical errors, and cost.

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5. What are my participation choices?

By default, an individual's protected health information can be searched for through the NDHIN, per North Dakota Senate Bill 2250, Opt Out means an individual has made a written decision that their protected health information cannot be searched for through the health information network, except as required by law or as authorized by the individual in an emergency. The NDHIN offers many benefits to patients, but participation is voluntary.

By opting out of participation in the NDHIN, emergency room doctors and other medical professionals may not have access to your complete medical information which could save your life in some situations.

As a patient receiving care in North Dakota, if at any time you do not want to participate or if you only want your information available in a medical emergency, complete and submit the Opt Out/Revoke Opt Out form with your doctor or contact NDHIN at

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6. If I opt out of participation in the NDHIN, can I change my mind?

Yes. If a patient has previously opted out of participation in the NDHIN, they may change a prior election at any time here

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7. What does HIE mean to my provider?

A complete record improves communication between you and your doctor. Your physician may be able to send you reminders about scheduled appointments and tests, review your test results, and create a better profile of your health when he or she can share your information through an HIE.

Through the HIE, your providers and their staff can securely review your key health information and may eliminate the need for you to complete the same forms over and over again.

Access to your complete health information will assist your care provider in giving you high quality care.

Providers need access to as much useful information as possible while treating their patients. Viewing your complete medical history including all your lab results, medications, and immunizations helps your provider make better decisions about your care.

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8. How would an EHR/HIE improve patient safety?

When a doctor who is treating a patient has access to all of the patient's records, the doctor can make more informed decisions based on complete information. EHR/HIE systems will show health care professionals when there are conflicts between prescribed drugs.

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9. What information does an EHR contain?

An EHR contains patient health information such as medical history, diagnoses, medications, immunization dates, allergies, radiology images, lab and test results, etc.

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10. How secure are EHRs?

Just like paper records, EHRs must comply with the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and other state and federal laws, so security must be built into the system. With electronic records, they can be encrypted making them unreadable to anyone other than an authorized user. Electronic records also offer a tracking system that provides a history of when a record has been accessed and by whom. To learn more about HIPAA click here.

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11. How do I know if my provider is participating in the NDHIN?

All participating health care providers are required to notify all patients that they are participating in NDHIN. When you visit a participating provider you will receive a notice about this, which may be accompanied with the provider's HIPAA privacy notification. You may also click here for a complete, up-to-date list of participants.

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12. What is a Personal Health Record (PHR)?

A personal health record (PHR) is an electronic resource of your health information. Individuals can own and manage the information in the PHR and determine who can see the information.

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13. How can I access the information in my electronic health record?

Ask your doctor or other health care providers for access to your health information. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule gives you the right to inspect, review, and receive a copy of your medical records and billing records that are held by health plans and health care providers covered by the Privacy Rule.

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14. What is e-prescribing?

Electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) uses computers to allow a healthcare provider to enter, modify, review, and communicate your prescription information. E-prescribing provides a secure data exchange between provider and pharmacies.

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15. Who is allowed to view my electronic health information?

You should receive a "notice of privacy practices" upon a first visit to a provider or hospital. As directed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy Rule, these notices describe how your protected health information is to be collected, used, and sent.

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16. Will I know if my health information was misused?

Yes, but perhaps not always. Many people within a healthcare organization are responsible for maintaining the electronic health record system and making sure that records are kept private and secure. Under the HIPAA Privacy Rule, you have the right to receive a list of when your health information was given out and for what purposes.

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17. Will my medical information be posted on the Internet or sold for someone's mailing list?

No, your health information is kept private, secure and is viewable only by authorized healthcare providers. Information that identifies you will not be sold and you will not be added to any mailing list.