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How health information exchange works

Like most patients, you probably see many doctors who prescribe medications and testing. You may use several locations for lab or diagnostic tests. Records are not always sent to your primary care doctor. This disconnect can make it harder for your primary doctor to coordinate your care.

New technology – like electronic health records and health information exchanges – can help. Your doctor’s office may use an Electronic Medical Record to store your medical file in a secure, electronic system. CurrentCare is RI’s Health Information Exchange, or HIE. CurrentCare allows medical providers to exchange health information in a secure, electronic format.

About CurrentCare

Doctors and other caregivers can give you the best care when they have current information about your health, especially in an emergency. Many doctors recommend CurrentCare to their patients. Below are a few answers patients usually look for when enrolling.

What is CurrentCare?
CurrentCare—RI’s Health Information Exchange—is a free electronic network. It keeps your health information secure and private until a participating medical provider needs access to treat you. CurrentCare enables providers to exchange vital health information through a secure computer network.

Health professionals already share your health care information using a phone, fax machine, email, and regular mail. CurrentCare makes sharing easier, faster, and safer.

How does CurrentCare work with other health information exchanges in RI?
CurrentCare is the only statewide health information exchange in Rhode Island. Participating doctors or health facilities across the state can use CurrentCare to exchange vital health information about you, your spouse or your children.

Other exchanges allow electronic communication between physicians or hospitals within their network. Shared information is always valuable, as it helps avoid duplicate medical testing and allows for better coordination of care. Enrolling in CurrentCare as well as a private health exchange opens up communication between all your health care providers, including those outside a private network. Better communication through statewide exchange means better care, lower cost and better health for Rhode Islanders.

Who is in charge of CurrentCare?
Rhode Island Quality Institute (RIQI) runs CurrentCare with help from the Rhode Island Department of Health. RIQI is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care for all Rhode Islanders.

CurrentCare started in 2008, when a State law was passed to create an HIE in Rhode Island. Different groups helped decide what should be in the law. Doctors, other health providers, hospitals and the RI Department of Health contributed. Consumers and groups that help improve health care in Rhode Island also gave their input. The RIQI Board includes community leaders who ensure that CurrentCare is on track to improve health quality.

Enrolling in CurrentCare

Why should I sign up for CurrentCare?
By enrolling in CurrentCare, you’ll start to build an electronic health history. Your record will include lab test results, medications, and doctor or hospital visits. A doctor who participates in CurrentCare can use the information to:

  • Gain a better understanding of your health care needs
  • Make sure costly tests are not repeated
  • Check that your medications are safe when taken together
  • Access important health information in an emergency, if you cannot speak for yourself

When you sign up, you give permission for caregivers to see your health information using a secure computer system. CurrentCare stores your health information from different doctors, hospitals, and laboratories. There is less paperwork for your doctor. He or she can spend less time calling and faxing to gather updated information about you before a visit.

Do I have to live in Rhode Island to sign up for CurrentCare?
No, you do not have to live in Rhode Island to sign up for CurrentCare. At this time, the health information in CurrentCare comes from labs and hospitals in Rhode Island. If you live in another state, but get your medical care in Rhode Island, your caregivers look up your health information in CurrentCare when they need it to treat you.

Where can I sign up for CurrentCare?
Almost one in four Rhode Islanders ask CurrentCare to collect and securely store their medical information. Some sign up at doctors’ offices, community health centers or long-term care facilities. Many people use our online form at www.CurrentCareRI.org for easy enrollment 24 hours a day. ENROLL ON-LINE TODAY!!!

Which CurrentCare sign up option should I choose?
All CurrentCare options let doctors see your records in an emergency.

More than 96% of Rhode Islanders choose Option #1. It lets all medical providers treating you or coordinating your care to see your health information in CurrentCare (plus emergencies). Because is it most complete, it allows enrollees to get the most benefit from CurrentCare. For more about Option #2 or Option #3, call 888-858-4815 (choose “3”).

Can I sign up my spouse and children for CurrentCare?
Yes, you can sign up children younger than 18 years old. If you are legal guardian or have power of attorney, you may enroll an adult dependent. Other adults who are not your dependents must sign up for CurrentCare themselves.

Can I change my mind later and not be in CurrentCare?
Yes, you can leave CurrentCare at any time.Simply call 888-858-4815 (choose “3”) and ask for a Revocation of Authorization Form. Fill out and mail the form to Rhode Island Quality Institute at the address listed on the form.

Who can see my health records in CurrentCare?
You decide whether all or some of your doctors can see your information. Health providers sign a legal document agreeing to use the information only to help treat you.

Staff at your doctors’ offices can look at the information they need to do their jobs. The RI Department of Health may look at your information when needed to protect public health, such as during a flu outbreak. They already can do this with paper health records.

Health insurance companies, law enforcement officials, your employer, and others cannot see any information in CurrentCare.

Can I find out who has looked at my information in CurrentCare?
Yes, you can learn who has looked at your medical/clinical records. You can ask for this information by calling 888-858-4815 (choose “3”). Ask for a Disclosure Report. We will send it to you by mail.

Privacy & Security

What kind of information is in CurrentCare?
CurrentCare stores test results from medical laboratories and hospitals. The system records allergies, medicines, and hospital stays or emergency room visits. It also keeps name, birth date, address, and phone number to make sure your health information goes into the right record.Only information important for providing care is shared between your health care providers.

How does CurrentCare protect my health information?
Rhode Island’s HIE uses an opt-in consent model. This means we need permission to collect your health information. CurrentCare keeps your medical information private and secure. Only healthcare providers you choose can see the information.

All information in CurrentCare is “scrambled” into a format to make it unreadable by people. CurrentCare’s advanced computer system is much more secure than paper records.

Rhode Island Quality Institute takes patient privacy seriously. CurrentCare follows all RI and federal laws to protect patient health information. This includes the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which you probably know as HIPAA. Many of CurrentCare’s policies protect more than what is required by law.

Learn More
To learn more about CurrentCare, please call 888-858-4815 (choose “3”). You can also send an email to CurrentCare@riqi.org or visit our website, www.CurrentCareRI.org.