Patient Information

The WVHIN enables your doctors to have more complete, up-to-date information about you. With the WVHIN you no longer have to remember what medications you are taking, the date of your last immunizations, the names of other providers you have seen, and other important information your treating doctor needs to know in order to choose a treatment plan that is best suited for your needs.

Below are examples of how the WVHIN may work to benefit you:



  • If a patient has multiple medical appointments throughout the year, such as with a neurologist, primary physician and cardiologist, all three participating providers could have access to the patient’s medical history in minutes without having to request paper copies.
  • Participating providers have access to prescribed medication and will know if the patient’s medicines would complicate medical procedures, as long as the patient allowed clinical information to be exchanged through WVHIN.
  • If a patient is a participant in the WVHIN and is involved in an accident that leaves them unconscious, participating doctors have access to medical files that include allergies to medication, medical procedures and past medical problems. Access to important information could play a critical role in the patient’s treatment options and could potentially save their life.

What Are The Benefits Of Having An HIE?

The WVHIN enables your doctors to have more complete, up-to-date information about you. With the WVHIN you no longer have to remember what medications you are taking, the date of your last immunizations, the names of other providers you have seen, and other important information your treating doctor needs to know in order to choose a treatment plan that is best suited for your needs.

Below are examples of how the WVHIN may work to benefit you:

  • If a patient has multiple medical appointments throughout the year, such as with a neurologist, primary physician and cardiologist, all three participating providers could have access to the patient’s medical history in minutes without having to request paper copies.
  • Participating providers have access to prescribed medication and will know if the patient’s medicines would complicate medical procedures, as long as the patient allowed clinical information to be exchanged through WVHIN.
  • If a patient is a participant in the WVHIN and is involved in an accident that leaves them unconscious, participating doctors have access to medical files that include allergies to medication, medical procedures and past medical problems. Access to important information could play a critical role in the patient’s treatment options and could potentially save their life.
  • How Can the WVHIN Benefit You?

    • Reduce co-pays for duplicate testing and treatment of medical errors
    • Receive improved quality of care due to your doctor having the most current information on you
    • Your doctor can access end-of-life choice information on you
    • Each time you visit a doctor, you do not have to retrieve your paper medical record and take it with you
    • Reduce wait time for lab and radiology results due to faster transmission among providers
    • Your doctor can access critical life-saving information on you (such as allergy information, medications you’re currently taking, blood type, etc.) during emergencies/situations where you may be unconscious


    Patient Documents

    Opt-Out Information

    A Health Information Exchange, or HIE, is a way of sharing your health information among participating doctors’ offices, hospitals, care coordinators, labs, radiology centers, health plans, and other health care providers through secure, electronic means. The purpose is so that each of your participating healthcare providers can have the benefit of the most recent information available from your other participating providers when taking care of you. When you opt out of participation in the HIE, doctors and nurses will not be able to search for your health information through the HIE to use while treating you. Your physician or other treating providers will still be able to select the HIE as a way to receive your lab results, radiology reports, and other data sent directly to them that they may have previously received by fax, mail, or other electronic communications. Additionally, in accordance with the law, Public health reporting, such as the reporting of infectious diseases to public health officials, will still occur through the HIE after you decide to opt out. Controlled Dangerous Substances (CDS) information, as part of the West Virginia Controlled Substances Monitoring Program (CSMP), will continue to be available through the HIE to providers.

    You have several options for opting out of the CRISP HIE; you can select one below.

    1. Click the button to the right to opt-out via our secure website.
    2. Call 1.844.468.5755
    3. Email your completed form to wvhinsupport@crisphealth.org
    4. Fax your completed form to 443.817.9587.
    5. Mail your completed form to:
    • WVHIN
    • 7160 Columbia Gateway Drive, Suite 230
    • Columbia, MD 21046

    Important Links


    WV E-Directive Registry

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    Complaint Handling & Resolution

    Any organization that will touch the lives of so many residents of West Virginia must undertake reasonable efforts to remain accountable. The accountability of a Health Information Exchange has long been a fundamental building block of the information exchange movement nationally.

    The WVHIN has established a method for both healthcare consumers and providers to express questions or concerns with any aspect of the operation of the WVHIN’s HIE.

    If you desire to file a formal Complaint (Question or Concern) please keep in mind…

    1. Any Patient, Participating Provider, or Authorized User may register a complaint about any aspect of the operations of the WVHIN. Such complaint must be in writing on a Complaint Form developed and approved by the WVHIN. (see, WVHIN Complaint Form)
    2. Verbal complaints will not be accepted by the WVHIN.
    3. All completed Complaint Forms must be directed to the WVHIN’s Privacy Officer.

    4. West Virginia Health Information Network
      100 Dee Drive
      Charleston, WV 25311
      Attn: Privacy Officer

    5. You may request that the WVHIN maintain the confidentiality of the identity of the complaining party. The WVHIN will respect this request for confidentiality unless, by doing so, it would place the complaining party or any other person at significant risk or physical, mental, or financial harm, or unless disclosure is otherwise required by law.
    6. If a Patient, Participating Provider, or Authorized User is not satisfied by the WVHIN’s proposed resolution of the complaint, he or she may have it forwarded to the Executive Director of the West Virginia Health Care Authority for further review and consideration in accordance with the policies and procedures of that agency.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    As a patient and consumer of health care services, you may have questions about the sharing of your health information, electronic medical records and health information exchange. These questions and answers will help you understand the changing world of health care and how sharing your health information electronically between your doctors will result in better quality care for you. Many of the documents (i.e. Patient Notice, Opt-Out form, etc) discussed in the FAQs below are included in the Important Documents for Patients to Review section above.

    The WVHIN is West Virginia’s Health Information Exchange (HIE). WVHIN connects doctors, hospitals, clinics, labs, pharmacies, health plans and other health care providers across the State. All health care providers that are members of the WVHIN are required to abide by all federal and state laws regarding safeguarding and proper use of personal health information. The WVHIN’s HIE allows health care providers that are treating you or paying for the health care services you get to electronically share health information.

    The WVHIN’s HIE is not a complete record of your medical history and does not keep or store your health information. Your Electronic Health Record (EHR) is kept by your doctor, much like your paper record. Any of your health information that is not stored in an EHR or converted to an electronic format will continue to be shared by fax, mail or courier as required to treat you.

    WVHIN’s HIE allows your health care providers to access your health information quickly and give you the best care possible. It is easy to forget the details of your medical care. WVHIN can improve the care you receive and remove burdensome practices such as…

    • Having to remember all of the medications you take or having to bring in all of your medications to your appointments
    • Bringing x-rays or other test results to a specialist or referral appointment
    • Having to remember what medical procedures or tests you have had performed
    • Having unnecessary or repeated tests

    Allowing your doctors to share your health information improves the coordination of the care you receive from your family doctor and other specialists. Each doctor seeing you will know which tests or procedures you have received and the medicines you take.

    In the event of a medical emergency, sharing your health information through the WVHIN’s HIE can save your life. By sharing your health information, emergency room doctors would be able to know important information like allergies, drug interactions or if you have a pacemaker or other medical implants. This information may save your life if you are unconscious or unable to speak to doctors or nurses. Sharing your health information electronically is a simple step to ensure that you, as a patient, receive the best care possible when you need it.

    A health information exchange is an electronic way for health care providers to share your health information. Sharing health information electronically through an HIE is faster and more convenient than sending paper records by mail, fax or courier. The WVHIN operates a health information exchange.

    In the past, health care providers kept your health information in paper form. Today more doctors and hospitals are using computers to keep patient health information and record the treatment they receive. There are many systems that perform these functions and they are called Electronic Health Records or EHRs. An EHR contains the same information as your paper health record and is stored by your doctor in a computer. Information contained in your EHR may include…

    • Basic demographic information (your name, date of birth, address and phone number)
    • Medical history and diagnosis
    • Medications you are taking
    • Allergies
    • Lab and test results
    • Summaries of hospital visits
    • Immunization records

    There are many advantages to using an EHR instead of a paper record system for storing your health information. Some of these advantages are…

    • EHRs can save time, and reduce the number of forms you must fill out about your medical history or past medical procedures.
    • EHRs store information about the medicines you take, making it possible for you to visit your doctor without bringing all of your medications. EHRs can also check to make sure the medicines you take do not interact in a harmful way.
    • EHRs can provide alerts to your doctors about tests you may need or follow up care to be provided.
    • EHRs ensure there is a safe copy of your health record in case of fire or other natural disasters.
    • EHRs make it faster and easier for emergency rooms to find important health information about you in the event of a medical emergency.
    • EHRs provide privacy by limiting who can see your health information and by tracking who has seen your health information.

    Health care providers would use the WVHIN to share your health information with other providers directly involved in your treatment and as required by law for public health reporting. Health care providers using paper records already share your health information for these purposes. The only difference is they currently share your health information by mail, fax, telephone or courier. Sharing your health information through the WVHIN is more secure and faster than sharing paper medical records.

    Health care providers who have a treatment relationship with you can see your personal health information through the WVHIN’s HIE. These health care providers and their staffs are called “authorized users.” Simply put, your doctor, dentist, pharmacist and certain members of their staffs can see your health information. It is important to understand not ALL authorized users can see ALL of your health information. For example, a doctor or nurse may see your medical history and current medications to treat you, but the receptionist may only see your name, address and date of birth. This is called “role based access” and is one of the many features that protect the privacy of your health information.

    As a member of the WVHIN, your health care providers must sign legal documents that require them to follow all policies and procedures of the WVHIN’s HIE. You must be notified by your health care provider in writing if they are participating in the WVHIN’s HIE. WVHIN requires HIE participating providers to provide you with a patient notice. The notice will tell you…

    • Your health care provider is a member of the WVHIN’s HIE
    • How your health information will be used and shared through the WVHIN’s HIE
    • How you can “Opt-Out”, or not participate in having your health information shared through the WVHIN’s HIE
    • If you change your mind, how to rejoin the WVHIN for sharing of your information (Opt-In)

    Once you have received this notice, your health care providers may share your health information through the WVHIN’s HIE for treatment purposes and also as required by law for public health reporting.

    There are specific rules and standards that health care providers must follow to keep your information private and safe. Below are two federal laws that protect your privacy and security…

    • The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)
    • HIPAA protects your privacy and personal health information stored by your health care providers and applies not only to paper records but electronic records as well. HIPAA also requires your health care providers to give you a Notice of Privacy Practices (or Patient Notice). This notice will tell you what rights you have as a patient when it comes to your health information and how it is shared by your health care providers. Even if your health care provider is not a member of the WVHIN, your health care providers must give you their Notice of Privacy Practices.

    • The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009 (HITECH)
    • HITECH provides additional rules and security standards to protect your health information when it is in an electronic format such as an EHR.

      The WVHIN’s HIE meets or exceeds the national and state standards for the security of electronic health information. WVHIN is also required to meet or exceed any new standards developed for health information exchange.

    Throughout this document you will see the term Health Care Providers. This term is defined as any person or business that directly provides health care services. Some examples of Health Care Providers would be…

    • Doctors
    • Nurses
    • Hospitals
    • Dentists
    • Nursing homes
    • Pharmacies
    • Health departments
    • Home health agencies
    • Insurance companies (When paying for your care)

    Sharing your health information between doctors that are treating you can allow them to have the most complete “picture” of your health. This allows your doctors to be more informed about what medical conditions you may have, medicines you are taking, or medical procedures you have had or may need. Health care providers who share your information electronically through the WVHIN’s HIE have information to help them decide the best and safest way to treat you.

    Sharing your health information through the WVHIN’s HIE is easy. You do not need to do anything in order to allow your health care providers to share your health information. When your health care provider becomes a member of the WVHIN they will provide you with a Patient Notice informing you of their participation and how they share your health information through the WVHIN’s HIE. It is important for you to understand that your participation is voluntary and you have the right not to participate. We call this a decision to “Opt-Out”.

    Participation in the WVHIN’s HIE is voluntary and you have the right to “Opt-Out”. By opting out you are simply stating that you do not want your health information exchanged through the WVHIN’s HIE. Your health care providers will still be able to exchange your paper medical records by fax, mail or secure email. There are a few things you should keep in mind if you choose to “Opt-Out”…

    • WVHIN’s HIE will keep your personal information (name, address, birth date, etc.) on file in a Master Patient Index to keep a record of your decision to “Opt-Out”.
    • Your health care providers will still be able to exchange your health information by mail, fax, telephone and secure email.
    • Your doctor or health care provider will still be able to use the WVHIN’s HIE to report…
      • communicable diseases
      • immunization data
      • quality reports
      • other required public health information to state and federal agencies
    • Your doctor or healthcare provider will still be able to access any controlled dangerous substances information, as part of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP)

    Opt-Out is the term used when you do not want your health information shared through the WVHIN’s HIE. Simply put, if you Opt-Out, your health care providers will not share your health information electronically through the WVHIN’s HIE.

    If you have decided in the past to “Opt-Out” of the WVHIN’s HIE you can change your mind and begin to participate at any time. To rejoin the WVHIN call 1-844-468-5755 or email wvhinsupport@crisphealth.org

    Understanding how your health information is shared is very important. If you have additional questions you can get more information by reviewing the information on this page or asking your health care provider.