Yale Medicine, Yale School of Nursing, & Yale Health
Yale takes the privacy and security of all patient information seriously and has policies and procedures in place to ensure that your medical information is shared by Yale only as allowed by HIPAA regulations (45 CFR 164), Connecticut reproductive privacy laws (PA 22-19) and other relevant state and federal privacy laws. To understand more about how Yale may use or disclose your health information, see our Notice of Privacy Practices.
In addition to the protections Yale has put into place, there are steps patients can take to enhance the privacy of their health information. This guidance provides information about steps you may take to that may help to ensure your health information remains private.
MyChart is Yale’s patient portal, providing you with access to your own visit notes, medications, appointment information, and more. Records contained in MyChart may identify sensitive information about you, such as pregnancy or reproductive healthcare services. For this reason, it is important to safeguard access to your MyChart account. Steps to consider include:
· Change your password if you believed it may have been compromised or is known to someone else.
· Only grant MyChart proxy access to individuals you wish to share all of your health information with.
· Understand your rights if you receive a request for access to your phone and MyChart app by law enforcement, attorneys, or others claiming to have a legal right to access this information.
In order to help ensure your treating providers have the most up to date information about your medical conditions and treatment, Yale participates in Care Everywhere. This is a feature of Yale’s medical record system (Epic), which allow other providers who also use Epic to import your Yale medical records into your medical record with that provider. For example, if you see a specialist at Yale but your primary care physician is in another state or at another health system, your PCP can import all of your medical records from Yale directly into your PCP’s medical record if they also use Epic. This saves time, makes it easier for doctors and hospitals to coordinate care, and improves patient safety by ensuring clinicians have a complete record of your medical care. However, it is important for you to understand that imports via Care Everywhere include all records maintained by Yale, Yale New Haven Health System, and any affiliated providers using our instance of Epic. If you have obtained reproductive health services at Yale which you do not want shared with another provider or in another state, you have the option to optout of Care Everywhere. Please note that opting out of Care Everywhere does not prevent your outside providers from requesting and obtaining your records from Yale. It only prevents those records from being automatically imported into their medical records.
To opt out of Care Everywhere, contact the HIPAA Privacy Office at email@example.com
Connecticut’s Health Information Exchange
Connie is the state of Connecticut’s health information exchange (HIE). Healthcare providers and hospitals share certain treatment information with the HIE, which is then available to other providers and hospitals who provide care to you to help facilitate continuity of care and patient safety. This is similar to Epic Care Everywhere but allows data to be shared across medical record systems. Reproductive health services, conditions, and medications may be shared within Connie unless you opt out of the HIE entirely. If you opt out, none of your Yale medical records will be available to other providers through the HIE. Certain infectious disease information may still be used for public health purposes, and prescriptions for controlled substances will still be tracked through the HIE, even if you opt out. As with Care Everywhere, opting out of Connie does not prevent your outside providers from requesting and obtaining your records from Yale. It only prevents those records from being electronically shared through the HIE. To learn more about Connie, and to fill out the form if you wish to opt out, visit the website for Connie.
Location Tracking, Apps, and Smartphones
Smartphones, tablets, and other devices often collect significant information that can imply information about your health status. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has issued guidance on protecting the privacy and security of reproductive health records when using your personal cell phone and tablet. That guidance can be found here.