For Patients 

Patient Privacy

We take patient privacy very seriously and recognize your right to decide who has access to your health information. Learn more below.

Patient FAQs

What is a Health Data Intermediary (HDI)?

 A health data intermediary is an entity that provides the technical capabilities or related products and services to enable health information exchange among health care providers that are not related health care entities as defined in Minnesota Statutes section 144.291, subdivision 2, paragraph (j). This includes but is not limited to: health information service providers, electronic health record vendors, and pharmaceutical electronic data intermediaries as defined in section 62J.495. Audacious Inquiry is a certified HDI operator in the state of Minnesota, delivering the Encounter Alert Service (EAS) to help improve coordinated healthcare. For more information on HDI certification, click here

What is an Electronic Health Record (EHR)?

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
What are the advantages of having an Electronic Health Record (EHR)?
  • EHRs can save you time, reducing how many 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.
How are my health information and privacy protected?

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.

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. Ai’s EAS meets or exceeds the national and state standards for the security of electronic health information.

The Minnesota Health Records Act

  • The MN Health Records Act provides additional specifications about the privacy and security of shared health information for the protection of patients in MN. Learn more here. 
How does your provider use the Encounter Alert Service?

Providers who have an established relationship with you use the alerts to know when follow up might be needed after a hospitalization or emergency event, or to help ease a transition between care settings. They may also integrate the alert into your care record so they see a complete history of acute events. The Encounter Alert Service enables providers serving Medical Assistance and Minnesota Care enrollees to receive alerts for beneficiaries who have been admitted, discharged, or transferred from an EAS-participating hospital, emergency department, or other provider in real time (or within the previous 24 hours). For a more in-depth explanation of the common use cases for EAS, click here.

How is your medical information kept private by MN EAS?

Audacious Inquiry’s Encounter Alert Service takes patient privacy very seriously and recognizes your right to decide who has access to your health information. EAS follows all State and Federal laws, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), to protect patient health information. In addition to privacy and security protections outlined by law, the infrastructure in the EAS service offers additional protections. The only users who can view your data are legally authorized to do so under HIPAA laws and regulations. EAS only sends an alert when consent has been provided by the patient both at the payer/provider level (to include them in the uploaded panel) and at the hospital level (to send the ADT message to EAS). If an ADT is received for a patient that cannot be matched to a panel, the alert is neither sent nor retained.

Don’t want to
participate in EAS?

Only authorized users with your consent are able to receive alerts through the Encounter Alert Service. Participation is voluntary, and you can choose to opt out of participation with MN EAS. To opt out, click on the button below to fill out a form that will remove you from the EAS service. This form will be directed to Audacious Inquiry – your medical information won’t be shared.

Are you hearing that your health and medical records may become available online?

Have you heard your doctor talk about electronic health records (EHRs), but aren’t sure what that means for you? This is all part of health IT. Watch this 3 minute video to find out how health IT—including EHRs—can help provide a complete and secure picture of your medical records. Learn about the future of health IT and how you may be able to securely access your family’s medical records online, schedule doctor appointments online, review health test results online, and track chronic conditions with your doctor without having to make the trip to the doctor’s office. Interested in learning more about the benefits of electronic health records and health IT for you and your family?

Patient Resources