Frequently Asked Questions

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Why is my information being shared in the Georgia Regional Academic Community Health Information Exchange (GRAChIE)?

There are several factors that led to the idea of sharing health care information. Historically, most patients saw only one care provider, but over the last several decades people are relying more on multiple care providers instead. Advances in specialty care, for example, have made specialists appealing as they may offer better care for a specific illness or condition than what a general or family practice provider may offer. While specialty care providers are unique from our primary care providers, they still often rely on much of the same information, including lab results, radiology results, allergy information, and patient medication lists.

In order to receive the best care and to be treated safely, patients are strongly urged to share their health records and information with all of their care providers. This means patients who see multiple providers are having to maintain their own medication lists and take the list with them at all times. And it doesn't stop there, some patients have to request copies of results and procedures to store, keep track of, and safeguard themselves.

But now, as our physicians and hospitals dive further and further into the digital era, we are finding that this information is being stored electronically in an Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system. Many providers and hospitals are using different EMR's, each separately storing your health information. GRAChIE simply marries together your data from each different EMR so that providers get a broader view of your health record when it is needed. From this broader view, our hope is that providers and patients will both benefit through better, more efficient, and safer care.

What kind of information is being shared within the Georgia Regional Academic Community Health Information Exchange?

Currently, the following information is being shared through GRAChIE:

  • Basic patient demographic and visit information
  • Problems & Diagnosis
  • Medications
  • Results:
    • Discrete Lab
    • Radiology exams
  • Reports:
    • Pathology
    • Emergency Room
    • History & Physical
    • Discharge Summary
    • Operative
    • Consultation
  • Immunizations
  • Allergies
  • Clinical Events (vital signs, BMI, etc.)
Will all of my information be shared in GRAChIE?

No. Non-participating care provider's information will not be shared or stored in GRAChIE. And not all health information is needed by all providers, nor is it the goal of GRAChIE to store every health detail from every participating members EMR. Please see the list above for the types of information being shared in GRAChIE.

Who can see my information?

Only participating members who have a need for this will have access to log into GRAChIE and view information. GRAChIE log-in access is not given to every staff member of participating members. Typically, only providers and their nurses are given access to view information within GRAChIE. This view is further filtered down by security features, so that every patient's information is not simply ready for anyone to view. Participating members should only see the information in GRAChIE for the patients that they care for.

What are the benefits of sharing my information in GRAChIE?

Care providers will benefit by having electronic access to information about their patients and the care they are receiving from other providers. This can help them to better coordinate care through:

  • better diagnose an illness
  • reduce the number of duplicate tests
  • and allow them to spend more time with their patients and less time tracking down the information they need.
  • Meet federal requirements

Patients will benefit by:

  • having a lifetime health record
  • earlier prevention
  • better connection with care providers
  • improved coordination of care and quality
  • improved treatment of chronic conditions
  • decrease in delays across care venues
  • increased efficiency of services
  • decrease in errors and variance in care
  • overall improved communication between healthcare providers
  • and possibly even see a decrease in their overall costs for care.
What if I don't want my information shared in GRAChIE?

Hopefully, you have had a chance to review the benefits that can be received by sharing your information. If you have any questions, please email us at TCramer@Grachie.org). If you are still not convinced, contact us and let us know that you no longer want your information shared in GRAChIE, and our staff will assist you in completing your request.

Will I be able to view my information in GRAChIE?

Eventually we are hoping to have a Personal Health Record available for patients to access their own information. At this time, however, the Personal Health Record is still in the early stages of development and is not yet available.

How secure is my information?

Safeguarding your data in GRAChIE is one of our top priorities. Through our partnership with Cerner® Corporation, we are able to have an industry leading company on our side to protect the health information that is in GRAChIE.

Where is the information stored?

Cerner® Corporation supports and maintains the database that is used by GRAChIE.

What if my care provider discovers incorrect information about me in GRAChIE?

There are several factors to consider when incorrect information is discovered within GRAChIE. GRAChIE is a "view-only" information exchange, meaning information feeds into GRAChIE, but information cannot be edited or corrected directly within GRAChIE by simply logging into GRAChIE. So, if information is incorrect in GRAChIE, it is probably also incorrect within a participating member's own Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system. For the information to be corrected in GRAChIE, it must first be corrected in the participating member's EMR that sent the incorrect data to GRAChIE. This correction should feed into and update within GRAChIE. The staff at GRAChIE may assist in the correction process if needed.