About Mass HIway Consent
Under Massachusetts’ law, patients must ‘opt-in’ before a Mass HIway Participant can use the secure, statewide network to send and receive data for that patient’s care. Specific requirements are outlined in the Mass HIway Agreement Policies and Procedures and consolidated consent requirements are included in the document Consent Policy Statement .
In order to allow organizations to implement a process that best fits their workflow and operations, the Mass HIway has taken a flexible approach and does not require any particular process for a Participant to implement this policy. Instead, the Mass HIway convened several stakeholder meetings with healthcare providers, administrators, privacy and security officers, consumers, and other thought leaders to develop a community based approach to Mass HIway consent. The resulting recommendation from the community:
- Include simple consent language in an existing consent form or use as a stand- alone form
(See document " Mass HIway Consent Form Template ”).
- Give the patient educational material to review before making their consent choice. Use the “ Mass HIway Patient Fact Sheet ” or adapt the verbiage in current educational material.
- Train frontline staff responsible for obtaining consent so they are prepared for a meaningful conversation about the consent choice (See “ Consent for Mass HIway Query & Retrieve ”*).
*As described in the “Consent Policy Statement”, consent needs to be obtained for use of all Mass HIway services including Direct Messaging and Query & Retrieve. However, Query & Retrieve is different and requires that the patient be informed of specifics of the functionality in order to make their consent choice. Rather than obtain separate consents for each of the Mass HIway services at the time of implementation, a Participant can obtain Mass HIway consent for all services by following Query & Retrieve consent requirements, while still implementing the services in stages.
This approach, along with the supplemental material, was reviewed by the Health Information Technology Council and each of the Mass HIway Advisory Groups. Meeting materials and notes can be found at: http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/commissions-and-initiatives/masshiway/
This information is provided by The Massachusetts Health Information Highway (The HIway) .