Query & Retrieve Services

Query & Retrieve Services from The Mass HIway expand on the push model of Direct Messaging and allows providers and organizations to locate, query and retrieve, or “pull”, patient information. There are several new services that will support this query-based exchange. Although this technology is available, its use is dependent on Mass HIway Participants obtaining and documenting patient consent and populating key information over time.

Consent Documentation: Massachusetts law requires that providers obtain consent from patients to “opt in” to allow the provider’s organization to send their information on The Mass HIway. Query and Retrieve Services that allow organizations to publish a patient’s relationship with the provider’s organization on The Mass HIway and request medical records from other provider organizations using The Mass HIway requires additional patient consent that must be documented. Provider relationships for patients that have not consented “Yes” or have consented “No”, will not be accepted by The Mass HIway. It’s important for patients to understand that The Mass HIway is not a repository of sensitive, personal medical information.

Relationship Listing Service (RLS): The RLS allows providers to see if there are medical records at other organizations available for request based on patient consent. Medical records are not stored in a repository within The Mass HIway and instead, the RLS directs a provider to where a patient has a published Relationship and has consented to publishing that Relationship. The RLS also lists the number of times a patient visited an organization along with the date of the most recent visit. The RLS is a valuable addition to The Mass HIway services as it can direct providers to where they get the most up to date, comprehensive information about their patients so they can coordinate care more efficiently.

During the search, the RLS compares the key demographic data listed below to match multiple instances of a single patient across organizations and confirm identity. To ensure patient safety, the RLS does not allow wild card searches and instead, the provider must input key demographic data contributed to the RLS by Mass HIway Participants.This allows a provider to select from all available records for the intended patient to help build a comprehensive medical history. These data elements listed below represent the only data stored on The Mass HIway:

It is important to note that the RLS only retains records for patients that have consented “Yes” to allowing their information to be sent using The Mass HIway. Any ADT (Admit/Discharge/Transfer) record with a “No” consent will not populate the RLS. If a patient subsequently changes their preference to a “No”, the RLS will mark that record for deletion and it will not be viewable.

  • Sender’s organization ID
  • Medical record number for the sending organization
  • Name
  • Gender
  • Date of birth
  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • Email

Mass HIway Clinical Portal with Record Request Services: The Clinical Portal is a secure, web based interface that allows providers to query the RLS for patients, view their Relationship List with other participating organizations, and request medical records. Request options, listed below, are based on agreement parameters between Mass HIway participants.

A Medical Record Request link replaces the fax or phone call for a provider to quickly and efficiently make a request for information. The recipient organization then evaluates the request and responds directly to the requester with a CCD, phone call, or fax, or other manual response as designated by the organization. There is no visibility of the response on Clinical Portal.

In cases where organizations have partnered for EHR access, providers will be able to use the Cross Entity Viewer link to securely access the EHR system at the partnering organization. This allows the requesting provider to view some or all of the patient’s electronic health record immediately. This data is viewed in a separate, secure browser- completely independent of the Clinical Portal.