Frequently Asked Questions:

Sparrow may make your health information available electronically through one or more health information exchanges or organizations (HIOs), to other health care providers, health plans or health care clearinghouses. Our participation in HIOs allows us and others to care better for you because it lets us share information about you. Sparrow is currently participating with the Great Lakes Health Connect (GLHC).

We may use and disclose your health information for treatment, payment or health care operation purposes in connection with participation by Sparrow Health System in HIOs.

What is an HIO? Health Information Organizations and Exchanges allow doctors to securely share patient information electronically. Health information organization and exchanges are a method to electronically move personal health information securely among doctors, hospitals, urgent care facilities, and other health care providers when and where it is needed. An HIO is more than just the delivery of results from one hospital to one physician practice; it is the exchange of patient data among all health care providers within a community.

  • What information is being shared with the HIO? Providers will be able to view health information which includes clinical documents, laboratory results, x-rays, allergies, medications, demographic information, and care transition documents.
  • Who has access to my medical information? Providers at HIO affiliated health care organizations across Michigan will be able to securely share patient information electronically.
  • How does an HIO benefit me? Secure electronic HIOs provide the potential to:
    • Enable physicians to access clinical information across a network of community providers so patients receive the most informed care possible;
    • Ensure that critical lifesaving information is available to your health care providers in the event of a medical emergency. For example, doctors that are treating a non-Sparrow patient at the Sparrow Emergency Department can have immediate access to the patient’s medical record, which may contain critical information so that the health care team can make informed and timely decision about the patient’s treatment.

How do I opt out of the Health Information Exchange? Patients can “opt out” of having their information sent electronically through the health information exchange by completing the GLHC Participation Change Request Form (HF-39).

A patient can opt out at any time or opt back in the virtual health record by simply completing an opt out form (GLHC Participation Change Request Form (HF-39)). Experience suggests that most people choose to allow access to their health information because of the benefits they get from having comprehensive health information available to their medical providers for better coordination of care. If you have questions contact the Privacy Department at 517-364-2161.

Please Note: Even if you decide to opt out of data exchange via GLHC some legally permissible identifiable health information will still be transferred electronically.