Developing a Community Approach to Mass HIway Consent

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Under Massachusetts’ law, a patient 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. In order to allow organizations to implement a process that best fits their workflow and operations, the Mass HIway – managed by the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) - 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, 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 the ability to use a stand- alone form.
  • Educational material patients can review before making their consent choice. Use the Mass HIway Patient Fact Sheet or include this verbiage in existing consent  education.

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 here:

If you’re a Mass HIway participant and would like to share your consent approach with the community, please email ehealth@masstech.org.