Comments from Users

"The Shared Care Plan is the biggest blessing anyone could have given us. To be able to organize everything and know which direction to go. The support it provides in managing day to day is invaluable."
– family member/caregiver

"I [accessed] the Shared Care Plan and found it to be wonderful! ... it was nice to learn the process and to save [the patient] the effort of retelling all of his history. I will look forward to having more patients have this option available to them as they gain knowledge and comfort in this new techno age!"
– health care provider

"This is the greatest gift you can give your family… all this info… to have your wishes known."
– patient

"I think [the Shared Care Plan] is fantastic. Everyone should do this! Every chance I get, I buttonhole friends and neighbors and tell them about this project. This is a ‘must’ for all of us."
– patient

Shared Care Plan Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Questions about having a Shared Care Plan

Who can have a Shared Care Plan?

Anyone who receives health care services in Whatcom County can have a Shared Care Plan.

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Can children have Shared Care Plan accounts?

The answer to this question depends on the child’s age. For a quick overview, click here to see a graphic representation of the different scenarios based on the child’s age.

There are a couple of laws that affect how Shared Care Plan accounts for children are managed:

  • Internet safety regulations -The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA) http://www.ftc.gov/ogc/coppa1.htm requires that website operators “obtain verifiable parental consent for the collection, use or disclosure of personal information from children.” More...

    In order to ensure that information about a child that is entered or gathered from secure data sources is done so only with the parent or guardian’s permission, our website requires that records for children under 13 be created and managed by a parent or guardian. This policy protects children under 13 and provides for complete parent/guardian monitoring of the child’s record.

  • Children ages 13-17 have special rights under Washington State law regarding access to healthcare services and their medical records. More...

    For medical care for reproductive health, mental health, and outpatient substance abuse treatment, minors have the right to confidential treatment and confidentiality of medical records for such treatment. (Click here for more information http://www.washingtonlawhelp.org/documents/216941minors_health_care_rights.pdf?stateabbrev=/WA/ )

In order to meet both of these requirements, the Shared Care Plan has established the following policies to protect the safety and rights of minors:

Children UNDER 14 cannot have their own accounts. Therefore, if a parent is interested in having a Shared Care Plan account for a child, the parent will need to request a Shared Care Plan account and then add the child to the parent account. This allows us to “obtain verifiable parental consent.”

Children who are age 14 AND OVER can choose from two options:

  • Open Shared Care Plans for themselves. More...

    This means that the child completes process to open an account and has full control over the account. If the parent would like to be able to help manage the account, then the parent will need a separate account and should contact the Shared Care Plan help desk for assistance connecting the two records. This way, the parent can view the child’s record online using the parent login, and the child has the ability to block sensitive information from the parent’s view. This helps protect the privacy of individuals over 13, who have special privacy rights for their medical records in the state of Washington.

  • Have the parent create an account, add the child using the Add Family Member process,and then print and sign the Medical Record Management Form. More...

    For children who are not ready to manage their own accounts, this process is best. The Medical Record Management form is automatically generated by Shared Care Plan for users who are adding family members age 13 and older. The form needs to be completed and sent to the Shared Care Plan office, where we will then allow the parent access to the child’s record. Again, this process is necessary because children 13 and over have special privacy rights regarding reproductive care, substance abuse treatment, and mental health.

Children who are CURRENTLY 13 need to follow option 2, above.

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How can I make the most of my Shared Care Plan?

Fill out as much information as you can in your Shared Care Plan. If there are things you don't know, ask for that information from your clinic(s) at your next visit. Bring a copy of your Shared Care Plan with you to all of your health care appointments. Explain the Health Record Bank to your Care Team members (anyone such as doctors, nurses, therapists, pharmacists, care-givers, family or friends who help you in your journey towards better health) and that you want the Health Record to reflect a current picture of your health with information that is accurate, up-to-date, and complete. You can also work together to define problems, set priorities, establish goals, create treatment plans, and solve problems.

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Questions about creating and setting up a Shared Care Plan

How do I create a Shared Care Plan?

You need to first register by going to the registration page and filling out the form. We will mail you a password and instructions for how to login and create a Shared Care Plan.

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Why is this signup process so cumbersome? Why can’t I just create a Shared Care Plan right now?

To protect your privacy, we have set up security measures to ensure that each person who registers is who they say they are. Since the Shared Care Plan connects with online medical records to bring in existing medical information when a person first creates a Shared Care Plan, we have to make sure that each person is who s/he says s/he is. For more information, see Questions about privacy and confidentiality.

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What are the system requirements for accessing a Shared Care Plan? What kind of computer do I need to have?

Please read our system requirements page to find out what kind of computer, how much memory and how fast your Internet connection needs to be to access the Shared Care Plan.

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What do I do if I don't have a computer?

There are two versions of the Shared Care Plan: the printed version and the online version. We believe the online version will make the most use of the Shared Care Plan's capabilities. You can access the electronic version from any computer that has Internet access, even if you do not have your own computer. Libraries, senior centers, community centers, and other locations often have computers you can use at little or no cost. However, if you prefer, you can keep track of all your information on a paper version of the Shared Care Plan.

You can find downloadable printable versions of the Shared Care Plan online in both Microsoft Word and Adobe PDF formats. These are available in two different formats to make it easier for you to print.

To open the Microsoft Word files, you will need either Microsoft Word or the Microsoft Word Viewer. To view the Adobe PDF files, you will need the Adobe Reader installed. Download the Adobe Reader for free by clicking the image below:
 
   

You can also pick up a copy of the Shared Care Plan at:

Shared Care Plan
625 Cornwall Ave.
PO Box 5365, Bellingham, WA 98227
(360) 671-6800
or toll free (888) 503-6843

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I don’t have a computer and I don’t know how to use the Shared Care Plan. Where can I go to see one and who will help me?

Staff at Shared Care Plan
625 Cornwall Ave.
PO Box 5365, Bellingham, WA 98227
(360) 671-6800
or toll free (888) 503-6843

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What is a Care Team? How do I decide who is on my Care Team?

Your Care Team is made up of people who you would like to have access to your information and who you feel are part of your health care team. Care Team members can be doctors, nurses, pharmacists, friends, family, social workers, medical equipment providers and so forth. You can decide whether each person can just read the information, read and change some of the information or have full read and write access to the information.

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Questions about logging in and using the online Shared Care Plan

I forgot my password and login. Where do I go to get that information?

Go to our Shared Care Plan for information on resetting your password and login.

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Questions about privacy and confidentiality
Who can access the information in my Shared Care Plan?

There are three different types of people who may access your Shared Care Plan online: you and family members you invite to join your Care Team, local healthcare professionals, and staff who support the Shared Care Plan.

The majority of all accesses will be by you and your family members. Healthcare professionals, who are bound by professional confidentiality agreements and state and federal laws, may access your Shared Care Plan if you give them permission when being seen at an Emergency Room or clinic. While most patients appreciate this feature, you do have the ability to opt out of this type of access by adjusting the access setting on your "Community Clinicians" Care Team member.

A very limited number of support staff may access your Shared Care Plan only in situations when they are solving a technical problem.

In all cases, every single access to your Shared Care Plan is audited.

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How do I know my information will be kept confidential?

We take privacy very seriously. Please take a moment to view our Privacy Policy. The Shared Care Plan is hosted on a hospital network and is thus protected by rigorous measures taken to ensure the safety of all Shared Care Plan data from outside intrusions. The application itself uses the best development techniques to prevent both malicious and accidental breaches of privacy. In addition, the Shared Care Plan's security model was designed to give users the minimum amount of access to personal health data necessary and still achieve the goals of the tool. The most recent version of the Shared Care Plan includes powerful new features to allow patient users even more item level control over how their data is shared.

Finally, the system is audited for inappropriate usage, meaning that we check to be sure that if someone accesses a Shared Care Plan it’s because they had a legitimate reason to do so. The consequences for violating someone’s privacy are severe for healthcare professionals and support staff. No one else has access to your Shared Care Plan unless you specifically invite them to join your Care Team.

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Can I control who sees what information in my Shared Care Plan?

Yes. You can mark specific records in your Shared Care Plan as private, and you can decide who, if any, of your Care Team members can still see them. You can even decide which records will be seen by healthcare professionals who may log in to your Shared Care Plan for emergency or treatment purposes.
Staff who support the Shared Care Plan will not see your private records unless it is absolutely necessary to assist you with your Shared Care Plan or to solve a technical problem. In such situations, support staff may override your private records on a tab-by-tab basis so they only see a minimum amount of private information necessary to solve a problem.

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Does the Shared Care Plan comply with laws that protect my personal healthcare information?

Yes. the Shared Care Plan complies with laws governing the protection of Shared Care Plan information in the states of Alaska, Washington, and Oregon. Additionally, the Shared Care Plan complies with the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). HIPAA requires that patients explicitly authorize access to their personal healthcare information, except in cases when the information is needed to facilitate treatment, healthcare operations, or payment. .

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Questions about the information in the Shared Care Plan

Who puts the information in my Shared Care Plan?

When you first register, you will enter appropriate information into your Shared Care Plan. Soon we will ask you to get your medical record numbers (MSN) from the health care provider you want linked to your Shared Care Plan. That MSN number will be linked with a security code from the Microsoft HealthVault that will allow the information from providers to automatically import data into your Shared Care Plan.

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Who keeps my Shared Care Plan current? Do I have to keep up my record or does my doctor?

The power is in your hands to make this tool as accurate and as useful as it can be. It is up to you or someone you’ve designated such as a home caregiver to update and maintain the information so it is always current. Some doctors may actively participate in the program and pull it up electronically while you are in the office. Others may not yet know what it is. The Shared Care Plan allows you to be in charge of your own health by keeping an accurate record of your health information.

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What if information about my medications is incorrect?

You can change any information in the Shared Care Plan that you believe is incorrect except for the information imported from an electronic medical record [EMR] (which shows up as “Meds on Record” and "Reactions on Record"). If this information is incorrect, enter the correct information under Current Medications. We also encourage you to discuss any confusion with your doctor to make sure you understand how you’re supposed to be taking your medication.

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You have access to all information in your Shared Care Plan.

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Questions about who uses the Shared Care Plan

Does this mean that all my doctors use the same record now and they all know what one another are doing?

The Shared Care Plan is not an Electronic Medical Record. Instead, it’s a summary of the information important for medical personnel and other Care Team members to know in order to support you and provide you quality care and to aid you in an emergency. Different health care providers will continue to use their own records. By bringing your Shared Care Plan with you to each appointment, you can keep track of all the necessary information at the various clinics in one place. You can share the information between providers to keep them updated about current information.

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Will my doctor use the Shared Care Plan? Do doctors look at this? On paper or online?

Your doctors will look at it if you show it to them at your appointments. The more patients who use the Shared Care Plan, the more doctors will become familiar and comfortable with using it as well. Some doctors will have computers in their exam rooms, but many will not. We recommend you always bring a printed copy of your Shared Care Plan with you to all of your appointments.

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Will the hospital look at my Shared Care Plan if I go to the Emergency Room?


If you let the Emergency Room know you have a Shared Care Plan and you want them to access it you will have to give them your user name and password to access it. After you are treated at the Emergency Room and return home, login to your Shared Care Plan and change your password to keep your information private and secure.

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Should I expect all of the clinicians in the community to be familiar with and use the Shared Care Plan?

We are doing our best to reach out to the community and tell them about the Shared Care Plan. However, there will always be new clinicians, or those who we somehow missed or who perhaps don’t understand the Shared Care Plan’s value. Your best option is to bring a printed copy of your Shared Care Plan to each of your appointments and show it to your clinician.

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My doctor said he did not know what a Shared Care Plan is. He said he does not have time to look it up online. I showed him my printed copy and he said it was helpful.
In this instance, you will probably have to bring your printed copy to each appointment and update it yourself when you get home. However, even this amount of participation by your doctor will assure that s/he knows what medications you are on, what your test results have been and so forth. It’s definitely worth it!

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Other Questions

What if I need help or have input about this tool? Who do I contact?

Where To Go For Help feedback link at the bottom of each page.

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How can my family member(s) get access to my Shared Care Plan?

You can log in to your Shared Care Plan and invite them. Just click on the Care Team tab, click “Add new” and follow the onscreen instructions. The system will generate an e-mail inviting that person to join your Care Team and will give you a randomly generated pass code that you must give to that person separately. This ensures that when the person accepts the invite and registers, they are the person you actually intended to invite. If you have any trouble, click on the "help" link for step-by-step instructions.

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What is self-management?
Chronic Disease Self Management is being able to “self-manage” a chronic (long-term) condition in partnership with your health care provider, can minimize the severity of your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
What you can do:

  • Learn as much as possible about various treatment options and manageing your condition.
  • Communicate how your are feeling with your health care providers.
  • Find out about community support groups in your area.
  • Find out from your doctor what exercise/activity you can be involved in.
  • Maintain a healthy diet, eating from the five food groups everyday.
  • Work out effective ways to manage your symptoms.
  • This may be with relaxation techniques, gentle exercise, hobbies etc.
  • Engage in activities that protect and promote health.

Contact your health care provider for more information about Chronic Disease Self-Management.

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