Frequently Asked Questions
These frequently asked questions are designed for clinical practices and
staff associated with those clinical practices. These may include physician
offices, home health agencies, skilled nursing facilities, among others.
If you are a healthcare provider and are interested in learning more about
the Rappahannock Health Connect program, please email
These questions will be updated regularly. Visit this site often for new
1. How much data will there be in the community health record, if there
is no back-loading of data?
The Rappahannock Health Connect community health record's value grows
with time and the addition of more community patient data. At the beginning
of phase one (2014), there will be data in the community health record.
This data will be primarily Mary Washington Healthcare data and visit
records from a few connected community practices.
2. Why are we not back-loading historical data into the community health
record before we go live?
Back-loading data is very problematic and not best practice. Orion Health,
our community health record vendor, strongly discourages back-loading.
The project team did investigate the possibility, but due to complexities
the process would put the go-live date a year behind. Pushing the date
that far would result in Mary Washington Healthcare and several area practices
to miss their time frame to achieve meaningful use. We are aiming to connect
to as many of our community practices as quickly as possible to deliver
value to our participants. Rappahannock Health Connect will satisfy key
requirements of meaningful use attestation through the Centers for Medicare
and Medicaid Services (CMS) [click here to learn more about the EHR Incentive Program].
3. Is the community health record going to be operational in 2014?
Yes, the community health record will be operational in 2014. However,
the record will not have the complete patient record. It takes time to
accumulate data and to build interfaces with community practices.
4. How is the community health record going to be useful to me in 2014?
In 2014, for the participants of Rappahannock Health Connect, there will be:
- Secure messaging among the participating providers as well as between participants
and patients who sign up for the patient portal.
- Limited hospital (Soarian) data from several months preceding the go live
date such as discharge summaries and medication lists.
- Laboratory data from Mary Washington Healthcare.
- Automatic notifications of emergency department visits, admissions, and
The functionality will grow as more and more complete data are populated
into the community health record.
5. What systems will our office and patients have access to once the Health
Connect is live?
Providers and office associates will have access to the Health Connect
health information exchange (HIE) network and clinical portal. Patients
will have access to the patient portal.
6. What is the HIE?
The Health Information Exchange, or HIE, network allows providers to share
appropriate patient information with other caregivers in the community
or network in a secure manner. It also allows secure messaging for the
purposes of patient care between patients and providers or one provider
7. Will I be able to exchange information with providers in other networks
In the future, yes. The Health Connect will connect with regional HIE’s,
such as ConnectVirginia, and the national HIE, called eHealth Exchange,
which will provide connectivity between states.
8. What is a patient portal?
A patient portal is a secure website that gives your patients access to
their health information and allows them to send or receive messages to
and from your office. Patients can view health information such as recent
visits, discharge summaries, medications, immunizations, allergies, and
lab results. Additional tools that may be provided over time will allow
patients to pay their bill, view relevant health content, upcoming appointments,
or request a non-urgent appointment with your office.
9. What is a clinical portal?
A clinical portal is a secure website that allows providers and other members
of the care team access to patient information throughout the network.
Providers can also access the secure messaging and notification tools
of the Health Connect by using the clinical portal.
10. Can I be alerted when a significant event occurs to one of my patients,
such as hospital admission or ED visit?
Yes, significant patient events can be flagged to notify you when they occur.
11. Who will have access to the data in the clinical portal?
Only providers and members of the care team associated with the patient
will have access to the clinical record through the clinical portal. In
the case of a medical emergency, the provider can “break the glass”
and gain access to the clinical record.
12. How will my practice's data be protected?
All data will be transferred and stored in a HIPAA-compliant, secure fashion.
A second copy of all data exists should a disaster affect access to the
primary data store. Audit tools will be in place to monitor and ensure
all access and use is appropriate. Further, each provider office using
the clinical portal will be asked to sign a series of documents mandating
the appropriate use of the data.
13. Do I need an EMR to use the Clinical Portal?
No, if you do not have an EMR, you will still be able to view and print
data for patients whom you have a relationship through the clinical portal.
14. How do I participate in Rappahannock Health Connect (RHC)?
email@example.com and schedule an introductory meeting about joining RHC.
15. How do I access RHC?
After attending training and obtaining a user ID from the RHC Administrator
go to the Clinical Portal landing page at:
healthconnect.mwhc.com and click on the button that will take you to the login page.
16. What browsers are supported in the Clinical Portal?
Browsers supported in the
Clinical Portal are: Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 – 11 and the latest versions
of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Mozilla Firefox ESR, and Safari.
17. Will a user be logged out due to inactivity?
A user will be logged out of the Portal after 30 minutes of inactivity.
The user can change that number in User Settings.
18. If I am unable to access the Clinical Portal, who do I contact for assistance?
If you cannot login to the Clinical Portal and you work in a provider office,
contact the Office Practice Manager (1st line of support) or Office Technical
Support (2nd line of support). If the issue is not resolved internally,
contact the MWHC Service Desk at
540.741.1122 or email
19. What do I do if I forget my password?
If you forgot your password and you are a registered user who has entered
a valid email address and have set up your security question, click the
Forgot your password link and follow the instructions. If you have typed
your password incorrectly three times and are locked out of the RHC system,
wait 15 minutes and the system will auto refresh. If you do not have time
to wait 15 minutes and have not set up your valid email and security question,
call the MWHC Service Desk at