Use Case 5 - Query HIE for Medical History

This use case has been created by the HIMSS Interoperability Maturity Model (IMM) Task Force as a sample of basic technical capabilities necessary for achieving interoperability and improved care processes through health information technology.

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This use case describes checking a Health Information Exchange (HIE) for medical history, i.e. the ability to query for patient data via health information exchange (HIE).


  • Successfully access relevant patient data that is available from local HIE(s)

Primary Actors:

  • Patient, clinic or other health facility, local area HIE(s)

Secondary Actors:

  • Hospitals or other providers contributing to the HIE(s)


  • Patient needs can trigger this event
  • Requests from any provider
  • Existence of an HIE or data source that is routinely updated
  • Appropriated governance rules, security, and education on use

 List or describe the basic flow of the use case from beginning to end, without error states.

  • A patient presents to a health care facility
  • The patient is properly identified
  • A local HIE is queried for appropriate patient match and all associated reports
  • Access is provided and data is made available from the HIE
  • Care is provided using this new information

Looking for a printer-friendly copy of this basic workflow?  Download the workflow diagram here!

List or describe alternate flows, including those that involve error conditions.

  • Access is unavailable, so patient data is faxed to clinic or healthcare facility
  • HIE is not available, so information is obtained from primary/secondary medical provider
  • Patient cannot be located in the database, therefore, care is provided without any additional information being obtained

Are there post conditions that will be true about the system after the use case has been accomplished?

  • Updated information could be sent back to the HIE

Set of resources that must be made available and/or configured to execute the use case. Data, services, systems, etc.

  • Local HIE
  • Access capability
  • Connectivity between systems
  • Appropriate data standards

Looking for a printer-friendly copy of this use case?  Download the printable PDF here!


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