Temporary Emergency Access

Temporary Emergency Access in CurrentCare Viewer

During an emergency, authorized clinical staff can temporarily access the CurrentCare Viewer records of certain individuals who have chosen to restrict the general sharing of their clinical record. This requires the clinical staff to attest that this is an emergency situation, which is sometimes called “Break the Glass.”

RI State regulations require that:

  • Emergency access shall not extend beyond the duration of an emergency
  • Temporary Emergency Access is recorded in audit logs: patient, clinical staff, date & time
  • A disclosure log can be provided to patients, upon their request


This page provides the following information:


What is an “Emergency”?

According to state regulations, “Emergency” is the sudden onset of a medical, mental, or substance use, or other condition manifesting itself by acute symptoms of severity (e.g., severe pain) where the absence of medical attention could reasonably be expected, by a prudent layperson, to result in placing the patient’s health in serious jeopardy, serious impairment to bodily or mental functions, or serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part.

The health care provider or facility treating the emergency shall determine the existence of a medical emergency, its duration, and which personnel are needed to address the medical emergency.


Which records can only be viewed in an Emergency?

At this time, Temporary Emergency Access will be required to view the records of those individuals who have enrolled in CurrentCare using Option 2 (only emergency situations and health plans as allowed by law). This is a relatively small number of individuals.

After CurrentCare transitions to an Opt-Out consent model, Temporary Emergency Access will be required to view the records for all individuals who have chosen to “opt out” of general sharing of their clinical records. Click here to read more about CurrentCare’s transition to Opt-Out.


How do I view a patient’s record in an Emergency?

Within the CurrentCare Viewer, authorized clinical staff will see an asterisk (*) next to each record that can only be viewed in an EMERGENCY, per that patient’s wishes.

If the authorized clinical staff member clicks on one of the records with an asterisk (*):

… they will be given the choice of whether to click “Cancel,” so they won’t be able to view the record, or to attest that “This is an Emergency” so they can view the patient’s record:

To learn more, click here to view our “Patient Search and Screen Navigation” video tutorial (5 minute video).


Am I required to notify the patient of Temporary Emergency Access?

Yes. Following any health care provider’s temporary access of a patient participant’s protected health information via emergency procedures in the HIE, the health care provider shall notify the patient participant or his or her authorized representative of the temporary access as soon as is feasible.


How long does a Temporary Emergency Access (Break the Glass) event last?

The temporary access shall not extend beyond the duration of the emergency. In CurrentCare Viewer, the clinical staff member will be prompted to attest that “This is an Emergency” each time they try to open a record that has a consent status of “Emergency Only.”


Additional Resources



Call us at: 1-888-858-4815 or Email: CurrentCare@riqi.org