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HealtheConnections expands Clinical-Community Referrals

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Connecting clinicians and community-based programs to improve health.
In 2016, HealtheConnections set out to improve the referral process by leveraging the power of the HIE and its large pool of participants, and created a mechanism for healthcare providers to make perinatal referrals to the Healthy Families Program for Onondaga County residents. Now, the organization is about to launch its expanded referral platform that provides healthcare professionals with the tools they need to refer patients to evidence-based community programs.

With funding from the New York State Department of Health under the Local IMPACT grant, HealtheConnections was able to expand supporting HIE architecture and begin referrals to the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) in seven Central New York counties. The success of these initiatives has led to the current expansion of the platform, increasing the number of counties covered by the service and adding three new evidence-based programs: Chronic Disease Self-Management, Diabetes Self-Management and Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring.

The benefits of the platform lie in the ease of choosing and making the referral, and opening a bi-directional channel for feedback. Using HealtheConnections’ extensive and diverse participant base and HIE infrastructure, it allows healthcare providers to select the community-based program best suited for the patient, complete an online referral form, and submit the form directly to the receiving organization via Direct Mail. The recipient organization can then begin working with the patient to obtain consent and use HealtheConnections’ Patient Lookup to view other medical information that may be vital to the patient’s improvement plan. The entire referral process is HIPAA-compliant and supports bi-directional communication between the provider and the community-based organization, thereby helping providers meet their value-based care delivery targets.

The platform has already generated positive attention from Central New York communities as well as other communities across the state and nationally. HealtheConnections was chosen to be a presenter at the National Diabetes Prevention Program conference hosted by the CDC in June to discuss the mechanics of the platform and benefits to the HIE community.

The vision and goals for the platform directly support the mission of improved care for all patients. HealtheConnections is motivated to continue growth in this area, expanding on current services and seeking out innovative approaches to improve health in our region and beyond.

New York Expands Electronic Patient Care Alerts Service Statewide

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Healthcare Professionals Can Now Receive Alerts When Their Patient is Admitted to or Discharged from a Hospital Anywhere in the State Further Enhancing Care Coordination

ALBANY, NY—The New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC) today announced the expansion of patient care alerts across the state’s eight regional health information exchanges through the Statewide Health Information Network for New York (SHIN-NY). The statewide expansion of this service further enhances the SHIN-NY’s patient care coordination capabilities and creates an integral resource in improving health and care delivery, including reducing hospital readmissions, throughout the state.

The SHIN-NY connects New York’s eight regional networks, or Qualified Entities, that allow participating healthcare professionals, with patient consent, to quickly access and securely exchange electronic health information statewide.

Alerts allow participating SHIN-NY providers and care team members who have treating relationships to receive real-time updates about their patients. For example, a subscribing provider can receive an Admittance, Discharge, Transfer alert if their patient enters or is discharged from a hospital. This promotes timelier interventions and improved planning for a patient’s care at home or at another facility. Alerts are a core service offered free of charge to SHIN-NY participants.

Prior to the expansion of the service, healthcare professionals could only subscribe to and receive alerts from other participating healthcare professionals within their Qualified Entity’s region. Now, alerts will be more comprehensive, as the status of patients across regions will be available regardless of where in the state a patient receives care.

“By providing doctors access to their patients’ medical records across great distances, the SHINNY ensures continuity of care throughout New York State,” said New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, we are continuing to improve healthcare while reducing costs, making New York a healthier place for everyone.”

“Electronic patient alerts to healthcare providers when their patients are admitted to or discharged from a New York State hospital is an important addition to the state’s SHIN-NY capabilities, which will improve patient care,” said Senator Kemp Hannon, Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Health.

“If I’m somewhere across the state and end up in a hospital emergency room, I’d want my family doctor back home to get an alert,” said Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried. “In New York, we’re building a strong electronic health information network based on patient consent.”

“As the SHIN-NY continues to expand and advance, we’re able to better support and create opportunities for patient-centered, coordinated care,” said Valerie Grey, Executive Director of NYeC, the non-profit organization designated by the state to operate the SHIN-NY. “By alerting providers and care team members to critical moments in their patients’ healthcare, this statewide system and the eight QEs continue to develop an optimal, integrated network for healthcare delivery.”

“Alerting intelligence has proven incredibly valuable within and across our regions,” said Rob Hack, Chair of the Business Operations Committee of the SHIN-NY and CEO of HealtheConnections, the central New York regional health information exchange accredited as a Qualified Entity of the SHIN-NY. “Providers and care teams actively use the service for improved and responsive care by proactively integrating it into their workflow. Connecting the alerts statewide extends the value of the SHIN-NY across the regions of New York State.”

The eight Qualified Entities that are connected by and comprise the SHIN-NY include Bronx RHIO, HealtheConnections, HEALTHeLINK, Healthix, HealthlinkNY, Hixny, NYCIG, and Rochester RHIO. The SHIN-NY connects virtually all the state’s hospitals and more than 80,000 healthcare professionals, enabling collaboration and coordination of care that improves patient outcomes, reduces unnecessary and avoidable tests and procedures, and lowers costs. To learn more about the SHIN-NY, visit www.nyehealth.org/shin-ny.

About The New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC)
NYeC is a non-profit organization working in partnership with the New York State Department of Health to improve healthcare by collaboratively leading, connecting, and integrating health information exchange across the state. nyehealth.org