Recently, HealtheConnections demonstrated its ongoing commitment to supporting public health work through two collaborative efforts. The first involved a community project with the Westchester County Department of Community Mental Health. The project aimed to create a dashboard of hospitalizations and emergency (ED) visits involving opioid overdoses in Westchester County.
The dashboard directly aids the county’s Opioid Response and Overdose Prevention Initiative (ORI), created in response to a rise in overdose deaths in Westchester County during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. By utilizing HealtheConnections’ data, the county was able to pinpoint opioid overdose hot spots and trends and identify communities with the greatest need for overdose support.
Several years ago, HealtheConnections built a similar opioid hospitalization report for Oneida County. The new Westchester County dashboard builds from that original solution but presents the data differently by focusing on weekly patterns, allowing the County to examine trends and hot spots that weren’t as easily discernable from the previous version.
Counts of hospitalizations and ED visits in the previous week will be presented by zip code, age, gender, race, and ethnicity. Once fully implemented, the report will also be made available to other interested counties.
Since ORI was founded earlier this year, its other efforts have already materialized positive results. Naloxone education has increased across the county, especially within local law enforcement departments, emergency medical services, and the general community. Medication Assisted Treatment has also expanded to increase access to substance use disorder treatment.
Secondly, along with other RHIOs, NYeC, the NYSDOH, and external advisors, HealtheConnections is participating in the SHIN-NY Public Health Workgroup. The group aims to support State and local health departments across New York. Our goal is to protect and improve the health of our communities by addressing gaps in data to understand and intervene on issues impacting the health and safety of residents.
More specifically, the aims of this workgroup include the following:
HealtheConnections is pleased to have the opportunity to continue supporting local health departments. Through creating tools and dashboards and being involved in an administrative capacity to help develop new policies and data strategies, HealtheConnections continues to demonstrate the innovative use of HIE infrastructure for public health priorities.
At HealtheConnections, we strive to offer healthcare providers with the connections they need to provide better patient care. By giving clinicians the tools they need in order to have easy access to their patient’s information, HealtheConnections helps bridge the gap between the patient, the healthcare organization, and the entire community.
One organization that fully utilizes the many opportunities HealtheConnections provides is Sullivan County Public Health. We spoke with Epidemiologist Haley Motola, MS to learn more about how Sullivan County Public Health benefits from our services.
Motola explained that the Health Department is comprised of a Certified Home Health Agency, an Epidemiology Department, the Early Intervention Program, Healthy Families of Sullivan, and Public Health Education and that they offer Public Health Nursing-visiting nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, childhood immunization clinics, adult immunization clinics, disease education and prevention promotion, rabies reporting, childhood lead poisoning prevention, and many other public services.
“The staff working within all of the Sullivan County Department of Public Health Programs help those who would otherwise have difficulty accessing care and are vital to our community health,” Motola said, adding that the overall goal of her department specifically is to prevent the spread of infectious agents and environmental concerns that harm human health and wellness.
How does HealtheConnections come into play within Motola’s department? “I use HealtheConnections every day to complete infectious disease investigations. I am able to access information such as illness onset, pre-existing conditions, notification of the patient of the diagnosis, symptoms, medication prescribed and provider contact information and more,” she said. She also indicated that HealtheConnections helps her organization locate information that can be difficult to obtain, such as insurance coverage and next-of-kin.
She also said that often, the patients they work with have provided a more thorough view of their disease progression to their provider or their local emergency department. They may not be able to recall all the pertinent details when Motola’s department investigates, which can negatively impact the investigation. “HealtheConnections has reduced the impact that recall bias has on important investigations by providing information from the patient at the time of the illness, instead of relying solely on recollection,” said Motola.
Time is frequently of the essence when it comes to disease investigation, and Motola is pleased that the services offered by HealtheConnections have cut down on that time. “I used to spend a great deal of time trying to find out information from providers on the phone. With HealtheConnections, I am able to spend more time talking to the patient during the investigation, with more lab information and diagnostic transcriptions. Having faster and more timely information has been the absolute most beneficial aspect of HealtheConnections within our department.”
How Sun River Health Uses HealtheConnections
HealtheConnections recently had the opportunity to work with Sun River Health, a Federally Qualified Health Center and one of the nation’s largest community health providers. Sun River Health was awarded a grant centered on creating a dashboard that would, of many things, help lower readmission rates and schedule follow-ups after an ED visit. One of the goals was to implement an alerting system in which secure files would be sent as an alert to their dashboard. HealtheConnections was able to assist by quickly setting up its daily digest alerting function through Sun River Health’s dashboard.
This is just one example of how organizations like yours can use HealtheConnections and the health information exchange to improve care.
Like all of our core HIE services, it is FREE.
If you are interested in learning more about HealtheConnections Alerts, or any other services we offer, email us at email@example.com
For a busy care manager, coordinating medical treatments, including administering assessments, developing care plans, and monitoring medication compliance to advocate for a patient’s health is no easy task.
Care managers serve as the main point of contact between the patient and practice and need to get in touch with various people to coordinate a patient’s care. But getting the right person on the phone or through email can be a challenge.
With HealtheConnections, care managers can view a patient’s medical summary, including provider notes, discharge information, medications, allergies, and more, all in one place.
No faxing. No calling. No waiting.
Care Managers leverage HealtheConnections’ services to:
“HealtheConnections is a huge part of follow-up. If there is a patient who is not in our hospital system, we can log into the myConnections portal, see why the patient was there, view provider notes, and receive discharge information all in one place. That way, we know what steps to take upon their discharge and assist the patient with any needed follow-up.”
-Care Manager Coordinator, St. Joseph’s Health
This is just one example of how your staff can use HealtheConnections and the health information exchange to improve care.
Like all of our core HIE services, it is at no cost.
If you are interested in learning more about HealtheConnections and the services we offer, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org