“Our mission is clear, and together we’re setting a new standard for regional health improvement” – Rob Hack, President and CEO
Syracuse/Binghamton/Hopewell Junction, N.Y. – (January 31, 2019) – Rob Hack, president and CEO of HealtheConnections, and Staci Romeo, executive director of HealthlinkNY, announced their companies will merge together into HealtheConnections, forming a health improvement organization that spans 26 counties of the Central New York, Southern Tier and Hudson Valley regions.
The merger follows a strategic partnership announced in September 2018, and according to Romeo, the teams quickly agreed that a merger would be the best choice to accelerate their goal of delivering improved resources to their regions.
“Our goal for a strategic partnership was to deliver enhanced services and combined synergies that would benefit our stakeholders,” said Romeo. “We partnered with HealtheConnections because they have a proven record of success, and their quality of services and processes directly align with our mission. We’re thinking progressively, and as a combined entity, there will be operational efficiencies and increased value for our participants, stakeholders and partners as a single trusted resource.”
Hack agrees that their collaboration is grounded in shared mission, values and a commitment to excellence.
“We’ll leverage best practices and team skills from both companies to create a stronger organization,” Hack said. “Together, we have an opportunity to capitalize on the momentum we’ve gained in our separate regions, to deliver valued services that enable improvement and efficiencies in health and healthcare delivery.”
HealtheConnections and HealthlinkNY are proceeding with operational and legal integrations that will provide health information exchange (HIE), population health improvement and value-based care solutions to their expansive service area.
“We’re excited to bring together 4,100 participating providers in 1,800 locations in the Central and Southern Tier regions, with 4,600 participating providers and 1,000 locations in the Upper and Lower Hudson Valley—and this merger will increase usage and adoption.” Romeo said.
An HIE improves population health and healthcare quality and efficiently brings together patient health records from participating providers, creating a single, more complete patient medical history. It allows hospitals, primary care practices, specialists and other care professionals to immediately access more complete patient information where and when it is needed, so clinicians can make quicker, more informed diagnoses and avoid duplicative or unnecessary tests.
Hack envisions increased need for trusted, collaborative services, support, and innovative approaches as healthcare continues to change.
“As the landscape continues to shift with increased quality and cost collaboration between providers, health insurers, and patients, there’s increased need for interoperable, data-driven, value-based solutions.” Hack said.
HealtheConnections and HealthlinkNY are accredited entities operating and connecting their regional HIEs with others in New York State that together form the Statewide Health Information Network of New York (SHIN-NY). The merger is fully supported by the New York State Department of Health and aligns with the strategic goals of efficiency and affordability outlined in the SHIN-NY roadmap.
Romeo also notes that they are the only New York State HIEs that support the Department of Health’s Population Health Improvement agenda through regional collaborative efforts, which will further strengthen through the merger.
As HealtheConnections enters its 10th year of operation, Hack believes the organization has reached a true inflection point in which its influence and reach will grow exponentially as a result of this decision.
“We are more focused and determined than ever to leverage our people, processes and technology to deliver the highest level of service to improve health and healthcare delivery,” Hack said. “Our mission is clear, and this merger accelerates us forward.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com