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HealtheConnections Enters a Strategic Partnership with HealthlinkNY

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A message from CEO Rob Hack:

To our participants, partners, and stakeholders:

You value actionable data, continuous innovation, and a shared vision for improved health and healthcare delivery for all, just like we do. This type of progress can only be achieved through enhanced collaboration and looking beyond the status quo.

It is with great pride that we officially announce a strategic partnership between HealtheConnections and HealthlinkNY that will help to bring this shared vision to our colleagues in the Southern Tier and the Hudson Valley.

Through the course of the year, HealthlinkNY has sought the right partner to help raise its already successful organization to the next level. The criteria was stringent: This organization needed not only the best technology, but to share a commitment to excellence and align with company culture and values. After interviewing potential partners, HealthlinkNY ultimately decided that the work we do with you, our community, has delivered the value they hope to bring to their constituents.

HealthlinkNY currently boasts connections with all 43 hospitals in the Southern Tier and Hudson Valley, as well as nearly 1,800 sites. They have recently hit the 2 million mark for patient consents and 374 participating provider organizations – that’s up from 271 at the end of 2017.

Our commitment to innovate and deliver value for you has never wavered, and we thank you for your continued support. We are excited for the momentum this new opportunity offers!

Stay tuned for more details as we move forward together.

Sincerely,

Rob Hack
HealtheConnections President and CEO

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

Care OnDemand Comes to Central New York

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Oswego Health introduces tele-health option for patients, partners with HealtheConnections

HealtheConnections is proud to announce a partnership and data sharing agreement with the Oswego Health Tele-Health Urgent Care. This tele-health program, called Care OnDemand, is innovative in the area, helping patients by delivering affordable, efficient care wherever they are.

Residents in Oswego County will be able to get medical advice and healthcare services directly through any device that supports video conferencing, such as Skype and Facetime. This is almost immediate—within 30 minutes, a doctor will be available to speak with the patient via video call. To make this possible, Oswego Health is working with Carena, a firm specializing in virtual health clinics throughout the country.

This data-sharing partnership sends information securely to HealtheConnections, allowing connected providers to access other critical data they need to care for their patients. The data will be incorporated into a patient’s comprehensive medical record, giving their doctors the most complete picture of their health needs at any time.

HealtheConnections views this as a positive step forward in healthcare technology for the region by linking tele-health with the health information exchange.

Corporate Giving is Good for Business

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HealtheConnections has a proud history of supporting health related events occurring across the Central New York region. That support comes in a variety of ways, but primarily through fundraising and volunteer opportunities for organizations that support health promotion and healthcare delivery. For us, this type of corporate giving is a visible demonstration of our commitment to the community and our HIE participants take notice. In fact, they often participate in the same events that we do! This strengthens the partnerships that we continually strive to develop throughout our community.

As an example, we are active participants in the Syracuse Heart Walk. In addition to tabling at the event, the company team volunteers for the walk, raising $5400 for the event in 2018. Several of our large hospital systems also participate in this event and that connection has been beneficial for us building relationships and networks and a sense of community between our organizations.

We have also organized an Earth Day clean-up around the Syracuse Inner Harbor Creekwalk, right near our offices. By maintaining a place for community members to be active and engage outdoors, we’re supporting a healthy lifestyle and aligning the HIE with health and proactivity in the eyes of our participants and the public.

We appreciate our nurses, and participate each year in Nurses’ Night Out, a fun night exclusively planned for nurses in our area. This is a great opportunity to show our support to hardworking nurses as well as introduce ourselves to those who use our services the most.

Recently, we planned a symposium in conjunction with our partners to the north, the Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization, to showcase our services. Focus for this event was on those services which create links between healthcare providers and community organizations, especially those benefitting our active duty soldiers. HealtheConnections plans to conduct more symposiums to continue integrating healthcare across our region.

These are just a few examples of how HealtheConnections contributes to keeping our population healthy, starting literally from the ground up. Our goal is to continue to support these health related events throughout the community in which we work and live. In short, corporate giving is an important business function that directly contributes to HealtheConnections’ success.

Reduced Cost & Increased Productivity: Image Sharing with Transfer-to-PACS

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Providers can access and share clinical images easier than ever with the Transfer-to-PACS (TTP) solution offered through HealtheConnections. The Central New York HIE has been developing resources for healthcare providers to share medical images more efficiently throughout the region since 2010. We’re empowering providers to view diagnostic-quality medical images when and where they are needed with a single click, anywhere, anytime.

The TTP solution is unlike any other image platform currently available. Tightly integrated with HIE platforms, it automates one of the most cumbersome and costly burdens borne by patients and imaging service providers alike. Accessing and importing prior imaging studies from external providers is vital in the diagnosis and treatment of critical conditions like cancer, stroke and heart disease.

Users are finding success in the platform. “For years we have struggled to locate, import and reconcile external images, surgical and implant reports that are needed to diagnose and treat and safely scan our patients,” said Craig Pole, MR Safety Officer at Rome Memorial Hospital. “One of our biggest pain points has been dramatically reduced now that this onerous process has been automated through HealtheConnections.”

With Transfer-to-PACS, nearly 500 users in more than 20 HealtheConnections’ participating organizations now have the ability to transfer critically-important external medical images from other providers into their own imaging system. One click from the patient’s record replaces what might otherwise take several days or more, burden patients with chasing down imaging CDs from multiple locations, and waste vital clinical staff time exporting, importing and reconciling records from diverse locations –time that could be available for direct patient care. HealtheConnections participants are transferring more than 8,800 image studies per month, an increase of 600% since offering the service.

“The HealtheConnections’ Transfer-to-PACS option is our first source for outside images,” shares Jim Colone, Director of Ancillary Services at Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists (SOS). “Our providers don’t want to view images from multiple outside sources on their viewers. HealtheConnections allows us to pull those images into our PACS that the doctors are familiar with. This makes the viewing and manipulation of images more efficient. Transfer-to-PACS allows us to see prior exams and to transfer only those pertinent to the patient’s musculoskeletal issue as opposed to having to import an entire CD that may have non-orthopedic studies on it.”

To learn more about the image exchange platform and how HealtheConnections’ participants are benefitting from Transfer-to-PACS, please contact HealtheConnections support at 315.671.2241 x5.

Medical Image Sharing through the HIE Brings Unprecedented Cost and Productivity Improvements to Central New York

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HealtheConnections and eHealth Technologies find success with innovative solutions

HealtheConnections, the regional Health Information Exchange (HIE) serving 11 counties of central and northern New York, and eHealth Technologies, the leading provider of image-enabled HIE solutions, have teamed up to develop resources for healthcare providers to share medical images more efficiently throughout the region since 2011. This partnership is empowering providers to view diagnostic-quality medical images when and where they are needed with a single click, anywhere, anytime.

They’ve recently worked to expand these capabilities with Transfer-to-PACS, one of the growing suite of services included in the eHealth Connect® Image Exchange platform from eHealth Technologies. This solution is unlike any other image platform currently available. Tightly integrated with HIE platforms, it automates one of the most cumbersome and costly burdens borne by patients and imaging service providers alike. Accessing and importing prior imaging studies from external providers is vital in the diagnosis and treatment of critical conditions like cancer, stroke and heart disease. To learn more visit: https://ehealthtechnologies.com/products-services/image-exchange.

With Transfer-to-PACS, nearly 500 users in more than 20 HealtheConnections’ participating organizations now have just one place to go to locate, view and/or transfer critically-important external medical images from other providers. One click from the patient’s record replaces what might otherwise take several days or more, burden patients with chasing down imaging CDs from multiple locations, and waste vital clinical staff time exporting, importing and reconciling records from diverse locations –time that could be available for direct patient care. HealtheConnections participants are transferring more than 8,800 image studies per month, an increase of 600% since offering the service.

“HealtheConnections provides a unique image sharing capability, one that is only possible if it is part of a HIE or Clinical Information Network,” stated Gary Larson, Executive Vice President & General Manager of HIE Solutions for eHealth Technologies. “Only by leveraging the sophisticated community-wide master patient identifier system and patient consent protections such as those provided by HealtheConnections can these capabilities be provided with just one click.”

“The HealtheConnections’ Transfer-to-PACS option is our first source for outside images,” shares Jim Colone, Director of Ancillary Services at Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists (SOS). “Our providers don’t want to view images from multiple outside sources on their viewers.  HealtheConnections allows us to pull those images into our PACS that the doctors are familiar with.  This makes the viewing and manipulation of images more efficient. Transfer-to-PACS allows us to see prior exams and to transfer only those pertinent to the patient’s musculoskeletal issue as opposed to having to import an entire CD that may have non-orthopedic studies on it.”

eHealth Technologies will be sharing more information about their eHealth Connect Image Exchange product portfolio for HIEs at HIMSS18 in Las Vegas, NV, Meeting Place Room 46, Hall G.  To schedule a time to learn more, click here: https://ehealthtechnologies.com/himss18

About eHealth Technologies
eHealth Technologies is the leading provider of image-enabled Health Information Exchange (HIE) and referral solutions, serving leading HIEs across the US and over half of the nation’s top 100 hospitals, including 17 of the top 20 U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll Hospitals for 2017-2018. eHealth Connect® Image Exchange enables HIE subscribers access to full diagnostic quality medical records in the context of the patient record.  The company’s eHealth Connect® solutions enhance patient and physician satisfaction by streamlining care transitions and assuring physicians have the right information to care for their patients. Visit www.eHealthTechnologies.com. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

About HealtheConnections
HealtheConnections (pronounced “healthy connections”) delivers trusted and valued services, which support health care transformation and efficiency initiatives focused on achieving the triple aim of better care, better population health and lower health care costs. HealtheConnections provides health information exchange (HIE) services* and population health improvement support services for the 11 counties of the Central New York region. The name HealtheConnections represents our commitment to engage and collaborate with health care physicians, hospitals, public health, mental and behavior health and human services, and other health care providing entities, insurers, businesses and consumers to deliver regionally valued services and initiatives that support New York state’s health information exchange and population health improvement agendas. *HealtheConnections is accredited by NYS Department of Health as a qualified participant of the State Health Information Network of New York (SHIN-NY).

Alert Fatigue?  Not In Central New York!

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HealtheConnections’ Unique Delivery Methods Make a Difference.

HealtheConnections (HeC) offers the healthcare community diverse and unique ways to receive patient alerts. With more than 300 organizations and 2000 providers receiving alerts, it became obvious that we needed to create a way for each to choose their own combination of how and when to be notified of patient events. We listened to our providers about the potential constant stream of alerts and developed both push and pull strategies as choices to best fit with alert recipient workflows.

There are three facets of alerts that HeC used as the basis of its alerting infrastructure: type of alert, triggering criteria, and delivery method. HeC started out with the basic alert types of Emergency Department (ED) Admit, Inpatient Admit, and Inpatient Discharge. Medication Adherence and ED Admits within the Last 30 Days are alerts that were added to enhance the choices available to our participants.

A participating organization can also choose the triggering criteria by which it wants to receive alerts. First, a consent-based trigger can be selected and an alert will be sent for any patient with a “yes” consent for that organization. A subscription list can also be used to reduce the number of alerts to a selected subset of patients. Lastly, another choice is to receive a provider-based alert. Similar to results delivery, an alert will be sent to a participating provider when named on a patient’s record.

HealtheConnections’ unique approach to alerts is mainly in its delivery methods. As with most “push” alerting methods, HeC can send a notification via text, email, or Direct Mail to a recipient. These real-time alerts can be most useful for care management to address a patient’s needs as soon as possible. However, the real difference for HeC participants is to “pull” alerts when they need them within their workflow. For these types of alerts, HealtheConnections offers myAlerts, which is a comprehensive list of alerts that is filterable and has delegation capability to others within the participating organization to access. Another key distinction as a delivery method is the Daily Digest, which is a summary of alerts for the last 24 hours that is available by 6:30am every morning. Ninety percent of HeC’s alerts are delivered via Daily Digest and myAlerts.

HealtheConnections will continue to innovate solutions with more custom-based alerts in the future and other features that best meet our healthcare community’s needs.

myConnections: A New Experience

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HealtheConnections’ is excited to introduce a new look for the myConnections HIE portal. This refreshed design offers a streamlined user experience letting our authorized users access the information they need in an easy-to-use, highly functional dashboard.

All the functions our users value are still easily accessible, like Patient Lookup, Alerts, Direct Mail, and we introduced some new features for 2018. Training materials, forms, user guides, featured videos, news, and more are now conveniently stored all in one place! Just click on the graduation cap on the left sidebar to access Training and Reference Materials. Much of this information has been on the HealtheConnections website, but we’ve made it available to users through the portal that they use every day. Users have commented that the layout is easy to use and navigate!

If you are an authorized user and haven’t logged in yet, click here to experience the new myConnections, or visit us at healtheconnections.org.

HealtheConnections Serves It Up in 2017

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HealtheConnections began 2017 on a high note with incredible momentum from the previous year. However, the HealtheConnections team and its marketing firm, MPW Marketing, knew more could be done. With a well thought-out strategy, the company embarked on a mission to reach providers as its primary objective and, along the way, educate patients and medical professionals alike on the benefits of the health information exchange (HIE).

A carefully targeted media mix spread the news about our star patient, Frank, and his family, showing how healthcare providers could use the HIE to directly benefit patients. Combined with a renewed focus within the company and efforts from the team, HealtheConnections surpassed its 800th participating organization. This represents over 1,200 site locations that are participating with and using HealtheConnections’ services.

Rolling out new features and functionality throughout 2017 didn’t hurt either. HealtheConnections introduced enhancements that sparked usage, including a recent change to Transfer-to-PACS (TTP) that allows users to view a history of transferred images.

All of this adds up to an explosion of numbers from last year, such as:

· An increase of 17% of physicians using HealtheConnections’ services

· Over 265 data sources contributing medical records, up 27%

· A 53% jump in active HIE users, looking up 58% more patients

· 81% more Clinical Summary Documents received in the HIE; More than 650,000 per month

· 550% increase of imaging studies accessed due to TTP

But, it doesn’t stop here for 2017…not just yet. HealtheConnections is serving up its final push of the year with a creative and very distinct idea that it expects will get some fence-sitters over the line – a pizza delivery! Cleverly designed pizza boxes with HealtheConnections’ statistics and services, along with an incentive to join, are being delivered to physician practices and other healthcare offices that the company has been working with for the past year but have not yet taken the extra step to enroll in the HIE. This unique end-of-year outreach is spearheaded by the Engagement Team to catch their attention and end this notable year with a strong finish in enrollment, participation, and data contribution.