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Community Engagement: An Integrated Approach

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The ultimate goal of our organization is to provide better health for all, and that means health at every level. This is more than just engaging our providers as healthcare professionals – HealtheConnections is committed to reaching providers and patients throughout our community and recognizes the importance of supporting health initiatives in our region.

Our providers are active in their communities, and HealtheConnections has participated in a number of events in our service area that support healthcare professionals and their causes. We understand that health is a larger vision, and there are so many smaller ways that the company can be a positive influence for our community members.

We are active participants in the Syracuse Heart Walk, fundraising over $2500 for the event this year! As well as tabling the event, the company team volunteers for the walk. We’ve also organized an Earth Day clean-up around the Creek Walk in Syracuse, 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 – a great opportunity to show our support as well as introduce ourselves to those who use our services the most.

Last month, we planned a symposium in conjunction with our partners to the north, the Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization, to showcase how our services can create links between healthcare providers. 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 from the ground up. Our goal is to continue supporting our providers at work and in the communities they live in.

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.

HealtheConnections hits 800 Participating Organizations and Celebrates Marketing Competition Wins

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In January of 2017, HealtheConnections introduced a new marketing campaign to Central New York, speaking directly to medical professionals about the benefits of the health information exchange. This was immediately following incredible growth in 2016, setting the stage for an exceptional result – reaching 800 participating organizations enrolled. The marketing campaign was a key element in a larger strategy to boost enrollment spearheaded by the HealtheConnections team.

The team now celebrates the strategy, execution, and result that was recently awarded Marketing Effectiveness in Healthcare accolades from both the Summit and MarCom Awards, two prestigious competitions with winners from all over the world. HealtheConnections is proud to be counted among them in partnership with MPW Marketing, based in Clinton, NY.

The campaign kicked off by unveiling a cast of characters featuring Frank and Violet, who find themselves in unfortunate situations, requiring the help of healthcare professionals and the HIE to return them to full health.




While the centerpiece of the campaign has been the animated television commercials, each facet is incredibly important, working together and incorporating our characters with strong messaging targeted directly to CNY healthcare professionals. This created a whimsical, energetic platform for the main message: the HIE’s practical, convenient benefits and impressive metrics.

Once the messaging was perfected, media was carefully curated to target physicians and other healthcare professionals as closely as possible. Outlets include television commercials, radio, online advertising, social media initiatives, testimonial videos, and printed collateral pieces.

HealtheConnections looks forward to another successful year with even bigger results – keep an eye out for new, exciting initiatives to bring the message of improved healthcare for all to Central New York.

Enhanced Alerting Now Available

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HealtheConnections Launches New Alerting Capabilities

Featuring Medication Adherence Alerting
HealtheConnections has enhanced functionality with a new alert for Medication Adherence.  In partnership with Kinney Drugs, an alert will be sent out when a patient does not pick up a prescription after 14 days.  This notification gives providers the opportunity to follow up with patients, as needed.  These alerts can be critical for patients with multiple and chronic illnesses that may depend on a daily medication – if they have not picked up their filled prescription, it enables a physician or case manager to be aware of the situation.  For patients with a short-term malady, taking a prescription in a timely manner may help put them on the path to wellness and prevent a prolonged health event or even a trip to the emergency room.  Medication adherence alerts are designed to give providers an insight into patients’ commitment to their health and will be available for more than 70 Kinney Drugs stores. 

Additional HealtheConnections alerting capabilities include:

myAlerts Dashboard Enhancements

  • Delegation: A user can be set up as a delegate to view a provider’s alerts.
  • Filtering: Allows the user to filter on the type of alerts to view on the myAlerts Dashboard. The user can select consent-based, provider-based, delegate-based, or subscription list alerts.
  • Selectable Date Range: The user can select start and end dates to limit the list of alerts for viewing.

Subscription List Alerting Enhancements

  • The National Provider Identifier (NPI) can now be submitted on the patient subscription list for the provider to receive alerts, without a patient’s affirmative consent if they have not consented “No”. This is allowable since there is an already established relationship between the patient and the provider.
  • Now available in daily digest format.

Click for the Alerts Training Manual , Alerts User Form and Delegation Form on the HealtheConnections website.

For more information, please contact our support team at (315) 671-2241 x 5 or support@healtheconnections.org

HealtheConnections Growing, Relocates to Franklin Square

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Company Growth and Development Prompts Move

HealtheConnections is pleased to announce its new office in historic Franklin Square. As an anchor tenant in Franklin Center, the firm occupies a beautifully renovated factory that was originally built in 1903 for the Clinton Knitting Company on lands referred to as the “old Salt Flats” in Syracuse. Formerly located in the State Tower Building on Warren Street in Syracuse, the regional health information technology and population health improvement firm relocated to allow more space to grow, a move that President and CEO Rob Hack sees as beneficial for the company and the community it serves. “It was important to stay a part of the vibrant resurgence in Syracuse,” Hack said, “and to be anchored in the middle of the Central New York region we serve. We wanted an employee-centric, interactive, and collaborative space that will support our continued growth and community partnerships.”

Hack indicated that the move to the new space is symbolic of the direction HealtheConnections is heading as a company. “Each day, we build upon the successes of the past with a strong focus on future innovation and improving valuable services,” he said. “And it starts with a positive working environment for our employees. Respecting the past, the space’s modern colors and contemporary furnishings provide a welcoming environment for its continued growth.” The company’s work is performed with community health and provider partners, and the hope is that this new environment will enable more effective collaboration both internally and externally. In its eighth year of operation, the company, with Hack as the first employee in 2010, has grown to 40 employees, adding several new positions each year.

HealtheConnections operates one of the state’s eight regional health information exchanges (HIE), working with health and healthcare delivery and support organizations throughout eleven counties in Central and Northern New York. Providing medical professionals with critical patient medical records and resources for improved patient care is the HIE’s ultimate goal, resulting in better health and care for the public. It is accredited through the NYS Department of Health as a qualified member of the State Health Information Network of New York (SHIN-NY), and also currently supports New York State’s Prevention Agenda in conjunction with partner organizations to improve regional population health.

Over the last two years, HealtheConnections’ HIE has achieved exponential growth in usage and health data contribution, which is the backbone of its mission to improve the quality of care for patients, the communities they live in, and the efficiency of healthcare delivery for providers. Currently, there are 800 participating organizations including all area hospitals – 75% of the region’s providers use HIE services and 65% of them are contributing patient health records.

Hack is pleased to see this growth, and is determined to use that momentum to continue building relationships, developing valued services, and enhancing data quality for improved use. “We operate our business in an open, transparent and team-oriented way to deliver the best service to our participants and partners.” Hack says. “It’s the passion that drives us. There’s no question about the benefits of our health information exchange and population health improvement work, and we’ll continue to work hard to make sure we make a difference for the people living in Central New York.”

To learn more about HealtheConnections, visit their website at www.healtheconnections.org.

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).

Substance Use Disorder: Part 2 Data Accessibility Development

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HealtheConnections has developed a Substance Use Disorder protocol, commonly referred to as 42CFR or Part 2, for receiving and disclosing data through the health information exchange (HIE). With this new capability, authorized medical professionals are able to immediately view a patient’s information that may previously have been difficult to obtain, giving the provider a more complete picture of the patient’s needs and, ultimately, leading to better quality of care. This protocol is an initial implementation in New York State and HealtheConnections is proud to be one of the few HIEs in the country spearheading innovation in this sector.

In February of this year, a ruling at the federal level by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) prompted HealtheConnections to delve further into a problem that they have been attempting to address for the last five years – the regulation and implementation of protected health information regarding drug and alcohol abuse. Now, through collaborative guidance from SAMHSA, the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), and New York State Office of Mental Health, HealtheConnections is able to offer a solution to its participants.

Part 2 data requires special provisions due to the sensitivity of its content. HealtheConnections is implementing the following provisions to ensure compliance with federal and state regulations:

  • Qualified Services Organization Agreement (QSOA) is in place between the Part 2 facility and HealtheConnections
  • HealtheConnections uses a facility tag to identify the Part 2 data
  • Treatment facility obtains a patient’s ‘Release to Disclose’ to HealtheConnections and only sends data for patients with affirmative consent
  • HealtheConnections participants obtain QE consent to access all the patient’s records through the HIE
  • HealtheConnections restricts access to Public Health and sPRL

HealtheConnections has developed a policy and the technical capability to meet regulations and allow authorized users to access Part 2 data when caring for a patient. This important information, available through the HIE, can give the practitioner a more comprehensive assessment of what the patient’s medical needs are.

Rob Hack, President and CEO of HealtheConnections, says he hopes that other HIEs will follow closely behind. “Our purpose is to provide the most holistic view of a patient to our healthcare professionals, and give them tools to assist in their decision-making process to provide care,” he says. “This is one more way we are able to do that.”

The capability will be made available to HealtheConnections’ users by October.

For further information, contact Karen Romano, Director of Operations at 315.671.2241 x250 or kromano@healtheconnections.org.