HealthlinkNY connects regional providers to SHIN-NY
The regional health information organization connects 11 counties spanning the Hudson Valley, Catskills and Southern Tier regions. By linking with SHINY-NY, it now enables real-time results of patient medical records to be shared between physicians across the state.
Allowing physicians to easily share lab results, records and medical history with patient consent helps reduce medical errors, limit unnecessary testing, save time and provide patients with better overall treatment.
HealthlinkNY CEO Christina Galanis said the program requires minimal training, and that those providers in its service area who are not yet connected to the system should contact HealthlinkNY to begin the process.
"This is a giant step forward for providers and consumers," said Galanis, in a press statement. "The vision of truly interoperable cross-regional data-sharing now becomes a reality for New York State. Medical records can electronically follow patients, with their consent, throughout the state if they need care away from home or from another provider.
"This is especially important for patients who require emergency care while traveling, or go away to college, or seek treatment at specialized facilities in New York City and in other areas of the state," she added.
HealthlinkNY is funded by the New York State Department of Health as a qualified entity. Since August, it has been exchanging data with two neighboring QEs: Hixny, which serves the Albany area, and HEALTHeCONNECTIONS, based in Syracuse. There are nine QEs in New York now able to share patient data through SHIN-NY.
SHIN-NY has long strived for a statewide HIE that operates akin to a public utility.
"A health information network is relevant to all of us," said David Whitlinger, executive director of New York eHealth Collaborative, which operates SHIN-NY, said in 2012. "If we ever need to visit the ER, anytime we get an MRI or have lab work done and need to make sure our primary care doctor gets the results – our records must reach whoever is treating us as quickly as possible."
Indeed, that infrastructure turned out to be a key public safety resource during Hurricane Sandy.