HEALTHeLINK™ is a culmination of several years of collaborative effort by many stakeholder groups in our community.
In 2004 a Health Information Exchange Project, led by Buffalo Academy of Medicine, engaged members of the physician community, the University of Buffalo, county and state public health, HealtheNet and UNYPHIED (Upstate New York Professional Healthcare Information & Education Demonstration Project) in developing a “white paper” outlining a plan for interoperability or the ability to move health care information safely and securely between a patient’s health care providers. Grants from the New York State Department of Health and the federal Agency for Health Research and Quality further supported regional planning efforts.
A grant from the Community Health Foundation of Western and Central New York supported a year long effort for the group to collaborate further as the Health Care Information Coordinating Council to further prioritize area activities in a five year plan.
To further support the vision of these collaborations, HealtheNet hired IBM to conduct an independent study on the feasibility of this venture and develop an appropriate business case to support the directive of improved quality through an effective, financially sustainable model.
The support of these separate organizations individually and collectively for the past four years has culminated in Western New York receiving the Heal NY funding to create HEALTHeLINK™.
The initiatives undertaken by HEALTHeLINK™ will serve as the foundation of a Regional Health Information Organization, or RHIO. This work builds on the efforts of a number of organizations in the community who have been working toward the vision of creating a RHIO to improve quality, enhance patient safety, and help control healthcare costs in Western New York.