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HEALTHeLINK releases 2021 Report to the Community

Buffalo, NY - January 25, 2022 - HEALTHeLINK, the health information exchange (HIE) for Western New York, was formed in collaboration with the local health care community to support hospitals, physicians, health plans, public health organizations and others in improving the efficiency and quality of care. As highlighted in the HEALTHeLINK 2021 Report to the Community, that spirit of partnership continues with a focus on improving the HIE foundation and enhancing the services offered to its participants. “In recent years we’ve learned that the efficacy of HIE is enhancing our collaboration with a broad range of health care organizations across Western New York,” said Dan Porreca, executive director, HEALTHeLINK. “Nothing demonstrated this more than our support of state and county health departments during the pandemic, the expansion of our support services for practice and provider organizations, and the roll out and utilization of population health tools to support quality measures programs. More and more providers are recognizing the value of utilizing HEALTHeLINK to its fullest potential to the benefit of their patients.” In 2021, HEALTHeLINK took the next step in its COVID-19 response efforts, focusing on patient immunizations to help providers and public health partners track vaccination progress and measure vaccination outcomes more effectively. Through its partnerships with New York State Department of Health and the New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC), HEALTHeLINK leverages daily data feeds from the New York State Immunization Information System to quickly enable alert notifications for COVID-19 vaccinations. HEALTHeLINK worked with its hospital partners to create an alert notification when a patient is admitted, allowing providers to see when the patient received their COVID-19 vaccine. More than 5.48 million COVID-19 vaccination alerts were sent to participating providers in 2021. A few of the major highlights from HEALTHeLINK’s 2021 Report to the Community include: • Increased utilization of HEALTHeOUTCOMES, HEALTHeLINK’s community population health tool that uses data from HEALTHeLINK sources and claims data from Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York, Independent Health, and Univera Healthcare. • Migration to a new HEALTHeCOMMUNITY Portal that offers a fresh and more user-friendly interface for participants when accessing applications. • More than 950,000 clinical results like lab tests and radiology reports and images were delivered monthly. This marks a 10% increase over 2020. • Patient record lookup which enables participating HEALTHeLINK providers to instantly access a consented patient’s clinical record and obtaining information such as test results, medication history, etc. totaled more than 6.5 million. • Finally, in 2021 alone, the HEALTHeLINK team worked on a total of 83 different projects focused on improving the HIE foundation and enhancing the services offered to its participants across the health care community. To view the 2021 HEALTHeLINK Report to the Community, please visit wnyhealthelink.com/2021. ### About HEALTHeLINK: HEALTHeLINK is a collaboration among hospitals, physicians, health plans and other health care providers in the eight counties of western New York State to securely exchange clinical information to improve the quality of care, enhance patient safety and mitigate health care costs. HEALTHeLINK is a certified Qualified Entity and part of the Statewide Health Information Network for New York (SHIN-NY), which enables providers to access their patients’ data from across the state. HEALTHeLINK is also a founding member of Civitas Networks for Health, a national collaborative working to use health information exchange to improve health. Providers and patients can visit wnyhealthelink.com or @HEALTHeLINK on both Facebook and Twitter for more information.

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HEALTHeLINK awarded federal funding from Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) to expand immunization information sharing

BUFFALO, NY - March 17, 2021 - HEALTHeLINK announced today it is the recipient of federal funding from the Strengthening the Technical Advancement and Readiness of Public Health via Health Information Exchange (The STAR HIE Program): Improving COVID-19 Vaccination Data: Connecting Immunization Information Systems (IIS) to Health Information Exchanges from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). The STAR HIE Program will support innovative health information exchange services that benefit public health agencies and improve the health information exchange services available to support communities disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding will support efforts to increase data sharing between jurisdictional Immunization Information Systems (IISs) and Health Information Exchanges (HIEs). This cooperative agreement is funded through the CARES Act. “Since the coronavirus outbreak began early last year, HEALTHeLINK has been working closely with both county and New York State health departments along with our participating providers to offer HIE services which continue to support epidemiology, surveillance, and other community modeling and response efforts,” said Dan Porreca, executive director, HEALTHeLINK. “This project is the next step in our COVID-19 response efforts, focusing on patient immunizations to enable providers and public health partners to more effectively track the vaccination progress and measure vaccination outcomes.” As part of the project, HEALTHeLINK will develop technologies to evaluate the COVID-19 immunization status for Western New York patients, risk stratify those most at-risk who haven’t received the vaccine, provide ongoing monitoring of patients who have received the COVID-19 vaccination, including identifying patients with an emergency department or hospital admission within seven days of immunization; identification of patients with a positive COVID-19 test within 60 days of immunization; and other monitoring criteria to be determined. With the results of these evaluations, HEALTHeLINK will deliver alert notifications to participating providers based on their patients’ immunization status, hospital admissions status, and COVID-19 test status. “HEALTHeLINK has been a close and trusted partner in support of our office of epidemiology and contact tracing program,” said Erie County Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein. “As our community’s COVID-19 response efforts shift to vaccination, our department will rely on HEALTHeLINK for population-level data regarding COVID-19 vaccine uptake and monitoring.” ### About HEALTHeLINK:  HEALTHeLINK is a collaboration among hospitals, physicians, health plans and other health care providers in the eight counties of western New York State to securely exchange clinical information to improve the quality of care, enhance patient safety and mitigate health care costs. HEALTHeLINK is a Qualified Entity of the Statewide Health Information Network for New York (SHIN-NY), which enables providers to access their patients’ data from across the state. HEALTHeLINK is also a founding member of the Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative (SHIEC), the national trade association of health information exchanges. Providers and patients can visit wnyhealthelink.com or @HEALTHeLINK on both Facebook and Twitter for more information.

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HEALTHeLINK releases 2020 Report to the Community

Available at wnyhealthelink.com/2020 BUFFALO, NY, February 8, 2021 – HEALTHeLINK, the health information exchange (HIE) for Western New York, continues to play a vital role in the delivery and quality of patient care. As highlighted in the HEALTHeLINK 2020 Report to the Community, the value of HIE has never been more evident. “We understand the unique and critical role HEALTHeLINK has to securely share clinical information and to also support our health care community in times of crisis,” said Dan Porreca, executive director, HEALTHeLINK. “We proved it once again as throughout the pandemic, HEALTHeLINK has enabled treating providers to securely obtain their patients’ current health information where it’s needed, when it’s needed. We also continue to support the community with our core services including alert notifications and health record lookup. As the numbers show, even more providers and practices are utilizing HEALTHeLINK for improved, more efficient coordination of patient care.” When the coronavirus outbreak began to surface in early 2020, HEALTHeLINK worked in close partnership with county health departments and the New York State Department of Health to quickly mobilize several services to support epidemiology, surveillance, and other community response efforts that continue to be actively utilized today. Since March, use of patient record lookup by county and state health departments more than doubled. In that same timeframe more than 5.4 million COVID-related alert notifications were delivered to participating providers. A few of the major highlights from HEALTHeLINK’s 2020 Report to the Community include: More than 10 million alert notifications, which included real time notification on patients’ admissions, discharges, and transfers, including local emergency department visits, were delivered to participating providers in 2020. Patient record lookup which enables participating HEALTHeLINK providers to instantly access a consented patient’s clinical record and obtaining information such as test results, medication history, etc. totaled nearly six million. In early 2020, HEALTHeLINK launched HEALTHeOUTCOMES, a community population health tool that currently utilizes clinical data from HEALTHeLINK data sources and claims data from BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, Independent Health, and Univera Healthcare. HEALTHeLINK is among the first HIEs in the country to achieve National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Data Aggregator Validation status, ensuring the integrity of clinical data received from its data sources to support HEDIS quality reporting requirements. Over the next two years HEALTHeLINK is working as part of the Healthy Community Alliance task force for community information exchange to explore and ensure the integration of social needs data with patient clinical data to provide a holistic view of a patient’s needs and challenges. Finally, in 2020 alone, the HEALTHeLINK team worked on a total of 86 different products focused on improving the HIE foundation and enhancing the services offered to its participants across the health care community. To view the 2020 HEALTHeLINK Report to the Community, please visit wnyhealthelink.com/2020. ### About HEALTHeLINK:  HEALTHeLINK is a collaboration among hospitals, physicians, health plans and other health care providers in the eight counties of western New York State to securely exchange clinical information to improve the quality of care, enhance patient safety and mitigate health care costs. HEALTHeLINK is a Qualified Entity of the Statewide Health Information Network for New York (SHIN-NY), which enables providers to access their patients’ data from across the state. HEALTHeLINK is also a founding member of the Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative (SHIEC), the national trade association of health information exchanges. Providers and patients can visit wnyhealthelink.com or @HEALTHeLINK on both Facebook and Twitter for more information.

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Guide 2 Better Care

Throughout the year, various local health care leaders provide education about HEALTHeLINK as well as highlight the value and benefits of clinical information exchange here in Western New York.

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