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HEALTHeLINK releases 2018 Report to the Community

Available at wnyhealthelink.com/2018 BUFFALO, NY – As the health information exchange (HIE) for Western New York, HEALTHeLINK continues to serve physicians and health care organizations in the secure exchange of clinical information. As highlighted in its 2018 Report to the Community, HEALTHeLINK is focused on enhancing patient care through streamlining care coordination, improving the quality of data, and exploring how best to serve the health care community of the future through population health measures and reporting. “Making sure that providers have their patients’ most complete and correct clinical information at the point of care via HEALTHeLINK continues to be critical for improving care quality and mitigating health care costs,” said Dan Porreca, HEALTHeLINK’s executive director. “With our health information exchange foundation well established here in Western New York, HEALTHeLINK is taking the next steps to ensure the quality of information for ongoing effective patient care and for advancing population health initiatives in our community.” A few of the major highlights from HEALTHeLINK’s 2018 Report to the Community include: More than 350 practices continue to deepen their utilization by uploading patient data directly from their electronic health records (EHRs) to HEALTHeLINK, allowing for more complete patient medical records that other treating providers can access. HEALTHeLINK’s results delivery service, which enables practices and care coordination networks to receive their patients’ medical results directly into their EHRs from other linked sources, increased more than 50 percent over the last year. More than 2.5 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 2018. As the result of a pilot study conducted with six practices to access what impact incorporating HIE into office workflow would have, up to 7 hours a week were saved with patient chart preparation and pre-visit planning and a reduction of up to 30 minutes in patient cycle time was realized by accessing test results and records in advance via HEALTHeLINK. HEALTHeLINK is developing a population health system to support clinical transformation at the practice level. Once active, the system will integrate clinical and claims data and enable practices to monitor their quality and cost of care. To view the 2018 HEALTHeLINK Report to the Community, please visit wnyhealthelink.com/2018. ### 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 2017 Report to the Community

Report is available at wnyhealthelink.com/2017 BUFFALO, NY – Health information exchange (HIE) continues to have a positive impact on the quality of patient care across the nation, in New York State through the Statewide Health Information Network for New York (SHIN-NY) and in Western New York as demonstrated in HEALTHeLINK’S recently released 2017 Report to the Community. “The value of having a more complete picture of a patient’s clinical history at the point of care for both the provider and the patient is reflected through our annual report to the community and reinforced by results from a survey of Western New York health care consumers we conducted last year,” said Dan Porreca, HEALTHeLINK’s executive director.  “Despite this success, the fact remains that we have more work to do and need more providers to utilize HIE to achieve our goals of enhancing patient care to its fullest potential as well as to mitigate rising health care costs.” A few of the major highlights from HEALTHeLINK’S 2017 Report to the Community include: Reaching and then surpassing one million uniquely consented patients, with approximately 96% authorizing their health information to be shared among treating providers. With a change in New York State policy, participating providers began securely retrieving data for consented minors (patients 10-17 years of age) through HEALTHeLINK. When a cyberattack took down Erie County Medical Center’s network, HEALTHeLINK was an asset in helping ensure clinical operations could continue to run safely by making patients’ data available during the system recovery effort. HEALTHeLINK utilization grew by 50% in WNY emergency departments in 2017 as a result of working with providers and their staff to assist with workflow and provide further education on the benefits of using health information exchange. HEALTHeLINK continues to work with participating practices to support care coordination and care transitions through the two-way exchange of patient information and delivering alert notifications for hospital admissions and discharges. In 2017, alert notifications grew with 558 providers and 390,460 patients subscribed. Health care consumers in Western New York largely believe that access to electronic health records by physicians is good for health care according to the findings of a consumer survey of 1,000 residents conducted by HEALTHeLINK in September 2017. The survey also revealed a high level of awareness of the use of HEALTHeLINK to share electronic health information, and 81% of those surveyed indicated they would encourage their doctor to use HEALTHeLINK. “After just over a decade of collaboration with the region’s hospital systems, health plans and providers, we are more focused than ever on building our offerings to support frequent users of HIE to maximize its value while at the same time continuing our efforts to persuade those who are not utilizing HIE,” added Porreca.  “If HEALTHeLINK is going to work to its fullest potential, then we need the support of the entire Western New York community, especially among those who are not utilizing our HIE capabilities.” To view the 2017 HEALTHeLINK Report to the Community, please visit wnyhealthelink.com/2017. 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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Viewpoints: HEALTHeLINK deserves community support

By Daniel Porreca and Anthony J. Billittier I As has been well reported, one Sunday morning in April, the entire computer network at Erie County Medical Center was suddenly shut down due to a cybersecurity attack. While the hospital’s IT team immediately worked to bring its system back online, hospital staff quickly switched back to a manual and completely paper-based system to maintain patient care. Although this incident is yet one more example of an ever-growing number of criminal cyberattacks, it revealed a somewhat surprising additional added value from HEALTHeLINK, Western New York’s health information exchange (HIE). Fortunately, ECMC was already a HEALTHeLINK data source prior to the outage and had been uploading its patient care data to HEALTHeLINK for quite some time so other health care organizations could provide even better care of common patients. This forward thinking on ECMC’s part proved to pay dividends. While this cyberattack prevented ECMC staff from accessing its own electronic patient records directly, ECMC’s patient information was still readily available by connecting to HEALTHeLINK. HEALTHeLINK essentially proved to be ECMC’s backup system! Partnering with the hospital’s IT department, HEALTHeLINK staff spent the first 24 hours and the following days enabling secure access to HEALTHeLINK data for care providers and medical staff to ensure patient health information was available to support patient care. Click here to read the full article.

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