In the News

WNY Living – HEALTHeLINK
WGRZ – August 28, 2021 – Many people may see different doctors in various medical settings and it’s vital to make sure all your medical information is available. Luckily there is a simple way to do that in our area. HEALTHeLINK is a collaboration among hospitals, physicians, health plans and other health care providers in Western New York to securely exchange clinical information to improve the quality of health care for patients.

GUEST VIEW: Leveraging health exchange technology during the pandemic and beyond
Niagara Gazette – April 6, 2021 – Health information exchanges (HIEs) have a unique role in the health care system by securely sharing clinical information across different providers, hospitals, public health departments and the entire health care community. Having a comprehensive clinical history improves patient outcomes and results in cost savings, especially when most patients receive care from multiple providers. The value of having access to current clinical information where it is needed, when it’s needed has never been more relevant as it has been than during the pandemic.

HHS awards funding to boost patient data exchange in NY
EHR Intelligence – March 18, 2021 The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded funding to two regional health information exchanges in New York, Bronx RHIO and HEALTHeLINK, to enhance patient data exchange between HIEs and immunization information systems, according to a press release emailed to journalists.

Buffalo Business Report

WBEN – March 18, 2021 – HEALTHeLINK has received federal funding through the CARES Act to support increased data sharing. Specifically, jurisdictional Immunization Information Systems and Health Information Exchanges will share information on the immunization status for Western New York patients, risk stratify those most at-risk who haven’t received the vaccine, and more.

NY HIE hits record number of EHR alerts, patient data lookups
EHR Intelligence – February 9, 2021 – Patient data lookups by county and state health departments doubled and EHR alerts sky-rocketed in Western New York during COVID-19, according to a HEALTHeLINK 2020 report.

HEALTHeLINK named CPC+ data aggregator by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Niagara Frontier Publications – October 26, 2020 – HEALTHeLINK has been named the comprehensive primary care plus (CPC+) data aggregator for the Greater Buffalo Region by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). CPC+ is a national advanced primary care medical home model initiative that aims to strengthen primary care through regionally based multi-payer payment reform and care delivery transformation.

Coronavirus data will shape public health policy
Buffalo News – June 9, 2020 – According to Dr. David A. Kindig, from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, population health is defined as “the health outcomes of a group of individuals, including the distribution of such outcomes within the group.”

Technological advancements continue to revolutionize health care
Business First – May 15, 2020 – Much like Robb, Dr. Michael Galang, senior vice president and chief information officer of Catholic Health, and Daniel Porreca, executive director of HealtheLink, regularly envision what technologies will innovate health care and improve business efficiencies. They offered insight on the areas they expect to see at the center of conversations.

Shared electronic health data investments paying off
Business First – May 8, 2020 – As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, health-analytics experts say the national effort to track and analyze patient data has been thwarted by the inability of electronic health records to share data. The problem stems from the inability of different EHR systems to talk to each other, which would allow researchers and caregivers to share information and determine which treatments work best. But that’s not necessarily the case here in Western New York, where early investments in technology and collaborative work by rival health systems and health insurers led to advances at HealtheLink, the region’s clinical information exchange, and additional capabilities across the state through the Statewide Health Information Network for New York.

Results from HEALTHeLINK Study show decreases in patient readmissions and emergency visits through physician practice integration of health information
WNY Physician – April 2020 – A recent study conducted by HEALTHeLINK in cooperation with a researcher at University at Connecticut and Brookings Institution’s Center for Technology Innovation, demonstrates that provider offices effectively utilizing health information exchange (HIE) technology can help save their patients and the greater health care community both time and money.

Consent waived for sharing COVID-19 test results to patients’ doctors
Buffalo News – March 26, 2020 – HEALTHeLINK is waiving a requirement to get patient consent before delivering the results for COVID-19 results to providers who have a treating relationship with a patient.

Another Voice: Clinical data sharing is saving our health system money
Buffalo News – February 19, 2020 – The New York eHealth Collaborative recently announced that the Statewide Health Information Network for New York, which comprises health information exchanges, or HIE, across the state, if fully leveraged, would reduce unnecessary spending on health care by one billion dollars annually. HEALTHeLINK, the HIE for Western New York, has one of the highest utilization rates among providers in this network and is significantly contributing to these cost savings.

HIE integration cuts ED visits, hospital readmissions by over 10%
EHR Intelligence – February 19, 2020 – Medical practices that integrate and utilize health information exchange (HIE) can decrease the number of emergency department (ED) visits and unplanned 30-day hospital readmission, according to a study conducted by HEALTHeLINK in partnership with researchers at University of Connecticut and the Brookings Institution’s Center for Technology Innovation.

HealtheLink study shows savings of time, money
Buffalo Business First – February 18, 2020 – When hospitals and health care providers began sharing health information on patients, the main goal was to cut down on unnecessary or duplicative testing and make sure caregivers had a fuller picture of their patients’ health.

Study: HIE reduces unplanned hospital readmissions, ED visits in Western NY
Healthcare Innovation – February 17, 2020 – Practices that effectively utilize and integrate health information exchange (HIE) data into their daily workflow were able to reduce the rate of unplanned hospital readmissions and the rate of emergency department (ED) visits, according to new research.

Dan Porreca receives award
Buffalo News – October 2, 2019 – Dan Porreca, executive director of HEALTHeLINK, was the  recipient of the 2019 Leadership Award from the Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaboration (SHIEC).

Another Voice: Health information exchanges connecting providers nationwide
Buffalo News – September 29, 2019 – While most of your health care is local, there may be times when you or a loved one needs care away from home. A recent survey by the Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative illustrates the growth of health information exchanges nationally and the value that is being delivered both to the health care community and to patients, including when that information is shared across state lines.

Another Voice: HEALTHeLINK improves patient outcomes in WNY
Buffalo News – March 12, 2019 – As demonstrated by the major local hospital systems’ recent and significant financial investments in electronic health records, the value of health information technology and the benefit it provides to treating physicians is critical to improving the quality of patient care, enhancing patient outcomes and mitigating health care costs in Western New York.

New York HIE supports population health, clinical data quality
Health IT Analytics – February 28, 2019 – HEALTHeLINK, the health information exchange (HIE) of Western New York is continuing its efforts to improve population health, streamline clinical workflows, and boost data quality in the communities it serves.

Over 350 practices integrate EHR patient data into HEALTHeLINK

EHR Intelligence – February 26, 2019 – Participation in western New York’s health information exchange (HIE) continues to grow, with more than 350 physician practices now integrating EHR patient data into HEALTHeLINK. This finding and others came in HEALTHeLINK’S 2018 report to the community.

Catholic Health to invest $135 million in new health records system
Buffalo News – February 8, 2019 – Catholic Health System will devote $135 million to launching a new electronic health records system, aimed at giving patients and health care providers a more efficient, user-friendly way to track patient care. HEALTHeLINK Executive Director Dan Porreca comments on announcement.

HIEs take on data aggregator role for CPC+ program
Health Data Management – February 4, 2019 – Health information exchanges in select markets across the country are providing data aggregation and reporting services to help transform and improve primary care in the United States.

New York payer shares data to improve the region’s health
Health Data Management – December 12, 2018 – BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York is sharing claims data via HEALTHeLINK, the region’s health information exchange, to help providers improve care.

BlueCross Blueshield will contribute claims data to HEALTHeLINK
EHR Intelligence – December 11, 2018 – BlueCross BlueShield in Western New York recently announced plans to contribute claims data to New York-based health information exchange (HIE) HEALTHeLINK to improve health outcomes and care coordination for BlueCross BlueShield members.

WBEN Buffalo Business Report
WBEN – December 7, 2018 – BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York has announced an innovative partnership with HEALTHeLINK to support physicians and improve health outcomes for BlueCross BlueShield members.

BlueCross BlueShield partners with HEALTHeLINK to improve community health through data exchange
Buffalo Healthy Living – December 6, 2018 – BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York today announced an innovative partnership with HEALTHeLINK that will support physicians and improve health outcomes for BlueCross BlueShield members.

WBEN Buffalo Business Report
WBEN – October 31, 2018 – HEALTHeLINK has moved from Walden Avenue in Cheektowaga.

HEALTHeLINK moves to expanded offices
Business First – October 30, 2018 – HEALTHeLINK has completed a move to a new, larger space.

Health Information Exchange: A valuable asset to WNY health care
Erie County Medical Society Bulletin – Fall 2018 – HEALTHeLINK was formed more than 10 years ago as a collaborative effort that included the region’s major hospital systems and health plans.

Another Voice: Leveraging health information exchange for care continuity
Buffalo News – October 8, 2018 – After spending the last decade building Western New York’s Health Information Exchange, HEALTHeLINK is focusing on various technology platforms so that providers can enhance patient care.

Advocating for change: Local groups pushing for new legislation
Buffalo Magazine – October 1, 2018 – On both the federal and state level, local groups and leaders are pushing for a change to relieve the opioid crisis.

College prep should include safeguards for student health
Buffalo News Refresh – August 10, 2018 – Nick Peters has spent much of the summer preparing for freshman year at the University of South Carolina, more than 750 miles from his home in Western New York.

How increasing EHR adoption, HIE use fuels healthcare industry
EHR Intelligence – May 21, 2018 – The push for nationwide interoperability, while still ensuring health IT usability, has quickly become a top initiative for healthcare organizations.

HIE to the rescue Allscripts podcast
Allscripts – April 3, 2018 – From hurricanes to system outages, health information exchange systems prepare healthcare communities for any crisis.

HEALTHeLINK HIE surpasses one million consenting patients
Search Health IT Tech Target – March 13, 2018 – New York-based health information exchange HEALTHeLINK recently surpassed one million enrolled patients, due in part to increased awareness of the benefits of HIEs.

NY State HIE Study: Patient Alerts, Query-Based Exchange Doubled in One Year
Healthcare Informatics – February 13, 2018 – More healthcare professionals are receiving patient care alerts and increasingly performing related patient record queries through the Statewide Health Information Network for New York (SHIN-NY), according to a new report by the New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC).

Erie County Medical Center: Anatomy of a ransomware attack
Health Data Management – January 29, 2018 – It was a Sunday morning like any other in the emergency department of Erie County Medical Center, a 602-bed hospital in Buffalo, N.Y., and the Western New York area’s Level 1 trauma center.

Why Providers Need a Disaster Recovery Plan for EHR Security
Health IT Security – January 24, 2018 – Covered entities can help ensure a more comprehensive approach to EHR security by having a current disaster recovery plan in place.

Viewpoints: HEALTHeLINK deserves community support
Buffalo News – November 13, 2017 –  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.

MedTech conference highlights the power of partnership and the future of healthcare
WBFO – October 31, 2017 – The City of Buffalo welcomed experts from the bioscience, pharmaceutical, and medical technology communities this week for the annual MedTech Conference.

Ransomware attack calls unlikely hero to action: Your neighborhood HIE
Healthcare IT News – October 30, 2017 – Erie County Medical Center saga shows why working with your local health information exchange on disaster recovery and business continuity plans can keep you operational, even when your data is encrypted by hackers.

HIE Use Cuts Costs, Increases Productivity in STI Treatment
EHR Intelligence – October 26, 2017 – New evidence suggests HIE use can contribute to cost savings and increased productivity in STI treatment and management led by public health staff.

Study: HIE Proves Beneficial for STI Treatment, Reporting
Healthcare Informatics – October 25, 2017 – To calculate average savings of using health information exchange for demographic and treatment requests for chlamydia and gonorrhea in Western New York, specifically the Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) and its catchment area, the DOH and HEALTHeLINK, a regional HIE in Western New York, partnered with research organization RTI International.

How an HIE Aided in Recovery from a Ransomware Attack
HeathIT Security – October 22, 2017 – Erie County Medical Center was the victim of a ransonware attack, but was able to utilize its HIE connection to continue providing patient care.

HealtheLink reaches milestone of 1 million patients
Buffalo News – September 25, 2017 – HealtheLink, the regional system for sharing health information electronically among hospitals and doctors, has reached 1 million patients who have consented to have their medical data shared.

Letter: HEALTHeLINK helped ECMC deal with crisis
Buffalo News – June 9, 2017 – Letter: HEALTHeLINK helped ECMC deal with crisis The recent ransomware attack against Erie County Medical Center is a stark reminder of the paramount importance of not only electronic security, but also just how valuable health information is.

New state policy allows doctors access to younger patients’ electronic health data
Buffalo News – January 30, 2017 – A change in state policy now allows participating providers to securely access data through Western New York’s clinical information exchange for patients ages 10 to 17.

NY Clarifies Minor Patient Data Access, Maintains Security
HealthIT Security – January 18, 2017 – Qualified providers can now have secure patient data access through a clinical information exchange for minor patients.

Minors’ health data OK’d for link
Buffalo News – January 10, 2017 – Getting minors’ medical records in HEALTHeLINK, the regional system for sharing health information electronically among hospitals and doctors, has been a problem for the health data exchange.

HEALTHeLINK Providers Can Now Access Patient Data for Minors
Healthcare Informatics – January 5, 2017 –  Providers participating on Western New York’s health information exchange (HIE) — HEALTHeLINK—can now access data for minor patients 10 to 17 years of age.

New law enables New York clinicians to access patient data for minors via state HIE
Healthcare IT News – January 4, 2017 – Care providers participating in HEALTHeLINK, a regional health information organization serving Western New York, can now access health data for patients who are between 10 and 17 years old, as long as those minors’ parents or legal guardians have signed consent forms.

Is an electronic world a safer world?
Business First – October 31, 2016 – Security breaches of electronic health records are the exception, not the rule, insist the gatekeepers of patient data.

More patients across NYS opt-in to shared electronic records
Business First – July 28, 2016 – Health-care professionals across New York now have access to medical records on nearly 9 million patients, include more than 832,000 who have opted in from Western New York. Click here to read more.

Another Voice: HEALTHeLINK is working, but it needs more people using it
Buffalo News – March 31, 2016 – Ten years since it was established through the collabration of the region’s major hospital systems and health plans, HEALTHeLINK is working to improve the quality of patient care, enhance patient safety and minimize health care costs.

With I-STOP now law, local company says electronic medical networking is safe, secure
WBFO – March 29, 2016 – It’s the first week in New York State of a fully-implemented law known as I-STOP.