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.

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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.