COVID-19 UPDATES AS OF March 25, 2020
COVID-19 Lab Results and Alerts Available
In partnership with New York State Department of Health and its Electronic Clinical Lab Reporting System (ECLRS), all COVID-19 lab tests performed in the region are available via HEALTHeLINK patient record look up, to participating providers. In addition, HEALTHeLINK participating providers can now receive alert notifications for their patients who have had a COVID-19 test conducted. This includes both positive and negative results. As part of the New York State emergency declaration, the requirement for patient consent for delivery of specific COVID-19 lab results to providers who have a treating relationship with the patient has been waived.
Where will these test results be stored? COVID-19 test results (positive or negative) will be available in the Labs section of the patient’s record in HEALTHeLINK, and will be accessible through the Patient Record Look Up function, with patient consent.
Will COVID-19 lab results be available for delivery to my practice?- Yes, starting on 03/25/2020 any practice that currently has a patient roster subscription established for receipt of hospital admit/discharge alerts will also receive an alert if any patient on their subscription list has a COVID-19 test (positive or negative result). These alerts will only be delivered via the Direct message method. If your practice receives a batch file of alerts, these alerts will not be included in the file.
Will I only receive COVID-19 test alerts if my patient has signed the HEALTHeLINK consent form? Patient consent is NOT required for receipt of COVID-19 testing alerts. Only patients who have selected “No, Never” as their consent status will not have alerts flow.
Can my practice receive these alerts if I am not currently receiving alerts? HEALTHeLINK will need to work with your practice to establish the Alert Notification service. This process can be initiated by contacting your Account Manager or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Verbal Consent for Telemedicine
As part of the response to COVID-19, NYS has declared a public health emergency. This declaration includes the expansion of availability of telehealth services for patients. Expanded telehealth may relieve the burden placed on providers due to the increased demand for health care while reducing the risk of disease transmission.
To help facilitate and support this approach, NYS DOH is allowing informed, verbal consent for telehealth visits in lieu of the current SHIN-NY written consent requirements per 10 NYCRR Part 300. This waiver is consistent with the Governor’s State of Emergency declaration and public health authority in situations of public health emergencies.
Effective immediately and for the near future, HEALTHeLINK will implement this access with verbal consent as follows:
- A HEALTHeLINK participant or user must request this access to be turned on by submitting an email request, outlining the users to be enabled, to email@example.com.
- At the time the user access is turned on, the user will be educated on the process of documenting verbal consent in HEALTHeLINK
- Access based on verbal consent will be encounter-based, meaning a user will have to attest on each access that they have collected a verbal consent from the patient for the purpose of a telehealth encounter.
- Unlike the regular HEALTHeLINK consent, verbal consent will only apply to the practice collecting the verbal consent and only for the current encounter.
- The practice is responsible for documenting the collection of the verbal consent within the patient record of their EHR.
If you have any further questions, please contact your HEALTHeLINK account manager or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Getting clinical information to where it’s needed, when it’s needed plays a critical role in the delivery of care. As Western New York’s health information exchange, we understand our unique role in the health care system. HEALTHeLINK will continue to remain in close contact with County Health Departments, the New York State Department of Health, the QEs across NY that make up the Statewide Health Information Network for New York (SHIN-NY) and HIEs across the country through the Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative (SHIEC) to support our health care community as best we can. We thank you for all your efforts in fighting to contain COVID-19.
Again these two new functionalities are in place until further notice. For more information on the COVID-19 pandemic in New York State, please visit https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/information-providers.