- Two New York-based health information exchanges (HIEs) recently entered into a strategic partnership to boost HIE use among area providers and optimize the cost and efficiency of patient care delivery through health data exchange.
HealthlinkNY and HealtheConnections are both qualified entities (QEs) part of the Statewide Health Information Network of New York (SHIN-NY). Together, the QEs cover 43 percent of providers across the state.
The partnership is a result of months of collaboration after HealthlinkNY first announced its decision to seek a strategic partner in 2017. HealtheConnections and HealthlinkNY cover the northern border of New York City, the Hudson Valley, the Southern Tier, and central New York.
“HealtheConnections has proven technology and associated services that create value for providers. We're thinking progressively and looking to offer resources such as tools to measure quality and support value-based care systems,” said HealthlinkNY Executive Director Staci Romeo.
“We want a partner with innovative services and an unwavering commitment to providing value to providers by enabling them to improve care and efficiency, as well as save time and money,” she added.
HealtheConnections President and CEO Rob Hack said the partnership was partly inspired by a statewide effort to optimize hospital savings and increase clinical efficiency for providers by encouraging widespread use and adoption of regional HIE services.
“HealtheConnections and HealthlinkNY have a shared vision of using health data to create healthier communities, improve healthcare delivery, and deliver value to providers,” said Hack. “This type of progress can only be achieved through enhanced collaboration and looking beyond the status quo.”
“That's what we're trying to do here — accelerate the great work that has already begun,” he added. “The HIE works to its fullest potential when all parties, providers and HIEs alike, work together toward the common goal.”
All told, HealthlinkNY and HealtheConnections will cover 66 hospitals in 24 counties.
HIE leaders will also work to promote customer engagement, outreach, training, and support services.
HealthlinkNY and HealtheConnections have been working to improve care quality in their respective regions by launching collaborative population health improvement initiatives and administering Population Health Improvement Program (PHIP) grants.
As part of the partnership, HealthlinkNY will begin migrating its HIE interface to HealtheConnections’ platform in early 2019.
The new platform will allow HealthlinkNY providers to set up advanced alerts, results routing, and data filtering. Additionally, providers in HealthlinkNY’s network will have access to additional databases including the New York State Immunization Information System (NYSIS), VA, and DoD databases.
HealthlinkNY providers will also have the opportunity to utilize fully-integrated analytics and federal reporting support services, as well as clinical dashboards designed to identify gaps in care.
“The user experience is key,” said Romeo. “Both HealthlinkNY and HealtheConnections are coming from a place where we put providers first, and that includes offering providers a nimble and intuitive platform and services that support the way they deliver care and help their organizations save time and money.”
HealthlinkNY and HealtheConnections have built hub connections compatible with many EHR vendors to allow providers to easily connect with the HIE without building custom interfaces within their EHR systems. HealthlinkNY currently offers 21 hubs, while HealtheConnections has 13 hubs.
“The idea is to transform and improve patient care, improve the health of our population, and lower health care costs,” said Hack. “Together, we will have a tremendous impact on the health of residents of New York State.”
HealthlinkNY recently stated its disapproval for Hixny’s plans to expand its HIE services into the Hudson Valley, Catskills, and the Southern Tier.
“The truth is that an unnecessary expansion into this service area compromises the effectiveness of the Health Information Exchange,” said Romeo. “Hixny’s claims against HealthlinkNY’s impact and progress are completely unfounded and sound like a case of sour grapes after being passed over during our search for a strategic partner.”
All 35 hospitals in the Hudson Valley and Catskill regions are HealthlinkNY participants.