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June 2014

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Driving adoption of the health information exchange

HealtheConnections (HeC) works with the healthcare community to make a difference in a patient’s life. HeC is continually striving to make improvements and to offer new features that can assist medical providers with broader access to patient medical records. All of this adds up to increased adoption and usage of the health information exchange (HIE).

Changes to Minor Consent 
One way HealtheConnections is assisting the medical community with adoption is through changes in minor consent. Since the inception of the HIE, access to medical records for minors from the age of 10 up to 18 years has been limited to emergency events only. This policy has constrained pediatricians and agencies that provide treatment services to this specific age group. HeC is in process of removing this restriction, based on a pilot program conducted by the Greater Rochester RHIO (GRRHIO) for New York state. Over the span of three years, GRRHIO allowed 10 to 18 year olds to consent for themselves, with no parental involvement. With the success of this program, the NYS Department of Health approved policy changes for other RHIOs to follow suit. HealtheConnections has chosen to implement these changes, which are now in development and will be available later this year. The ability for healthcare providers to view this age group’s records will enhance HIE usage and adoption that had been previously hampered by age restrictions. 

Cayuga Area Physicians Alliance 
Cayuga Area Physicians Alliance (CAP) and HealtheConnections have teamed up to expand HIE capabilities across Tompkins County. For the practices that are part of CAP, this includes using Patient Look-up, Results Delivery, Image Exchange, myResults, and Secure Messaging (Direct Mail). In addition, the practices with electronic medical records (EMRs) connected to the HIE will be sending their patient data.

Community Outreach
HealtheConnections continues its activities to reach out to the healthcare community to make providers aware of HeC’s free services available to them. HealtheConnections’ Provider Engagement Services (PES) team is our “feet on the street”, logging miles to educate and engage regional providers on how the health information exchange can contribute to patient care. As part of our outreach, the PES team is actively targeting practices that have an EMR with a high volume of installations in our region. Another approach that we are using to increase usage is to work with the hospitals to roll out HIE access to more departments. There are many uses for the patient data in the health information exchange – transitions of care, radiology images comparatives, consulting on a patient, and much more. For those of you that are already connected, tell a referring partner about HealtheConnections and help them to “Get Connected”.
Tips & Techniques: Getting the most out of images in the HIE

handxray1. Emergency Transition of Care – In the event of an emergency department transfer from one hospital to another, having access to images in the health information exchange prior to transport can determine if a surgical suite is needed or if transport needs to be conducted at all. 

2. During a patient appointment – A surgical physician wants to view a mass and is not able to access the image on the hospital’s system or the patient forgets the CD or the CD does not work, the images are available in the health information exchange for instant viewing. This saves time and money by preventing the need to reschedule appointments. 

3. Provider Collaboration – Primary Care and Specialists can consult in real-time to share expertise and opinions while simultaneously viewing images in the health information exchange.

Feedback from Our Users

jef sneider md"I continue to use HealtheConnections every week, often right in the room in the presence of the patient, to look up information that was recently done (like one x-ray that had been done just an hour earlier!) or reports that never arrived." 
-Jef Sneider, MD, Family Care Medical Group

Do you have an experience you would like to share? Contact us to have your feedback featured in our next newsletter! 

HeC is Hiring!

Positions posted for roles in:
  • Business Intelligence
  • Integration Interface Analysis
Visit our website for job descriptions:

Welcome New Participants

  • Psychological Health Care PLLC
  • Kevin W. Thomas, MD, Neurology PLLC
  • North Country Neurology
  • Neonatal Associates of CNY (NACNY)
  • August R. Buerkle, Jr., MD
  • Jang Boo Chi, MD
  • Internist Associates of Central New York
  • Neurolurgical Associates of NNY

HIE Statistics

Organizations Connected
  • Hospitals: 20
  • Practices: 248
  • Other Healthcare Entities: 68
  • Labs/Radiology Centers: 8
  • Total Participants: 344
Patient Lookup
  • Users Accessing RHIO: 718
  • Logins: 6,993
  • Documents Viewed: 19,181
Results Delivery
  • Providers: 504
  • Documents Delivered: 37,451
Connected EMRs
GE Centricity

Updates to Upcoming Features and Releases

HealtheConnections continues to add new features and functions to its core services.

A new release implemented this month contains the myResults feature, which will require some individual customization by provider and will be rolled out in a staged fashion. Now available in the test environment is the Alerts & Notifications feature. HeC is working with a software vendor to refine the filters and customize the messages in the generated alerts. Results delivery via a Mirth Mail Direct account is also offered in the test environment and will be exercised for functionality and improvement prior to release for use. 

HeC’s development portfolio remains busy as we continue to monitor the development of immunization look-up from Results, image-enabled results and a full cycle CCD exchange.

New York medical database aids doctors, patients

New York is quietly building one of the nation's largest computer databases of medical records, a system that when finished will allow patients and doctors alike to see complete health histories in one place and promises to save millions in costs by avoiding redundant tests and unneeded hospital admissions. 

Click here to read the full story from The Wall Street Journal

Important Dates & Reminders

  • The REC program deadline has been extended to January 31, 2015. Our Provider Engagement Specialists will reach out and assist those who are already in the program to meet the new deadlines.

New Hires

HealtheConnections welcomes new team members Andrew Bissett, Luanne Giannino, Colin Hack, and Danielle Wert.

New Employees 6.30.14
From L to R: Colin Hack, Danielle Wert, Luanne Giannino, and Andrew Bissett
  • Andrew Bissett, Operations Support Analyst, is an alumnus of Syracuse University. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science & Economics, and then continued on to earn his Master’s in Public Administration from the Maxwell School at SU. Upon graduating, Bissett worked for a private consulting firm managing military contracts for the Air Force and Special Operations Command.
  • Luanne Giannino, Operations Support Assistant, earned a bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Human Resource Relations from LeMoyne College. She has over 15 years of business management experience, most recently serving as Office Manager at Productivity Leadership Systems. Giannino has a background in project management, administration, accounting and customer service.
  • Colin Hack, Provider Engagement Specialist, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from SUNY Geneseo. Prior to HealtheConnections he served as an Assistant Account Executive for a local advertising agency, acting as a liaison with clients by consulting and directing marketing plans, objectives and overall campaigns.
  • Danielle Wert, Provider Engagement Specialist,  earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from LeMoyne College. She has a background in health planning, project development, implementation and evaluation of programs that address the health care needs of residents, health care workforce and providers. Most recently, Wert served as the program coordinator of the Rural Health Network of Oswego County, the Health Foundation of Western & Central New York's Step Up to Stop Falls Coalition, and the Healthy Cooking Connection program.

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