When the pandemic hit New York City in 2019, health department officials and clinicians turned to Healthix, one of the nation’s largest public health information exchanges, for help. By turning fragmented data into insights, the HIE enabled the city to perform contact tracing, swiftly connected scores of statewide reference labs while delivering alerts to providers, related to their COVID-19 patients. Public health experts, meanwhile, secured bio surveillance information on testing and vaccinations, down to the zip code.
Healthix emerged as a critical resource for a community in crisis, and the value of its work has proved wide-reaching. After all, the HIE brings in more than 300 million pieces of data — related to lab results, medications, and more — which power 8.7 million outbound alerts every month. This seamless, real-time flow of clinical information serves more than 8,000 healthcare facilities, 18,000 providers, and 20 million patients.
That’s precisely why the city’s health agency enlisted Healthix, a longtime InterSystems HealthShare® partner, to collaborate on several other projects designed to keep school children healthy.
In a unique arrangement, the Office of School Health manages healthcare for students across the five boroughs. In 2021, Healthix began gathering and analyzing data related to encounters, diagnoses, and COVID-19 mortality risk for the organization. The goal was to bolster patient engagement, care coordination, and care management for 6- to 18-year olds with known diagnoses of asthma, diabetes, and several mental health conditions.
The HIE quickly identity-matched more than 1 million individuals, or 97 percent of the student body. In two months, Healthix uncovered additional diagnoses for 13,000 kids with asthma. The data also revealed missing diagnoses for 9,000 children with depression and 11,000 with anxiety. What’s more, Healthix identified changes to 10,000 students’ clinical data.
“Data is most relevant when you’re getting it in real time,” says Todd Rogow, CEO and president of Healthix. “That’s when you can react to the trends and the changes that you’re seeing.”
CEO and President, Healthix
Interoperability has also optimized the citywide immunization registry, which houses 4.8 million records containing more than 75 million events related to pediatric vaccinations.
Using a bidirectional exchange, Healthix sends 3,000 messages to the registry each hour, transferring data in real time and even beyond hospital settings. Over the past six months, 100 percent of public clinics and 74 percent of private clinics have reported immunization data. Healthix’s work has empowered the city to make the information on the vast majority of all immunizations available to public health officials, providers, and payers, at a moment’s notice.
As the pandemic progresses, the HIE is poised to expand its role in the fight against COVID-19. But its commitment to the community — and clean, healthy data — all but ensures that Healthix’s mission will outlast any single contagion.
This story originally appeared the HealthShare Connections News Flash No.9 - July 22, 2022