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June 6, 2012— Today, the New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC), along with the New York State Department of Health, announce that three Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIOs) and three health information exchange (HIE) vendors will participate in the Statewide Health Information Network of New York, or “SHIN-NY,” which will function similarly to a public utility.

The RHIOs (Brooklyn Health Information Exchange, e-Health Network of Long Island, and THINC) and HIE vendors (HealthUnity, IBM, and InterSystems) have each formally joined forces with NYeC to facilitate HIE across New York’s downstate region—comprised of New York City’s five boroughs, Long Island, and the Hudson Valley and with a combined population of 13 million.

This collaboration represents a significant step in that it formalizes the creation of a single, unified statewide network for healthcare records. The SHIN-NY (pronounced “shiny”) is coordinated by NYeC and will unify existing state HIE initiatives, such as within hospital systems and local RHIOs, making electronic health records secure and accessible to healthcare providers statewide—improving patient care and lowering costs.

“New York has long been a leader in health IT investment and implementation,” said New York State Health Commissioner Nirav R. Shah, M.D., M.P.H. “Today’s announcement is the next step in the creation of a robust 21st century health care system that will better serve the people of New York. I applaud the hard work in regions around the State that has made these critical partnerships possible.”

“A health information network is relevant to all of us,” said David Whitlinger, Executive Director of NYeC. “If we ever need to visit the ER, anytime we get an MRI or have lab work done and need to make sure our primary care doctor gets the results—our records must reach whoever is treating us as quickly as possible.”

Brooklyn Health Information Exchange, e-Health Network of Long Island, and THINC, each pioneers of HIE in their regions, have joined the SHIN-NY, connecting their databases and infrastructure to improve the care of the patients they serve and promote statewide health.

HealthUnity, IBM, and InterSystems have also entered into strategic contracts with NYeC to leverage their product suites towards the further development of the SHIN-NY and have agreed to standardization of software to permit safe and efficient interoperability, along with adherence to New York Statewide Policy Guidance.

SHIN-NY’s Capabilities: Patients get attention, not paperwork

The secure communication permitted by the SHIN-NY will reduce time and resources currently wasted gathering disparate medical histories from multiple providers. This will be of particular benefit to patients with chronic conditions, who visit a variety of providers and treatment facilities, and are in dire need of more effectively coordinated care. This will also reduce the number of duplicate tests ordered.

The network will serve to prevent harmful drug interactions and highlight risks, allowing providers in emergency situations access to life-saving information, such as a patient’s allergy and medication history. Doctors who spend less time trying to retrieve data will have more time to discuss treatment options and recovery plans with their patients.

As additional RHIOs connect to the SHIN-NY, the network will have greater reach, incorporating more secure clinical information from across the state.

The initial capability of the SHIN-NY will be that of Patient Record Look Up, a function similar to a highly secure search engine, which allows providers to search across databases within the SHIN-NY network to find health records relevant to their patient.

The next function the SHIN-NY will deploy is Direct Exchange, which works like email, where providers can query each other while collaborating on patient care.

“Many of the downstate region’s 13 million people commute daily across regional boundaries. They also seek healthcare across those boundaries, so it’s a logical place for the SHIN-NY to focus first,” explained NYeC Executive Director David Whitlinger.

“We always knew what we built would need to be flexible and able to scale, so BHIX created  a robust infrastructure that the SHIN-NY can now use as the backbone for large-scale applications such as the state’s Medicaid redesign efforts,” said BHIX Executive Director Irene Koch, Esq. “It just makes sense for everyone to come together now to create efficiencies and expand connectivity.”

“e-Health Network of Long Island is extremely excited about the collaborative approach to patients’ care,” said Denise Reilly, Executive Director of e-Health Network of Long Island. “We serve 5 hospitals and 13 nursing homes, and this moves our patient care to a new level. When you make the patient the focus, there is no conflict: It’s about the patient; and the patient will benefit.”

“THINC is hugely supportive of the SHIN-NY and what it means for our providers and patients in the Hudson Valley. THINC has been running an HIE since 2001, and we know HIEs enhance coordination and continuity of care, improving quality and helping control costs. We are thrilled to be joining like-minded organizations across the state to advance these goals,” said Susan Stuard, Executive Director of THINC. “NYeC should be commended, not only for coordinating this effort, but also for recognizing that we’re not dealing with technology for its own sake. This is about supporting patient care. The SHIN-NY means that more providers will have the medical information they need when they need it.”

“HealthUnity is honored to be at the forefront of this tremendous endeavor and to be a NYeC vendor of choice.  We will be providing our fully integrated SaaS-based software suite that addresses NYeC’s HIE, Intelligent Analytics, XCA, and XCPD needs,” said Prem Urali, HealthUnity’s CEO.

“The work of NYeC is a model for the rest of the nation,” said Dr. Paul Grundy, Director of Healthcare Transformation, IBM.  “With a master view of the patient and provider allowing the linking of records, care can be more effectively coordinated. This is another example of how New York State is redefining value and success in healthcare and extending the health information technology already in place to truly drive healthcare transformation.”

“InterSystems is very pleased to provide the HIE backbone technology for many of the RHIOs that will be served through NYeC,” said Paul Grabscheid, InterSystems Vice President of Strategic Planning. “We are totally committed to taking connected care to the higher, more inclusive level that is essential to support optimal care delivery throughout the State of New York.  To reach this goal, we need to move beyond low-level data exchange and implement strategic platforms with the intelligent aggregation and advanced analytics needed to improve individual and population health.”

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