[Note: As of December 1, 2013, BHIX merged with another regional health information exchange, Healthix. The combined organization retains the Healthix name.]
From its inception, the Brooklyn Health Information Exchange (BHIX) has been focused on electronic health record (EHR) interoperability to facilitate exchanging patient data among the healthcare providers who are stakeholders in this regional health information organization (RHIO). BHIX is a not-for-profit RHIO devoted to facilitating patient-centric care with a network that includes providers who serve the diverse population of 2.5 million Brooklyn residents.

BHIXUtilizing the InterSystems HealthSharestrategic platform for healthcare informatics,BHIX is moving forward with clinical health information exchange (HIE) initiatives. One recent example is a project that involves EHR information sharing between Brownville Multi-Service Family Health Center (BMS) and Brookdale University Hospital and its affiliates.BMS provides high-quality medical, dental and social services to a patient base that includes 27 percent of Brooklyn’s entire high-need population. When necessary, patients are referred to hospitals for specialty care. For example, mothers-to-be receive prenatal,perinatal and postnatal care at BMS. However,for certain tests as well as for when the time comes to deliver the baby, services are provided in part by Brookdale.

Key Benefits

  • Health information exchange
  • Delivering healthcare informatics
  • Improving patient care and outcomes

Transfer of critical patient information has depended on ongoing exchange via fax, mail,staff or even patients who hand-carry the requisite documents between the two locations.These methods can be unreliable, resulting in poor communication and patient frustration as well as duplication of effort and possible delays in care delivery. Using bidirectional health information exchange via HealthShare-based BHIX, data entered in the BMS and Brookdale source systems is brokered and aggregated by BHIX and available in any BHIX-supported locations.At BMS, clinicians will access BHIX data via a single-click query directly through the organization’sEHR. The system is expected to go live in2Q11 and, over time, it is expected that patient information updates will be event-driven so that when a birth takes place at Brookdale, for example, the information will be proactively pushed to BMS clinicians rather than waiting for them to enter a query.

The benefits of enabling HIE via BHIX are compelling. First is the improvement in patient care and outcomes that is a result of lowering communication hurdles. In addition, payers are increasingly interested in financially supporting programs that improve outcomes and facilitate care management models of care. And, the historical data stored and aggregated by BHIX via HIE will make it dramatically easier to deliver the complex reporting required by agencies such as the U.S. Department of Health and Social Services.

Standards-based public health reporting is a major focus in the healthcare sector and we’re pleased to provide an example of how RHIOs can actively participate in delivering critical public health communications throughout a major geography such as the state of New York.

Irene Koch, Executive Director

Building on projects such as the BMS/Brookdale initiative, BHIX is actively involved in research involving HIE on a larger scale. For example, BHIX recently joined with InterSystems in a demonstration to illustrate linking an operational HIE to public health reporting at the HIMSS 11 conference in Orlando. “RHIOs such as BHIX are the cornerstone of the National Health Information Network,” said Irene Koch BHIX Executive Director. “Standards-based public health reporting is a major focus in the healthcare sector and we’re pleased to provide an example of how RHIOs can actively participate in delivering critical public health communications throughout a major geography such as the state of New York.”

About Brooklyn Health Information Exchange

The Brooklyn Health Information Exchange (BHIX) is an independent, not-for-profit corporation devoted to facilitating patient-centered care within and across healthcare settings. BHIX seeks to improve healthcare quality, affordability and outcomes for Brooklyn’s 2.5 million residents, while safeguarding the confidentiality of patient information. BHIX involves a collaboration of leading acute, post-acute and long-term healthcare providers and several insurers in Brooklyn and Queens. Corporate members of BHIX include Maimonides Medical Center, Lutheran Medical Center, Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, and MediSys Health Network (a health system that includes Brookdale, Flushing and Jamaica Hospitals), as well as long-term care and home care providers such as Metropolitan Jewish Health System, Visiting Nurse Services of New York, Visiting Nurse Regional Health Care Services, and Sephardic Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Also among BHIX stakeholders are Housing Works, a multi-service organization dedicated to serving persons with HIV and their families, as well as the 1199SEIU National Benefit and Pension Funds, HealthPlus, ElderPlan and other health insurers. The BHIX governance structure includes representation from the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President. Additionally, BHIX plans to partner with other physician and community projects to connect more providers and patients into its growing network. For additional information, see