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HealthlinkNY advocates for $45M allocation for health-information network

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — HealthlinkNY is joining other regional health-information organizations across New York to push for a $45 million allocation in the proposed state budget.

The organization announced the push in a news release Friday.

The allocation is part of the budget proposal “as part of the State Health Information Network of New York (SHIN-NY),” the organization said in the release.


HealthlinkNY is a partnership between Southern Tier HealthLink (STHL) and the Taconic Health Information Network and Community (THINC). The combined organization offers a “unified” health-information exchange (HIE) for the area spanning the Southern Tier, Hudson Valley, and Catskills regions of New York.

The organizations announced their plans to merge last November.

Working together will allow the groups to work collectively toward connecting with the SHIN-NY, they say.

The HealthlinkNY HIE covers 11 counties, nearly 8,400 miles, and almost 3 million lives.


Explaining support

HealthlinkNY also used its news release to explain why it supports the use of HIEs

Dr. Wayne Teris, a physician advisor with Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton, said the HIE has been “invaluable … particularly when I was practicing in urgent care.”

He turns to the HIE when treating college students who have primary-care physicians that are “probably in another area.”

“…they often don’t know their medical history accurately. They don’t necessarily know their allergies, and may not know what medications they’ve been on,” said Teris.

Teris calls it a “perfect example” of how the HIE is “very useful,” delivering all of that information to provide the “best possible patient care.”

With more than 130 health-care organizations and 300-plus associated locations connected to the HealthlinkNY HIE, providers across the 11 county region offer “coordinated” care.

They have at their fingertips, their patients’ completed electronic medical-health record that includes data on diagnoses, lab results, procedures, medications, encounters, allergies, transcribed reports, vitals, immunizations and the community PACS viewer for radiology imaging.

PACS is short for picture archiving and communication system, according to a Google search of the acronym.

PACS is described as a “zero footprint viewer that provides diagnostic quality images without any additional required logins or downloads” in a June 20, 2013 posting on the website of the former Southern Tier HealthLink.

Through the community PACS viewer, HealthlinkNY participants can see their patient’s images from multiple sources with just one click.

Whether connecting to the HealthlinkNY HIE through the bi-directional, electronic-medical record connection, the web portal, or the iCare mobile application, providers have “instant access to current and complete” patient data, the organization said.


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