Long-Term and Post-Acute Care Providers Engaged in Health Information Exchange: Final Report. Overview of HEALTHeLINK Providers and Health Information Exchange

10/29/2013

HEALTHeLINK has prioritized eight types of health information to be available on the exchange network to providers and payers. The HIE also identifies the status of which providers are submitting the clinical data.4 Based on information reported on the HEALTHeLINK web site, there are currently 35 providers submitting clinical data and over 2,900 professionals accessing the data in the exchange network in the Table I-1 categories.

The professionals participating in the HIE include physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, chiropractors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists. HEALTHeLINK identifies on their web site the participating professionals5 and their ability to complete EHR-to-EHR exchange with a continuity of care document (CCD) and results delivery.

To have information exchanged on the HIE, a patient must give consent (see consent form at:http://wnyhealthelink.com/files/consent_form_12-20-10.pdf). Currently there are almost 450,000 individual patient consent forms signed in Western New York, and New York State has stringent patient consent policies requiring a patient to consent before their information can be shared through HEALTHeLINK. Patients have several options: They can give consent to all care providers in the HEALTHeLINK network on the date of their signature who provide their care; they can specifically identify providers who can access their information; patients can exclude a single provider or group, they can opt to consent for emergency care access only, and finally a patient can choose to never have their information accessed under any circumstances. Beechwood only needs to obtain patient consent to access their information on the HIE, if there is no valid consent in the system. At this time, the patient does not have the ability to access their information on HEALTHeLINK, however, a patient portal is being considered.

TABLE I-1. Provider Types and Health Information Available on HEALTHeLINK HIE

  Provider Type     No. of Providers  
Connected
  ADTs     Radiology  
Reports
  Radiology  
Images
  Lab   Transcribed
  Reports History*  
ED
  Reports  
Medication
  History Data  
Diabetic
  Measures  
Hospital 13 X X X X X X X  
Regional Reference Labs 3                
Regional Radiology 8 X X X          
Tele-Monitoring Sources (Home Care)   4               X
Long-Term Care Facilities 3 X              
Medication History Sources 3             X  
Professionals 2,943                

* The type of transcribed reports varies based on health care provider. HEALTHeLINK's specifies the content sent by each provider on the webpage Providers of clinical Data (http://wnyhealthelink.com/Patients/Participants/ProvidersofClinicalDatatoHEALTHeLINK).


HEALTHeLINK works with health care providers and their vendors to establish interfaces to the exchange organization. They meet with the vendor to determine the information that can be sent and received and the format. Some of that content can be sent and received using HIT standards depending on the vendor's capabilities. Regardless of whether standards are available, HEALTHeLINK is able to work with providers to establish interfaces the exchange organization. HEALTHeLINK monitors the efforts of the ONC S&I LCC workgroup specifically on emerging standards to support transfer of care information and care plans and will leveraging the standards identified in MU Stage 2 of the EHR Incentive Program.

Facilitating medication reconciliation at the point of transfer was an important aspect of the Western New York Beacon grant. HEALTHeLINK has been working with pharmacies and providers to receive medication information. Currently HEALTHeLINK receives medication history information from SureScripts and Buffalo Pharmacies, Inc. and are currently working with area hospitals to receive medication information upon discharge. While the sources provide a majority of medications, it is missing over-the-counter medications, medications prescribed where the patient paid cash instead of an insurance payer, or medications filled by pharmacies not reporting to SureScripts.


  1. See http://wnyhealthelink.com/Patients/Participants/ProvidersofClinicalDatatoHEALTHeLINK.

  2. See http://wnyhealthelink.com/Physicians/Participants/ParticipatingHEALTHeLINKProviders.

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