Healthcare Technology Featured Article

June 07, 2012

New York Unifies State Health Records

New York is on its way to a “robust 21st century health care system,” according to the State’s Health Care Commissioner Dr. Nirav Shah, who mentioned today New York’s system for maintaining and accessing patient medical records from a unified network. The project, which is named the Statewide Health Information Network of New York, or SHIN- NY, is possibly a model of how medical record networks and health care systems will evolve across the different states in the near future.

There were numerous groups that participated in this project of unifying New York’s health records. The project’s executive organizations were New York eHealth Collaborative and the New York State Department of Health. There were also six other groups of importance” three Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIO) and three health information exchange service providers (HIE). The RHIO’s comprised of the e-Health Network of Long Island, THINC of Hudson Valley and the Brooklyn Health Information Exchange.

One of the goals of the SHIN-HY project was to resolve the discord of patient records that occur when patients frequently commute across regional boarders. According to David Whitlinger of NYeC, “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."

The three HIE’s involved in the SHIN-NY project are HealthUnity, IBM and InterSystems. Their contracts require the companies to “leverage their product suites towards the further development of the SHIN-NY and…. [develop]…software that permits safe and efficient interoperability, along with adherence to New York Statewide Policy Guidance.”

The homogenized medical record system is said to benefit patients in emergencies who have chronic diseases, allergies, etc. The new and improved data network is predicted to eliminate situations of duplicate testing, along with other problems with former systems that led to wasted time. Dr. Pail Grundy of IBM declares that, "The work of NYeC is a model for the rest of the nation.”

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin

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