HIE Benefits Western NY

Since the Western New York (WNY) Beacon Community has been connecting to HEALTHeLink, clinical outcomes and patient safety have improved. In 2010, the Western New York community with HEALTHeLINK as the lead grantee received a $16.1 million award, one of the largest Beacon community awards in the country.

Diabetes is a major health issue in the WNY community and home to an unusually high number of people with diabetes in WNY. According to the NY State Department of Health, diabetes affects one out of every 12 New York adults.

Since 1994, the number of people in the state who have diabetes has more than doubled and it is likely that number will double again by 2015. In addition, approximately 450,000 state residents may unknowingly have diabetes. Diabetes is not only becoming more common, it is also becoming more expensive to treat.

To help treat diabetic patients, 78 registries were implemented at 78 practices representing 57,000 diabetic patients. The registries track lab values, vitals, necessary tests, and generate reminders.

The WNY Beacon program has also achieved other milestones. For example, three long term care facilities have been connected to the HIE to enable better transitions of care coordination among patients. Today interfaces have been established with three home healthcare agencies to include the Greater Buffalo United Accountable Healthcare Network Health Home Partners of WNY, and the Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center Health Home

One of the future goals for health homes is for care coordinators to receive an alert when their patient has been discharged from or admitted to a local hospital so that the care coordinator will be able to provide the appropriate services the patient will need upon discharge.

Approximately 95 percent of laboratory results and 85 percent of radiology reports generated in WNY are now available through HEALTHeLINK. With the addition of Great Lakes Medical Imaging (GLMI) as a data source to WNY’s clinical information exchange, GLMI is able to provide neuroradiology, musculoskeletal, breast, abdominal, and pediatric imaging services.

HEALTHeLINK recently contracted with Algonquin Studios to build technology known as responsive web design to make the site’s content easier to read and to interact with mobile devices.  The site will play a critical role in keeping participating practice information up-to-date for patients.

For more information, go to www.wnyhealthelink.com

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