Who We Are
What is HEALTHeLINK?
HEALTHeLINK is an unprecedented collaboration among physician, hospital, and insurance organizations to share clinical information in efficient and meaningful ways to improve the delivery of care, enhance clinical outcomes, and control health care costs throughout the region. HEALTHeLINK is a not-for-profit organization.
HEALTHeLINK supports and is working toward the vision of creating community-based virtual medical records and other clinical applications. Achieving that vision means:
- Medical professionals will have access to information they need to treat you quickly and safely
- Duplicate tests and procedures will be avoided
- Your medical information can speak for you in an emergency
- Quality, safety, and efficiency will help control health care costs
HEALTHeLINK is a consortium of various key members of the Western New York health care community including Charter Members:
- The Catholic Health System of Buffalo
- Erie County Medical Center Corporation
- HealthNow New York (BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York)
- Independent Health Association
- Kaleida Health
- Roswell Park Cancer Institute
- Excellus (Univera Healthcare)
HEALTHeLINK also includes a broad representation of health care professionals and organizations throughout the eight-county Western New York region such as:
- Buffalo Academy of Medicine (BAM)
- Buffalo Medical Group P.C.
- Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH)
- State University of New York at Buffalo
HEALTHeLINK is uniquely qualified to lead this initiative in Western New York. All of the Charter Members are part of HEALTHeNET, a regional administrative data exchange with a proven track record of successful collaboration.
What is a RHIO?
HEALTHeLINK is a Regional Health Information Organization (RHIO) - a non-governmental, multi-stakeholder organization that enables or oversees the business and legal issues involved in the exchange and use of health information, in a secure manner, for the purpose of promoting the improvement of health quality, safety and efficiency.
Officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services see RHIOs as the building blocks for the national health information network (NHIN). When complete the NHIN will provide universal access to electronic health records. Experts maintain that RHIOs will help eliminate some administrative costs associated with paper-based patient records, provide quick access to automated test results and offer a consolidated view of a patient’s history.
To learn more about Health IT and various New York State plans and initiative in this area, read the New York eHealth Collaborative document Health Information Technology Hot Topics.
The primary beneficiary of an effective HEALTHeLINK organization will be the Western New York health care consumer. Broader, quicker access to medical information will translate into better clinical outcomes, increased professional collaboration for the identification and treatment of illness or injury, improved efficiency and lower costs, and overall improved patient safety.