Mission and History

Mission

To create and maintain a secure and reliable infrastructure for the timely and accurate electronic exchange of clinical information among health care providers and others involved in the delivery of health care services in Western New York and who are connected via the State Health Information Network for New York (SHIN-NY). HEALTHeLINK will limit duplication, control health care costs and improve the delivery of services, clinical outcomes and patient safety.

History

HEALTHeLINK is a culmination of several years of collaborative effort by many stakeholder groups in our community.

In 2004 a Health Information Exchange Project, led by Buffalo Academy of Medicine, engaged members of the physician community, the University of Buffalo, county and state public health, HEALTHeNET and UNYPHIED (Upstate New York Professional Healthcare Information & Education Demonstration Project) in developing a “white paper” outlining a plan for interoperability or the ability to move health care information safely and securely between a patient’s health care providers. Grants from the New York State Department of Health and the federal Agency for Health Research and Quality further supported regional planning efforts.

A grant from the Community Health Foundation of Western and Central New York supported a year long effort for the group to collaborate as the Health Care Information Coordinating Council to further prioritize area activities in a five year plan.

To support the vision of these collaborations, HEALTHeNET hired IBM to conduct an independent study on the feasibility of this venture and develop an appropriate business case to support the directive of improved quality through an effective, financially sustainable model.

The support of these separate organizations individually and collectively have culminated in Western New York receiving the Heal NY funding to create HEALTHeLINK.

In 2013, HEALTHeLINK, in collaboration with Catholic Medical Partners, P2 Collaborative of Western New York, and more than 40 other health care organizations, marked the completion of its three-year Beacon Community project, which was focused on producing real-life clinical improvements for diabetes patients.

The WNY Beacon was one of 17 Beacon Communities nationwide funded by a $16.1 million grant through the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). The three-year initiative was tasked with building and strengthening local health IT infrastructure as well as testing innovative approaches to make measurable improvements in health, care, and cost. Click here to view the results.