– Clinical providers can make social care referrals through EHR using HIN’s SMART on FHIR application. –
ALBANY, N.Y.—To continue its work toward improving population health, Hixny has partnered with Healthy Alliance (Alliance for Better Health and its affiliates) to offer clinical providers an easy way to get help for their patients with social needs, such as benefits navigation or food insecurity.
Hixny, a health information network (HIN), is leveraging its patient record snapshot application, which is available in many electronic health records (EHR) systems, to make referring patients to community-based organizations a simple—and efficient—process.
“Eighty percent of a person’s overall health is the result of social, environmental, behavioral and lifestyle factors,” said Mark McKinney, Hixny’s CEO, echoing thoughts he shared in a recent blog post. “And until now, medical care providers addressing the other 20 percent haven’t had an easy way to help patients reach their fullest health potential. Now they do.”
Clinical providers can use Hixny’s application within their EHR to make referrals to Healthy Alliance and its network of 500+ partners for help with everything from food insecurity to utility assistance to navigating Medicaid benefits and much more.
“Accessing and navigating social supports in the community needs to be easy for individuals who serve community members. Our Referral Coordination Center is staffed with regional navigators who have a working knowledge of programs and services in the communities we support and are dedicated to making sure members get connected quickly and thoughtfully,” said Healthy Alliance’s CEO, Erica Coletti.
Early results confirm that clinical providers need an easy way to access a referral tool and network of social and behavioral services that doesn’t require them to navigate yet another technology application and allows them to focus on providing great medical care and better supporting their patients. Since Hixny launched this capability in March, 97 percent of referrals made through the platform were to the experts at Healthy Alliance’s Referral Coordination Center, reinforcing that this collaboration takes away the guesswork around what social resources are available within the community and assures clinicians that referrals are being robustly monitored and managed.
In the next phase of the project and collaborative effort, Hixny and Healthy Alliance are looking into ways to make the process better for clinical providers that includes bringing together data from multiple sources for outcomes measurement and looking toward interoperability options with other technology vendors.
“The partnership between Hixny and Healthy Alliance is bringing together technology, services and data,” said McKinney. “It’s making the right thing for patients, the easy thing for providers to do.”
Hixny is the nonprofit electronic health information network (HIN) serving residents and the healthcare community in New York’s 28 eastern counties north of New York City. Its secure technology allows people to contribute and use health records and the data they contain in real time, which improves consumers’ knowledge of their own records; ensures that providers have the details they need to provide high-quality care; and forms the foundation of effective population- and community-level health initiatives. Hixny is a nationally recognized leader in HIE technology innovation.
About Healthy Alliance
Healthy Alliance (Alliance for Better Health and its affiliates) connects the underserved to a growing network of organizations – big and small – that provide services that are essential for a healthy life. Recognizing that health begins in our communities, Healthy Alliance’s referral network and independent practice association (IPA) convene and collaborate with community partners — from regional hospitals to local food pantries and everyone in between — to address social needs (food insecurity, housing assistance, transportation needs, benefits navigation, and more) before they evolve into serious and costly medical problems. With over 580 organizations spanning 22 counties in New York State, Healthy Alliance works to provide all communities with consistent access to the resources they need to ensure every New Yorker has the same opportunity to be healthy.