Posted on: August 21, 2017

A few weeks ago, the New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC) and the Department of Health (DOH) requested proposals for the use of about $3 million in excess budgeted funds. While Hixny has never responded to this kind of proposal before, I thought this opportunity was well worth the time and effort.

Of the $3 million total, DOH divided $1 million equally among all eight qualified entities in the state—Hixny and its seven counterparts. The remaining $2 million went into a pool for competitive bids, with top-ranked entities like Hixny invited to propose a “thoughtful and strategic” project focused on data quality or data completeness.

In the end, we proposed a project called the “Wire-Once System to Improve Data Completeness.” It recognizes the governor’s vision to connect things effectively one time, rather than paying to connect the same things eight separate times.

This pilot project would connect two national dialysis/organ center organizations to our electronic health records (EHR) gateway. All told, these organizations have 73 clinics across the state—including several within our region. They are also required to connect to the Statewide Health Information Network for New York (SHIN-NY) this fiscal year, so they are both generating important information and motivated to connect.

Our gateway would allow them to establish a single connection, regardless of their locations, to the SHIN-NY in a way that would distribute the data entered by these providers to the appropriate entity based on the location of the clinic where the data was entered. In other words, data entered by the provider’s clinic in Buffalo would be routed to the QE for Buffalo; data from the clinic in Albany would stay in our health information exchange (HIE).

The project addresses the biggest concern people have about connecting to a single entity, which is that data wouldn’t flow in a way that allows it to be analyzed properly or used for alerts. It also creates the foundation for future connections of this type. Ultimately, Hixny would set up the SHIN-NY to accommodate future quality-of-care analysis.

Our proposal, which is based on technology and know-how we already have, is estimated at just over $425,000. The greatest part of the project is making the connections to the other QEs and EHR vendors.

We won’t know until September if we win the award. If we do, we’ll have until March to put the connections and agreements in place. In the meantime, keep an eye out for updates!

Hixny will be performing extended maintenance beginning Thursday, December 31 through Friday, January 1. During this time, all services
will be impacted and unavailable—including access to the provider portal.