Ambulatory Services Team Update

JanetStoecklBy Janet Stoeckl RN, CCM, Clinical Director,

Amy Pease, RN MA, Practice Care Coordinator


Making Health Information Exchange Effective, Easy

As we continue to improve the coordination of care for each patient, a key ingredient to success is data sharing with our key clinical and community based partners across Western New York.  Each partner needs to be actively sharing their EHR Systems with HEALTHeLINK (HeL), Western New York’s regional health information organization (RHIO).

Health Information Exchange (HIE) utilization is also a requirement for all Safety Net Providers in the Millennium Collaborative Care Network. HIE has been found to improve the quality of patient care through a reduction in unnecessary testing and health care costs. This is important for patient care.

With HEALTHeLINK providing HIE, we are extremely fortunate in our community to have one of the most cutting edge information technology resources in New York State. In fact, many of you are working on Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) transformation. HEALTHeLINK can assist with several areas for your application;

  • Care Transitions – We offer patient alerts via direct/secure messaging either within your EHR or through HeL. You’d (securely) submit an active patient roster to HeL and we would “subscribe” your patients to you so when a patient was admitted, discharged or transferred (also referred to as “ADT”) from a hospital in WNY you’d receive a secure message to notify you. The moment that patient is registered, the system will automatically send you the alert in real time. This helps to trigger your process for post hospital follow up where you could properly document (and bill for if applicable) care transitions.  ER utilization can also be monitored this way, which would provide a great teaching opportunity for your patient if there’s overuse.
  • Pre-visit planning- HeL is a great resource to start with your pre-visit planning. When performing a patient query through HeL, labs, radiology reports (with images), transcription and medication lists are available from more than 50 data sources including all WNY hospitals and many independent laboratories and radiology practices. If your EHR has an interface to receive results delivery, you are able to “share” multiple results at a time and they will go directly to your EHR. This is helpful for any new patients who present at your office; you can search the patient (if prior patient consent established), retrieve results and populate their record all before they come to your office.
  • Direct messaging – Many EHRs only provide direct messaging addresses to the provider. If needed, HeL can provide a direct messaging account for you to securely email another provider personal health information (PHI), including a Continuity of care (CCD) document for your shared patient. This becomes effective when communicating with a specialist or a prior primary care provider. You can also attach patient files from your EHR and send securely.

Another new initiative HeL recently launched is receiving CCDs from organizations. Their plan is to add several others, including hospitals over the next several months. At the close of the patient encounter, a CCD is generated and sent via interface to HeL. It is available for viewing as an entire document or parsed (broken apart into various sections) within the patient’s record. The CCD contains procedures and the summary of care provided at the office.

This information can be very valuable to patients who are co-managed by several specialists. Once HeL has more organizations launched, users who query a patient could see if their patient received an immunization, including what type, brand, lot number and expiration, among other items.

To stay up to date with current participants, data sources and training materials please visit If you have any questions, please call the information line at 716-206-0993 x 311 or contact your account manager.

HEALTHeLINK –  Dr. Anthony Billittier, Emergency Physician, UBMD/ECMC and CMO Millennium Collaborative Care, discusses the important of having access to HEALTHeLINK in a hospital Emergency Department.
HEALTHeLINK’s YouTube channel:


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