HEALTHeLINK, Western New York’s health information exchange (HIE), has launched an automated syndromic surveillance reporting service for its hospital partners to detect outbreaks and monitor disease developments.
Jones Memorial Hospital in Wellsville, N.Y. became the first facility to submit its syndromic surveillance data to the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH)—who is in partnership with HEALTHeLINK for the initiative—via this method. This project is the result of a Health Care Efficiency and Affordability Law (HEAL)-supported initiative to enhance the Statewide Health Information Network for New York (SHIN-NY) for electronic information exchange between regional health information organizations (RHIOs) and NYSDOH.
New York State healthcare providers (outside of New York City) are required by law to report all syndromic surveillance data to NYSDOH’s electronic clinical laboratory reporting system. With this new automated web service, HEALTHeLINK can collect the required syndromic surveillance information from existing hospital admissions, discharge, and transfer transactions and securely transport this information to NYSDOH without any actions by the submitting facility. Previously, facilities had to use a separate system to upload the file to NYSDOH.
“Utilizing a RHIO such as HEALTHeLINK to implement functionalities like the new automated syndromic surveillance reporting, streamlines and improves efficiency with how hospitals communicate with NYSDOH,” Daniel Porreca, executive director, HEALTHeLINK, said in a news release. “Working collaboratively with the public health systems allows for decreased reporting burdens for the hospital providers, while increasing access to clinical information for public health agencies to improve their ability to respond to potential outbreaks and react appropriately and in a timelier manner.”
The syndromic surveillance reporting service additionally supports a hospital’s achievement of meaningful use Stage 1 and Stage 2 public health objectives. HEALTHeLINK and NYSDOH are coordinating efforts with other interested New York State RHIOs to make this functionality available to providers across a broader geography, according to officials