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Two Regional HIEs in N.Y. Merge Into One

November 17, 2014
by Rajiv Leventhal
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Two regional health information exchanges (HIEs) in New York have merged into a single, unified qualified entity called HealthlinkNY. 

The collaborative between Southern Tier Healthlink (STHL) and Taconic Health Information Network and Community (THINC) will span 11 counties across the Hudson Valley, Catskills, and Southern Tier, offering secure electronic access to statewide health information for both participating providers and patients in the region as well as information and tools to aid in health transformation, officials say.
 
HealthlinkNY will maintain patients’ electronic health records (EHRs) from participating healthcare organizations and provider practices across the expansive geographical region, consolidating them into more centralized and consolidated records.  Access to these records through HealthlinkNY’s central platform will allow a healthcare provider to view a patient’s complete medical record rather than relying on transfer requests, faxes, phone calls, or even the patient to obtain this information. HealthlinkNY will be governed by a combined 20-person board from the two organizations. 
 
"New Yorkers will see their healthcare improve as a direct result of this important union between THINC and STHL,” Susan Stuard, executive director of Taconic Health Information Network and Community, said in a statement.  “By joining forces, we will be able broaden our current services for patients and doctors, and expand our policy work.”
 
The merger occurs as the state is beginning to interconnect the qualified entities as part of the statewide health information network of New York (the SHIN-NY), a network enabling the exchange of electronic health records across the entire state.HealthlinkNY will serve as the region’s access point to the SHIN-NY. New York is the first large state to create a public utility network of its kind, which is supported by funding included in the Governor’s budget earlier this year, officials say. 
 
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