Celebrating Everyday Miracles

December 13th, 2016 - As we enter the holiday season, I am grateful for the company of family and friends, particularly loved ones who have triumphed over medical issues. Thanks to the skill and dedication of their healthcare providers, many people who are close to me will be able to enjoy our holiday celebration.

This might not have been true years ago. Advances in therapies and medical technology have helped us treat life-threatening diseases. The chances of surviving a heart attack are far higher today than 25 years ago, and many cancers are successfully treated with individualized therapeutics, customized according to the patient’s DNA. Truly, we are living in an age of medical miracles.

So, let’s keep in mind that when people rail about what’s wrong in healthcare, we need to remember there is a lot more that we get right.

Therefore, as this year draws to a close, I hope you will take a moment to reflect on your successes, and how much your care means to your patients, their families, and their friends.

Is there room for improvement? Sure, particularly when it comes to keeping people healthy. Heart disease has become the nation's # 1 killer, so we need to prevent heart disease as well as treat it when it occurs. We want to make care coordination a priority to optimize health for those living with chronic disease. We want to improve healthcare equity, so that a patient’s socio-economic status doesn’t determine outcomes and health status. When we accomplish all of these, we will enter the next golden age of medicine.

The good news is that HealthlinkNY is doing its part to help us reach those goals.

  • We give providers access to the most complete and clear patient information as possible.
  • Our Health Information Exchange (HIE) allows different providers to easily collaborate in caring for the same patient.
  • Our population health initiatives have brought together public, private, and nonprofit entities to research and implement best practices to create healthy communities—a first for the Southern Tier and Hudson Valley.
That’s only the beginning of what we do, and what we can do in the future. HealthlinkNY is now the hub of our regional effort to deliver the best possible healthcare to all residents, while wringing the most value from each healthcare dollar spent. No other entity fills this essential role, and HealthlinkNY is dedicated to doing it well.

But we could not do it without you.

We thank all of you who participate in the HIE, collect patient consents, and make using the HIE an integral part of your workflow.

We thank providers who realize it is as important to contribute their own data to the HIE as well as look up data from other providers. We are committed to work side by side with you to get the most out of the HIE.

We thank all of our dedicated and amazing HealthlinkNY board members.

We also thank the New York State Department of Health and the federal Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology for their support. And without the collaboration of our fellow Qualified Entities operating their regional HIEs, as well as the New York eHealth Collaborative, there would not be a Statewide Health Information Network of New York (SHIN-NY).

Most of all, thanks to everyone involved in protecting and healing our loved ones. May your everyday miracles continue to brighten our lives.

Happy Holidays and a Joyous New Year!