Time Is Money: How We Help Broome County Health Department Save Both

March 16th, 2017 - With HealthlinkNY, Broome County Health Dept. can pull together records to quickly investigate outbreaks of communicable diseases. Guess how much that saves?

“HealthlinkNY gives me the information I need at my fingertips,” says Marianne Yourdon, PHN,  of the Communicable Disease Program at Broome County Health Department.

Investigating communicable diseases is akin to putting together pieces of a huge puzzle. How was the patient exposed to the disease? Who else is at risk? What’s the patient’s contact information?

“Investigations and reporting take up so much time,” says Marianne Yourdon, PHN, of the Communicable Disease Program at the Broome County Health Department. It also is time-consuming for busy providers. “Providers can spend hours returning phone calls and faxing records to us,” she says. “If we can get the information directly, we can get it done quickly.”

How quickly? HealthlinkNY helps reduce the time it takes to investigate communicable diseases by one to two days per case, according to the Broome County Health Department. That translates into estimated annual savings of $157,653 in salaries and fringe benefits, according to the department.

Most importantly, speed also protects public health, as the health department can reach out to residents potentially at risk of infection. Ms. Yourdon says she can use HealthlinkNY to look up patient contact information, interview family members, and start them on preventive antibiotics if warranted.

“HealthlinkNY gives me the information I need at my fingertips,” Ms. Yourdon says. “I use it every day to get a clearer picture of patients with communicable diseases.”