Putting Patient Privacy and Security First—HealthlinkNY Attains HITRUST CSF Certification

Dec 18, 2018




 HealthlinkNY Achieves the Almost Unheard of—Receiving HITRUST CSF Certification with No Corrective Actions or Remediation Needed

December 11, 2018—HealthlinkNY is proud to announce that it has achieved HITRUST CSF certification as part of its ongoing commitment to providing leading-edge patient information security. Achieving HITRUST certification means that HealthlinkNY now complies with the most widely-adopted security framework in the U.S. healthcare industry.  The HITRUST security program includes, harmonizes, and cross-references existing, globally recognized standards, regulations, and business requirements, including ISO, NIST, PCI, HIPAA, and New York State laws.

HealthlinkNY is a nonprofit Health Information Exchange (HIE), funded by the New York State Department of Health, which connects health providers and patients to the Statewide Health Information Network of New York (SHIN-NY), allowing participating clinicians to exchange patient records throughout New York State. By implementing the HITRUST security framework, HealthlinkNY has taken one more step on the path of continual improvement in the protection of patient information.

Members of HealthlinkNY’s team who were working towards attaining the HITRUST certification will tell you that creating sophisticated security policies and procedures and implementing the corresponding controls was no small feat.  HealthlinkNY worked for nearly a year to expand its robust security program, align it properly with the HITRUST framework, and provide proof of implementation to a third party Certified HITRUST Assessor.

On October 17, 2018, the HealthlinkNY assessment was submitted to HITRUST, and since then HealthlinkNY has been eagerly waiting to hear if their hard work would pay off. The vast majority of HITRUST assessments result in a list of additional work needed (corrective action plans).  When the results arrived, HealthlinkNY discovered that it had achieved HITRUST certification with no gaps in the security program identified or corrective action plans needed.

“I am so incredibly proud of the countless hours and dedication the Privacy and Security team put forth to attain our HITRUST certification,” says Staci Romeo, Executive Director of HealthlinkNY. She further elaborates on this accomplishment, “The fact that we attained HITRUST certification and were not required to submit a single corrective action plan is a true testament to exactly how diligently our team worked.  HealthlinkNY has always taken the privacy and security of patients’ records very seriously and achieving HITRUST certification only furthers our mission of improving healthcare overall by supplying pertinent health information safely and securely where and when it is needed.”

About HealthlinkNY 

HealthlinkNY is a Qualified Entity, certified by New York State, to operate the regional Health Information Exchange (HIE) in the Hudson Valley, Catskills, and Southern Tier of New York. The HIE network allows hospitals and other healthcare providers to contribute and access records for patients they have in common, thus improving healthcare quality, coordination, and value, by making healthcare more efficient and reducing waste. Together with its strategic partner, HealtheConnections, the HealthlinkNY HIE now extends from the Lower Hudson Valley to Central New York and up to the Canadian border. The HIE connects providers in 24 counties, more than 40% of the counties in New York State, and supports all 66 hospitals in its service area, or 27% of the state’s hospitals.

As the region’s hub of health information and improvement, HealthlinkNY supports healthcare delivery reform (DSRIP), bridges the information gap between behavioral health and physical health providers, provides data analytic capabilities to public health departments and fosters collaboration among public and private health plans.

Through the HealthlinkNY Community Network, HealthlinkNY collaborates closely with regional partners to develop and administer innovative ways to improve community health and reduce health disparities. The Community Network’s current regional campaigns include: promoting mental health in the workplace to reduce the region’s high suicide rate; promoting health equity; and working to identify and respond to the social determinants of health, such as transportation as a barrier to good health. The Community Network is also working to reduce the impact of addiction in the region, serving as the lead agency for the Southern Tier Addiction Resource Center and a partner on the Data Informed Opioid Response Collaborative in the Hudson Valley.

Post by Emma Steed

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