Hixny, University of Vermont Medical Center Sharing Medical Data Across State Lines

Jan. 3, 2017
The Health Information Exchange of New York (Hixny) has added the University of Vermont Medical Center to its health information exchange network to enable the exchange of patient health data across state lines.

The Health Information Exchange of New York (Hixny) has added the University of Vermont Medical Center to its health information exchange network to enable the exchange of patient health data across state lines.

Hixny is a regional health information organization (RHIO) comprised of a diverse group of healthcare organizations including hospitals, physician practices, health plans and health care associations. The organization was founded in 1999 by the Iroquois Healthcare Alliance and the New York State Health Plan Association.

Hixny’s addition of UVM Medical Center is a first for the Empire State and the Northeast where access to secure electronic medical records has crossed borders to connect with providers in other states, according to a press release. “The move will multiply the volume of data—and will improve the quality of care—for thousands of North Country residents who see primary care physicians in New York but go to UVM Medical Center for inpatient or specialty care,” the organizations stated in a press release.

According to the UVM Medical Center, approximately 6 percent of its patient visits in fiscal year 2016 (ending October 1st) involved patients from New York State. The hospital handled 61,000 emergency room visits, 22,000 admissions, and 17,000 surgeries.

The benefit of more complete patient records runs both ways. Authorized UVM Medical Center staff will now be able to view progress notes, EKG tracings, and other data from providers in the North Country, across the border. The UVM Medical Center will add all data permitted by law to the Hixny system. Vermont regulations limit the sharing of behavioral health records and certain other data types

“At the end of the day, patients choose where they want to go, regardless of state boundaries,” Mark McKinney, CEO of Hixny, said in a statement. “And they deserve to have their information available wherever they go. It’s in their best interest, and the providers’ best interest, for Hixny to make this connection with one of the Northeast’s foremost medical centers.”

“The UVM Medical Center is working to ensure that providers and patients across our region have the information they need to make optimal health care decisions. Working with health information exchanges like Hixny and Vermont Information Technology Leaders (VITL) is core to realizing that goal,” Douglas Gentile, M.D., chief medical information officer for the UVM Medical Center, said in a statement. In addition to patients, a number of North Country hospitals are affiliated with the UVM Medical Center through the University of Vermont Health Network including Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital, Elizabethtown Community Hospital, and Alice Hyde Medical Center. The UVM Medical Center also maintains affiliations with Canton-Potsdam Hospital and Inter-Lakes Health.

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