Two area emergency medical services providers are contributing patient data to Rochester RHIO, which will enhance individualized care and has the potential to improve social services support.
Monroe Ambulance and Finger Lakes Ambulance are the first to participate in a new grant program with Rochester RHIO, which serves as the on-ramp for the Statewide Health Information Network for New York or SHIN-NY.
It operates across the 14-county Greater Finger Lakes Region.
The RHIO connects thousands of medical providers and community based organizations, allowing patient records to be securely and instantaneously viewed whenever and wherever to deliver the best possible care. Through Rochester RHIO, those records can be shared with authorized practices and institutions statewide, allowing more rapid and accurate care if someone if traveling beyond their home region.
Many EMS calls to 911 do not result in transportation to a hospital. As a result, pre-hospital treatment data from these ‘ambulance encounters’ have not been included in patient records, leaving significant information gaps that can negatively affect care.
“EMS is regularly requested for anxiety, falls, first aid, domestic disputes, and other conditions that don’t require transportation to the emergency department. This information has historically been invisible to physicians, social services organizations and other organizations who could use it to spot patterns and make better decisions,” said Jill Eisenstein, president and CEO of the Rochester RHIO. “Our collaboration with regional EMS agencies helps to make sure that front line emergency crews can both see patient data and contribute encounter data to the patient record. That can make a huge difference in people’s lives.”
Both ambulance services benefitted from the Data Exchange Incentive Program (DEIP), an initiative of the New York State Department of Health with support from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. DEIP is now providing financial grants to help offset costs for EMS providers and pharmacies to connect to qualified entities such as the Rochester RHIO—expenses typically incurred for specialized software and related information technology services. Previously, DEIP was employed to successfully increase SHIN-NY connections by long-term care facilities, behavioral health organizations and diagnostic treatment centers.