Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Technology Advances in NY

Grants for $105 million were awarded to 19 community-based health information technology projects in New York State and range from $1 million to $10 million. The grants will link Medicaid data to interoperable electronic health records, link electronic health records to the New York State Immunization Registry, connect patients and clinicians through personal health records and other patient focused tools, and implement quality measurement and reporting capabilities.

Also last February, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Health Commissioner announced that New York City’s next generation electronic health records are already in use at more than 200 primary care providers across the city to care for more than 200,000 New Yorkers. New York is equipping more than 1,000 local healthcare providers with EHR systems to benefit more than a million patients.

The Health Department’s Primary Care Information Project developed the EHR system with the firm eClinicalWorks. With $30 million, the Health Department developed the system and offers eligible practices a subsidized package of EHR software and services. The practices must pay for hardware and network infrastructure and contribute $4,000 to the Fund for Public Health in New York for technical support. The initiative is supported by a $3.2 million grant from the State and will be evaluated using $5 million in funding from CDC and AHRQ.

In the academic community, SUNY Downstate Medical Center has begun a multi-year project to deploy electronic health records to help the University Hospital of Brooklyn and the community. Recently, the hospital went live with Phase One.

SUNY HealthBridge is using the Eclipsys Sunrise clinical suite of applications that includes a CPOE system and is able to track medical orders and medication records. Using flow sheets, practitioners will be able to electronically document patient care including clinical laboratory and radiology results.

In addition, the SUNY Downstate Medical Center now has the capability to email electronic slides. After nearly ten years of research, scientists at the Medical Center in Brooklyn and Peking University in Beijing were awarded a U.S. patent for their virtual telemicroscope. This patented software permits off-site pathologists to diagnose cancer or other diseases in remote locations around the world. The device is being tested as a diagnosis instrument in China at 600 hospitals without on-site pathologists.

To further increase the use of health technologies in the state, it was announced in March that nine public/private sector partnerships will receive funds to support innovative solutions and help to build high speed broadband access networks so that affordable broadband internet access will be available for underserved urban and rural communities.

In 2007, the New York State Legislature appropriated $5 million to provide seed money to be awarded through the Council. To leverage the funds, the Council required a minimum dollar for dollar match in the form of cash, in-kind goods and services, or a combination of the two. The value of the matching cash and in-kind services from the nine award recipients totals more than $15.1 million. More than 50 applications were received for the first year of funding and the proposed 2008-2009 budget includes $15 million to continue the program.