New York Receives Award as National Leader in Advancing Health Information Technology to Improve Quality of Care

New York Leads U.S. in Health IT Commitment to Help Transform Paper-Based, Fragmented System to Interoperable Electronic Health Records

ALBANY, N.Y. (June 11, 2008) – The state of New York has received the 2008 State Advocacy Award from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) for its leadership and commitment to health information technology.

New York is making an unprecedented $200 million commitment over five years in the organizational, clinical and technical aspects of an interoperable health information and quality improvement infrastructure to support improvements in health care quality, affordability and outcomes.

This includes the implementation of electronic health records (EHRs) and a statewide health information network for New York (SHIN-NY, pronounced "shiny") so that medical information follows consumers to keep them at the center of their care. New York's health information technology (IT) tools will measure quality and accountability based on the information needed to assess patient outcomes.

Serving more than 320 corporate and 20,000 individual members, HIMSS is the health care industry's organization focused exclusively on providing global leadership for the best use of health IT and management systems to improve health care quality and patient health. The group's annual state advocacy awards are presented to states that serve as a national beacon for the health IT revolution.

"New York proudly accepts this national recognition for our leadership in health information technology," Governor David A. Paterson said. "New York participates in national collaborative efforts to use information technology to improve the quality of care by allowing doctors to see a patient's full medical records to more quickly diagnose emergencies and work together to improve a patient's health."

Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D., said, "Our current work to build the health IT infrastructure piece by piece statewide will stand as one of this administration's landmark achievements."

Key aspects of New York's health IT program, ensuring health IT advances in the public's interest and benefits all New Yorkers, are the following:

  • Policy alignment – Health IT is an essential underpinning to the state's strategy to transform our health care system. This requires a coordination of policy efforts to improve the delivery and payment of preventive and high-quality care, while ensuring that information is in the hands of clinicians and their patients so that it guides medical decisions and supports the delivery of more coordinated, patient-centered care. Without the coordination of key policy efforts, health IT will not achieve the expected quality and efficiency goals.
  • Funding – New York is investing $250 million in a comprehensive health information and quality improvement infrastructure. This commitment is well above what the federal and other state governments combined are making in health IT to support improvements in health care quality, affordability and outcomes. Of the total, $105 million was awarded to 19 community-based initiatives in March 2008.
  • Public-Private Governance – To develop the rules and discipline required to ensure that the public interest is placed above proprietary interests, New York is leading the nation in setting health IT policy, including the formalization of collaborative structures and governance processes as well as the definition of clear roles, responsibilities and accountability mechanisms among government, the health care system and the health IT industry. Further, the New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC), as a public-private partnership with the Department of Health, is facilitating a statewide governance process to advance interoperability via the SHIN-NY, including consensus on key standards, policies and technical approaches to achieve care improvement goals and ensure that clinical priorities drive technical implementation.
  • Comprehensive Privacy and Security Framework – New York is developing privacy and security policies, including addressing issues of patient consent; data access rules (including the right for New Yorkers to have greater control over and access to their personal health information) and security, providing comprehensive protections for New Yorkers.

Funding for this program is made available through the Public Authorities Law, Health Efficiency and Affordability Law for New Yorkers (HEAL-NY), Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) bonding authority and the Federal State Health Reform Partnership (F-SHRP). The program is managed by the Department of Health's Office for Health Information Technology Transformation.