DAL: 16-16 - HCS Contact Information

September 7, 2016

DHDTC DAL: 16-16 - HCS Contact Information

Dear Facility/Agency CEO, Administrator or Operator:

The New York State Department of Health (the Department) is committed to assuring the reliability of its critical communications with healthcare providers, for conveying important information throughout the year, and especially during emergencies. The NYSDOH depends upon two tools on its Health Commerce System (HCS) to enable these essential communications; the Integrated Health Alerting and Notification System (IHANS), and the Communications Directory (the Directory) which houses the contact information used to send alerts, advisories and informational messages. The effectiveness of these communications is significantly dependent upon each provider or their HCS Coordinators maintaining the completeness and accuracy of this contact information in the Directory per 10 NYCRR §§ 400.10, 763.11(f), 766.9(o), and 793.1(n), as well as, 18 NYCRR §§ 487.12(k), 488.12(m), and 490.12(k).

In practice, and through review of response data, the Department has determined it is imperative to improve the quality and completeness of contact information in the Directory for Chief Executive Officers, Administrators and Operators which, if not addressed, jeopardizes your receipt of crucial information. We request your immediate action to review and update your business and emergency contact information on the HCS no later than close of business Friday, October 7, 2016 (see brief instructions attached). The Department will verify that the contact information has been reviewed, and if necessary, updated, as of that date. The privacy of any personal emergency contact information you provide, such as cell or home phone numbers, is not viewable by the general HCS user community, and can only be used by the IHANS tool, or by the Department Executive staff at their discretion for urgent communications.

In the near future, the Department will be taking several steps to facilitate maintenance of your contact information. First, a function will be implemented on the HCS that will require users to update or attest to the accuracy of their business and emergency contact information as it is listed in the Directory upon login in to the HCS every three months.

Additional efforts will include streamlining the number of "roles" that a facility/agency must maintain in the Directory. Roles are key positional titles or responsibilities of users that allow the targeting of essential communications to the appropriate staff person(s) at each facility/agency. Roles also provide access to specific HCS applications used by facilities/agencies. Drills to confirm the accuracy and completeness of provider contact information will be conducted. These drills will occur during business hours, please refer to attached instructions on the contact information needed to enable us to validate we can reach you during both business and non-business hours.

We appreciate your timely response and your cooperation in ensuring effective communication between the department and your organization.


Sally Dreslin
Executive Deputy Commissioner
New York State Department of Health