Posted on: August 13, 2018

With the recent addition of Saratoga County Public Health Services, there are now 10 county health departments connected to Hixny.

Saratoga County Public Health Services, which serves the county ranked first in the state for overall health, offers a wide-range of programs to assess, improve and monitor the health status of the county’s population. In May, the department began using the Hixny health information exchange (HIE) to share patient records from its clinics, including immunization records, payer information, allergies, plans of care and information about encounters. It also is working to add lab reports to its feed and plans to contribute information from its Early Intervention program.

While Saratoga County is the most recent, Montgomery County Department of Public Health was the first county agency to join Hixny, in 2016. It was followed by health departments in Essex, Hamilton, Warren, Albany, Greene, Fulton, Franklin and Washington counties. The agencies join 100 percent of nonprofit and private hospitals, more than 75 percent of primary care physicians and more than 65 percent of specialists in the region who are connected through Hixny.

While Saratoga County is the first of the 10 to share data through the HIE, all of the departments have a strong reason to use Hixny. State public health laws require counties to investigate all suspected or confirmed cases of communicable diseases, such as measles, the Zika virus, hepatitis B, influenza and sexually transmitted diseases. Hixny makes it easy for these agencies to find the information they need.

“Hixny is important because it provides county public health departments with electronic medical data that they can sue to promote and preserve the health of the population during disease outbreaks and as part of epidemic control,” said Joyce Finkelmeier, the Hixny account manager who works with the county public health departments. “When a county public health department receives more than 50 communicable disease reports each week, they no longer have to request and review hundreds of faxes to find the pertinent information they need. They can access Hixny and quickly drill down to the lab reports for tick-borne illnesses or quickly find gastrointestinal notes for hepatitis C illnesses.”

Hixny, a not-for-profit healthcare collaborative, is a national leader in population health management support. Hixny utilizes secure technology to provide individuals, healthcare providers, payers and public health entities with the ability to share and use real-time electronic health records. This coordination of data enhances care for more than 1.7 million people in New York’s Capital District, Northern New York and the Mohawk Valley.

View an updated list of all Hixny participants and data contributors.