News / Article

Rochester RHIO Provides Critical Support During Health Emergencies

By Jill Eisenstein, CEO & President

In last month's RHIO Report, I wrote about key focus areas for 2021. One of these is our role in Emerency Preparedness. Over the past 15 years, we have supported our regional healthcare community through challenges, including ransomware attacks and weather-related outages. Our commitment continues and RHIO's role in helping our region during the COVID-19 pandemic began when New York State (NYS) Gov. Cuomo declared a State of Emergency in March 2020.

New York State supports the State Health Information Network of NY (SHIN-NY), which comprises six Qualified Entities like Rochester RHIO that collaborate to provide highly developed, statewide health information exchange services. NYS leverages the SHIN-NY to ensure that data related to the pandemic is shared with regional healthcare providers and public health officials. This includes:

  • COVID-19 testing data is forwarded from NYS to the RHIO, to alert care providers about their patients who test positive.
  • COVID-19 testing data supports the work of our regional public health officials, who are engaged in contact tracing and in public communications.
  • Expansion of clinical labs sending results directly to the SHIN-NY HIEs, to advance data quality and timeliness.
  • COVID-19 vaccination data is forwarded from NYS to the RHIO, to ensure that this data is added to patient health records.
  • And, COVID-19 vaccination data supports the work of the NYS Vaccination Hubs, like the Finger Lakes Vaccination Hub, by providing data that allows for analysis of their progress in vaccinating the population.
RHIO's activity has been a steady supporter of day-to-day healthcare treatment, care coordination and operations through Core and custom services. Like community HIEs nationwide, heightened recognition of the value of our HIE infrastructure is revealed as RHIO provides critical support during emergencies.
For more information about Rochester RHIO's response to the COVID-19 pandemic: