For this Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counselor, HealthlinkNY is Key

As an outpatient provider, Tom Rue of Choices Mental Health Counseling of Monticello, NY values HealthlinkNY’s ability to provide him with “…immediate access to information…” and the chance it gives him to provide more quality care. In fact, when first meeting with a patient, the first thing he does is ask them to sign a HealthlinkNY consent form, allowing him to view their medical record. Tom is a board certified and licensed mental health practitioner and credentialed alcoholism and substance abuse counselor with over 25 years of experience in private practice in Sullivan County.

For Tom, it’s all about coordination of care. Since he may not always be able to properly evaluate a patient’s condition, he says he “…considers coordination of care with other care providers even more important than if I were working in a large agency setting,” which he’s able to do through HealthlinkNY Alerts and their Web Portal.

As an advocate for improving holistic and comprehensive care for his patients, Tom says he has found that HealthlinkNY Alerts help him do that. “Real-time records available through the HealthlinkNY Web Portal improve the quality of care that I am able to provide,” explains Tom.

He added, “The alerting service is a wonderful feature with great clinical utility.” Alerts provide him with next-day updates on any changes to his patient’ medical records, which, compared to the alternative of skimming through charts via the Web Portal every day looking for changes, saves him valuable time.

Recently, Tom had a patient who was addicted to heroin, later relapsed, and found themselves in the emergency department from withdrawals. Through HealthlinkNY Alerts, Tom learned about this relapse and was able to increase treatment sessions with the patient. Another time, he was treating a patient who had not disclosed a past suicidal gesture, which landed them in the emergency department. Through the HIE, Tom was able to view this encounter, which he said: “…was clinically significant in assessing mental health condition.”

Another huge benefit he sees from using the HealthlinkNY HIE is the speed at which he is able to get a patient’s record. Before being able to log onto HealthlinkNY’s Web Portal, Tom would fax consent sheets and wait for responses either by fax, CD, or paper, remarking that the old method was “…time consuming for me and wasteful of resources at both ends.”

Tom also uses HealthlinkNY’s Web Portal to gather demographic information when he is missing certain details like a DOB or insurance data.

In the field of mental health and substance abuse, as in the world of general medicine, HealthlinkNY can help foster care coordination and fill in the medical blanks allowing providers to offer a higher level of care to their patients.