Metro-North Express, James Fenimore Cooper Car

Travelers at train station Train carriage "John Cheever"

Date: August 7th, 2012

Time: 6:16pm

Location: Metro-North express, James Fenimore Cooper car

Well, here we are. A quiet place. The Metro-North train traveling underground as it leaves Grand Central on its way through Harlem and up the Hudson Valley to the river towns that house the millions of commuters who work in New York City. This particular train has cars named for authors: The James Fenimore Cooper car is in between John Cheever and Thomas Wolfe, a small reminder of the time when authors wrote on paper, as opposed to on a MacBook with high-speed 4G internet connectivity, and enough storage to house the all of the published novels generated during their respective lifetimes. In a way, this is analogous to the incredible transformation that we are engaged in with health information technology—moving from countless tons of paper files, containing life-saving data, which is trapped in file rooms across the state, toward a secure, internet-enabled health information network that responsibly allows information to be shared across the care continuum to improve care.

I hope to borrow these quiet times while headed home to share with you some of the inner workings of the NYeC organization as we move forward with the development of the Statewide Health Information Network of New York (or SHIN-NY). Together, with all of the dedicated health professionals in our state, we seek to collaboratively use this powerful network to help improve healthcare quality, efficiency and access for all New Yorkers. It is a tall order. We, collectively, have a lot of work to do. But we have an incredible opportunity—thanks to the substantial investment that New York has made over the last five years in developing policy, governance, technology, trust, and conviction.

In the coming months, we’ll continue to share with you some strategies, plans, people, successes, challenges, and meditations, as we progress forward with the SHIN-NY. We hope that you’ll find this valuable to your own work, and that you will contribute to the discussion, and share in the success.