In 2009, my family and I moved from Portland to New York City so I could take my current position at NYeC. Having worked in the Health IT division at Intel, I knew how important the work at NYeC would be. It was the opportunity to help better the lives of many millions and set in place standards that would influence the rest of the nation. Four years later, as we launch the 2013 National Health IT Week, I take this moment to reflect on how far we have come.
New York leads the nation in helping providers convert from paper to electronic health records. We’ve built strong health information exchange networks that will soon connect to each other for statewide health data exchange via the SHIN-NY—giving healthcare providers the data they need to care for their patients, to save lives. The Patient Portal for New Yorkers, under construction now, will soon allow patients access to their own healthcare information whenever they need it. In 2011, NYeC founded the EHR-HIE Interoperability Workgroup, which now includes 19 states and 46 vendors, committed to driving towards plug and play interoperability. The New York Digital Health Accelerator provides mentorship to the entrepreneurial community, spurring innovations that doctors and hospitals need. And the now annual NYeC Digital Health Conference convenes healthcare and health IT leaders from across the nation to galvanize efforts, share best practices, and support the exchange of ideas.
In short, New York State is a national leader in the health IT revolution. Why? The answer is clear to me: Partnerships. Our state’s success is thanks to partnerships with the city and state Departments of Health, our Regional Health Information Organizations, provider groups, public advocacy groups, the federal government, private sector, and others. It’s the hard work we all put in at our own respective organizations and then the forthright collaboration between them that improves us all. It’s true, negotiating new policy can be a challenge. But we are dealing with healthcare, and there are myriad points of view regarding any issue in healthcare. Listening to voices from each of the sectors involved in any given healthcare debate is the only way to understand the challenge and address it correctly.
Continuing to build and foster partnerships is the most important thing we do at NYeC. Together, we have come a long way, accomplished much. There is much more work to be done. We look forward to tackling it with our partners, generating the important debate that betters our collective mission to improve healthcare for all New Yorkers.