FAQs & Glossary

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to some common questions. If you are wondering about something that is not addressed here, send an email to and we will be happy to assist you!

What is Health Information Technology (HIT)?Health Information Technology (HIT) refers to any technologies that store, share, and analyze health information in an electronic environment.

Increasingly, healthcare providers and organizations are using HIT to provide higher-quality, cost-efficient, and patient-centered care. HIT lifts the entire healthcare system by connecting a patient’s information. HITs are providing doctors with more complete patient records, hospitals with better data, public health with critical details, and patients with improved diagnosis/treatment information.

NYeC is committed to advancing the utilization of health information technology, including electronic health records (EHRs), which help to facilitate the exchange of medical records electronically through health information exchange (HIE).
What is Health Information Exchange (HIE)?Health Information Exchange (HIE) empowers healthcare providers to provide more efficient, quality care. For instance, instead of waiting for your health information to be sent to an emergency room, urgent care provider, or between your primary and specialty care providers, your doctor or nurse can instantly access critical information through HIE. This can have a significant impact on your care, leading to faster, better care and coordination.

Research has shown that utilizing HIE through New York State’s public HIE, the SHIN-NY, helps lower healthcare costs.
What is the SHIN-NY?The Statewide Health Information Network for New York (SHIN-NY) facilitates the electronic exchange of clinical information. It connects healthcare professionals statewide through its six Qualified Entities, which are regional HIE networks.

The SHIN-NY enables collaboration and coordination of care to improve patient outcomes, reduce unnecessary and avoidable tests and procedures, and lower costs. Learn more about the SHIN-NY here.
What does the SHIN-NY do?The SHIN-NY enables and supports value-based care through health information exchange (HIE), reducing unnecessary or duplicative treatment, leading to better care, healthier patients, and lower costs.
Who leads the SHIN-NY?NYeC leads the SHIN-NY and its advancement on behalf of the New York State Department of Health.
Who uses the SHIN-NY?The SHIN-NY connects regional networks, known as Qualified Entities (QEs), which allow participating healthcare professionals, with patient consent, to quickly access electronic health information and securely exchange data statewide.

Each regional network enrolls participants within its community, including hospitals, clinics, FQHCs, nursing homes, home care agencies, payers, ambulatory practices, behavioral health providers, laboratories, pharmacies, and EMS agencies, among others. Once connected, they can access and exchange electronic health information with other participants in their region.

The qualified entities are: Bronx RHIO, HealtheConnections, Healthix, HEALTHeLINK, Hixny, and Rochester RHIO.
How Can I Connect to the SHIN-NY?If you are or represent a healthcare professional or organization interested in connecting to the SHIN-NY, contact the QE that best meets your business needs to discuss options and next steps.

You can learn more about each QE, their current participant list, service offerings, and more on their websites:

Bronx RHIO, HealtheConnections, Healthix, HEALTHeLINK, Hixny, and Rochester RHIO.
Who has access to my health information?Health records are not publicly accessible. Only you decide which provider entities can see your records. As a patient, you must give permission or consent to any entities to access your records. You may opt-out at any time.

Patient information in the SHIN-NY is protected under HIPAA, other applicable federal and state laws, SHIN-NY Privacy & Security policies, and national data exchange and security standards such as HITRUST. This ensures your data is safe and secure.
How do I make sure my health information is available to my providers in the SHIN-NY?You must provide affirmative consent to your healthcare providers, allowing them to access your information.
What if I don’t want my data to be shared?You may withdraw consent at any time, and this process is specific to the QE that your provider is connected through. For more information about how to do this, visit the QEs website.
How do I know which QE my provider is connected to?Each QE maintains a public listing of participants on its website.
Who can I contact with questions about my health data?Contact the QEs via their websites:Bronx RHIO, HealtheConnections, Healthix, HEALTHeLINK, Hixny, and Rochester RHIO.
Where can I find information on the importance and benefits of the SHIN-NY?Learn more about the benefits of the SHIN-NY, view our video, or view our SHIN-NY infographic one-pager.
How can I contact NYSDOH or one of the Qualified Entities?NYSDOH
Qualified Entities:Bronx RHIO, HealtheConnections, Healthix, HEALTHeLINK, Hixny, Rochester RHIO.
Still have questions?Contact us at, and we will try our best to help.



Here you will find terms commonly used on this website or within the health information technology and exchange field.

AdoptionAdoption is the term used by healthcare providers making the shift to electronic health records. Providers can find help adopting an EHR for their practice by contacting their local QE.
APIThe Application Programming Interface (API) will allow developers to build new healthcare technology applications on top of the SHIN-NY. Through this API, innovators and health IT companies access the clinical information required to develop products that meet healthcare providers’ needs, with the appropriate policies in place. This platform will also help innovators standardize their applications and software, driving development more efficiently across the state and beyond.
Bronx RHIOThe Bronx RHIO harnesses the power of information technology to transform the delivery of healthcare in the Bronx. Our secure, interoperable health information exchange enables providers across the Bronx to access critical patient information from multiple sources as soon as it is available and deliver the ultimate benefit to their patients and the community—better, safer and more efficient healthcare. The Bronx RHIO participates in the Statewide Health Information Network for New York (the “SHIN-NY”). The Bronx RHIO serves New York City.
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Clinical Decision Support (CDS)Computer-based clinical decision support (CDS) is defined as software that makes relevant information available for clinical decision making. CDS ranges from electronically available clinical data (e.g. information from a clinical laboratory system and information from a disease registry), to electronic full-text journal and textbook access, to evidence-based clinical guidelines, to systems that provide patient and situation specific advice (e.g., EKG interpretation, and drug-to-drug interaction checking).
– Source: AHRQ
Direct Exchange (Clinician-To-Clinician Exchange)Direct Exchange allows for the sending of patient records directly from one EHR to another EHR (point-to-point). This can be used in transitions of care (hospital discharge, referrals, home health, Long Term Care (LTC), etc.), and may also be used for lab ordering, results delivery, sending records to patients, and physician alerts.
E-Prescribing, Or eRxElectronic prescription (e-prescribing) writing is defined by the eHealth Initiative as “the use of computing devices to enter, modify, review, and output or communicate drug prescriptions.” Although the term e-prescribing implies the use of a computer for any type of prescribing action, there are a wide range of e-prescribing activities with varying levels of sophistication.
– Source: AHRQ
Electronic Health/Medical Records (EHR/EMR)An EHR (electronic health record) is generally defined as the electronic systems providers use to store patients’ health information. These have replaced the paper records that providers traditionally used. An EHR contains data gathered from a variety of clinical services, including laboratory data, pharmacy data, patient registration data, radiology data, surgical procedures, clinic and inpatient notes, preventive care delivery, emergency department visits, billing information, and so on.
Health Information Exchange (HIE)Health Information Exchange (HIE) refers to the sharing of clinical and administrative data across the boundaries of healthcare institutions and other health data repositories. Many stakeholder groups (payers, patients, providers, and others) realize that if such data are shared, healthcare processes would improve with respect to safety, quality, cost, and other indicators.
Health Information Service Provider (HSP)An organization that provides RHIOs with technical services, such as software, hardware, support services, and clinical/quality services that facilitate the secure exchange and use of health information.
Health Information Technology (Health IT)Health Information Technology (Health IT) is the use of computers and computer programs to store, protect, retrieve, and transfer clinical, administrative, and financial information electronically within healthcare settings.
HealtheConnectionsHealtheConnections is a not-for-profit corporation that supports the Meaningful Use of health information exchange and technology adoption, and the use of community health data and best practices, to enable Central New York stakeholders to transform and improve patient care, improve the health of populations, and lower healthcare costs. HealtheConnections serves Cayuga, Cortland, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Onandaga, Oneida, Oswego, St. Lawrence, and Tompkins counties. In 2019, HealthlinkNY, a former merger of Southern Tier Health Link (STHL) and Taconic Health Information Network and Community (THINC) RHIOs, merged into HealtheConnections.
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HEALTHeLINKHEALTHeLINK is a collaboration among physician, hospital, and insurance organizations to share clinical information in efficient and meaningful ways to improve the delivery of care, enhance clinical outcomes, and control healthcare costs throughout the region. HEALTHeLINK is a not-for-profit organization. HEALTHeLINK serves Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, and Wyoming counties.
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HealthixHealthix is a RHIO, or regional health information organization, devoted to developing, deploying, and operating innovative uses of interoperable health information technology and analytics to facilitate patient-centric care and promote improved healthcare quality, affordability, and outcomes for New Yorkers. Healthix was formed through mergers between NYCLIX, LIPIX, and most recently BHIX, RHIOs representing the Manhattan, Long Island, and Brooklyn regions respectively. The newly merged Healthix brings to bear a great deal of expertise in delivering health information exchange services, access to clinical data, and the tools to support care coordination for +10 million patients and over 150 participant organizations serving over 500 locations in New York City and Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
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HITECH ActThe Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, was signed into law on February 17, 2009 to promote the adoption and Meaningful Use of health information technology. Subtitle D of the HITECH Act addresses the privacy and security concerns associated with the electronic transmission of health information, in part, through several provisions that strengthen the civil and criminal enforcement of the HIPAA rules.
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HixnyHixny connects providers, patients, and organizations to better coordinate care and reduce healthcare costs across our community. Our programs and services, designed around the Hixny Health Information Exchange (HIE), give patients and clinicians real-time electronic access to patients’ comprehensive medical history for making timely, informed care decisions. As a not-for-profit, Hixny collaborates with health plans, hospitals, physician practices, employers, government agencies, patients, and others in the Capital Region and Northern New York that share the common vision and goal of substantially transforming healthcare and improving population health. Hixny serves Albany, Clinton, Columbia, Delaware, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Montgomery, Otsego, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, St. Lawrence, Warren, and Washington counties.
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Image ExchangeImage Exchange allows care providers, with patient consent, to share access to imaging records with other providers through their health information exchange (HIE).
InteroperabilityHIMSS defines interoperability as the “ability of health information systems to work together within and across organizational boundaries in order to advance the effective delivery of healthcare for individuals and communities.”
Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC)The ONC is the principal Federal entity charged with coordination of nationwide efforts to implement and use the most advanced health information technology and the electronic exchange of health information. The position of National Coordinator was created in 2004, through an Executive Order, and legislatively mandated in the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act) of 2009. The ONC is organizationally located within the Office of the Secretary for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Patient Admission Alerts and NotificationsPatient Admission Alerts and Notifications allow providers to receive a notification/alert when their patient presents himself in a healthcare institution. No matter where that person seeks care, be it an emergency room or otherwise, their primary care doctor, or their care plan manager, can be notified.
Patient PortalsPatient Portals allow for patient engagement, allowing patients to see their health information, interact with their care plans, and see and interact with their record. This encourages patients to be proactive in their own health and enhance communication with providers.
Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH)

A PCMH is a model for transforming the organization and delivery of primary care. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) defines a medical home not simply as a place, but as a model of the organization of primary care that delivers the core functions of primary healthcare.
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Privacy and SecurityElectronic health information exchange promises an array of potential benefits for individuals and the U.S. healthcare system through improved clinical care and reduced costs. At the same time, this environment also poses new challenges and opportunities for protecting individually identifiable health information. In healthcare, accurate and complete information about individuals is critical to providing high quality, coordinated care. If individuals and other participants in a network lack trust in the electronic exchange of information due to perceived or actual risks to individually identifiable health information, or the accuracy and completeness of such information, it may affect their willingness to disclose necessary health information and could have life-threatening consequences. Coordinated attention at the Federal and State levels is needed both to develop and implement appropriate privacy and security policies. Only by engaging all stakeholders, particularly consumers, can health information be protected and electronically exchanged in a manner that respects variations in individuals’ views on privacy and access.
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Provider Analytics ToolsThese analytic tools can be used in reporting needs, or for providers looking to be proactive in care delivery. For instance: a provider can ask the system to search all the diabetics under their care, generate a list of these, and then subset it down to those who have not had their feet checked in the last few weeks. This would allow them to proactively engage with patients.
Provider-to-Provider Record TransferProvider-to-Provider Record Transfer is the ability to send secure email or messages between two providers, useful for transfer of a patient on discharge, or from primary care to specialty care. The Federal Program for this is called The Direct Project.
Qualified Entity (QE)A QE, formerly known as a RHIO (Regional Health Information Organization), is a local hub where a region’s electronic health information is stored and shared. There are QEs in New York State that each cover different areas from Buffalo to New York City. These QEs are the backbone of the SHIN-NY, providing the services that make secure, vital access to your health information possible statewide.
Regional Health Information Organization (RHIO)A RHIO is a non-governmental organization that exists as a New York State not-for-profit corporation to enable interoperable health information exchange via a common Statewide Health Information Network for New York (SHIN-NY) by participating in setting information policies through a statewide policy framework and governance process, implementing policies and ensuring adherence to such policies with a mission of governing its use in the public’s interest and for the public good, to improve healthcare quality and safety, and reduce costs. To fulfill this mission, RHIOs require commitment from multiple healthcare stakeholders in a geographic region, including physicians, hospitals, long term care and home care providers, patients, insurers, purchasers, and government. RHIOs are responsible for enabling interoperability through which individual stakeholders are linked together—both organizationally and technically through the SHIN-NY—in a coordinated manner for health information exchange and quality and population health reporting.
– Source: NYS DOH HEAL 5 RGA
Rochester RHIORochester RHIO is a secure electronic health information exchange that gives authorized medical providers access to test results, lab reports, radiology results, clinical documents and more. This nonprofit, community-run organization was created to give healthcare providers fast access to accurate information about patients so everyone can receive the best care possible. Rochester RHIO serves Allegany, Chemung, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne, Wyoming, and Yates counties.
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SHIN-NYThe Statewide Health Information Network for New York (SHIN-NY) is a network of information transmitted between users. Regional Health Information Organizations collect health record data from the healthcare providers in their area and, with patient consent, allow this information to be shared securely with other providers in the region. The SHIN-NY connects these regional hubs to create a private and secure network spanning the entire State of New York.
Statewide Collaborative Process (SCP)As health information technology grows, new policy must be written, and new standards set. An essential task of NYeC is to develop common policies, procedures, and technical approaches through an open and transparent process—the Statewide Collaborative Process—to support New York’s expanding health information infrastructure. These will ensure the highest quality of service, interoperability, and full patient privacy, security, and safety.
Telehealth/TelemedicineTelehealth is the use of telecommunications technology to transmit health information from one location to another to improve health status. As such, telehealth enables connections among providers, and between providers and patients, linking potentially distant resources with more convenient sites of care. The patients may be situated in another medical facility or clinical office, may be at home, or, increasingly, may be mobile and simply interested in having certain clinical values monitored remotely.
Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA)The Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement was published by The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) on January 18, 2022. TEFCA was created to establish a universal floor of interoperability across the country. TEFCA establishes the infrastructure model to securely share basic clinical information with each other as well as a common set of non-binding, foundational principles for trust policies and practices that can help facilitate health information exchange. Learn more on the ONC's website here.
Two-Factor AuthenticationAuthentication method that requires user to present at least two of the following three types of authentication factors to verify identity:
Knowledge: something the users knows,
Possession: something the user has, and
Inherence: something the user is.
Statewide Patient Record Lookup (sPRL)Functions like a highly secure search engine, allowing participants to retrieve individual patient records from across the state after receiving consent from the patient.
Notifications/AlertsAlerts allow participants to receive real-time updates about their patients. For example, if a patient enters or is discharged from a hospital, a subscribing provider can receive an Admittance, Discharge, Transfer alert.
Secure Direct MessagingGives participants the ability to seamlessly exchange authenticated and encrypted clinical data. It’s similar to highly secure email between providers.
Lab Results DeliveryProvides electronic diagnostic results and reports to ordering clinicians and others designated to receive results.
Provider and Public Health Clinical ViewersAllows participants or authorized public health officials to search for patient records across all data sources on identifying information. The Clinical Viewer is web-based, which eliminates the need to integrate with EHRs.
Consent ManagementTracks and verifies patient consent to share and access records per New York State and federal law and other requirements defined by HIPAA.