Obsolete practices such as handwritten notes or aging technologies like fax machines are still prevalent in healthcare. These practices can sometimes increase medical errors and costs. The adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) has helped to reduce medical errors, but EHRs alone are not a panacea for improving how we deliver healthcare. In our highly mobile society, the information contained in health records must be easily accessible and shareable among doctors and healthcare facilities anywhere a patient travels in order to be truly useful and save lives.
That’s where the SHIN-NY comes in. By providing a way for healthcare professionals to easily and securely share electronic health information, we can significantly improve patient safety and care while reducing wasteful cost in the system. This requires the creation of a secure technical infrastructure, a set of regulations as to how the network will be governed, and policies which allow the flow of information while simultaneously safeguarding all patients’ information and right to privacy.