New York expands centralized record-keeping for hospitals

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June 6, 2014

New York state is expanding a system to centralize the record-keeping of multiple hospitals.

A patient’s medical history may be in the computer at their primary care doctor’s office. And their records may be digitized at the hospital they’ve been treated at.

Dr. Rainu Kaushal leads the Weill Cornell Medical College’s healthcare policy program.

"However, many of those systems can’t easily or fluently communicate with one another," says Kaushal.

She just studied Rochester area hospitals’ implementation of the State Health Information Network, also known as ‘shiny.’

Kaushal uses the analogy of an ATM. She says under the SHIN-NY system, a ‘doctor’ can withdraw money – i.e. access medical records – from any ATM, instead of just at their local branch.

Regional exchanges like Rochester’s have been in the works for a few years. Now, SHIN-NY wants those regional networks to talk to each other.