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Albany funds statewide health information network

Chris Caya WBFO News

New York residents will soon be able to have their medical records follow them wherever they go across the state. The goal is to make it easier for doctors anywhere in New York to treat residents taking part in HEALTHeLINK, which is only available in Western New York. That is changing because the new budget contains $55 million to connect all the regional exchanges into the Statewide Health Information Network of New York or SHINNY. 

"Once these ten RHIOs (Regional Health Information rganizations) are connected, then the SHINNY is going to be able to link the patient information across the providers, across the state, making it much easier to receive care from different practices, at different kinds of facilities, in different locations, all across New York," according to Dr. Howard Zucker, New York's Acting Commissioner of Health.

Zucker also said, during a brief stop in Buffalo Tuesday, that the state exchange will eliminate redundant tests and keep people from repeating their medical history for each provider saving valuable time.

"Doctors as we all know, their time is tight. So the last thing you want to do is lose some of the time by filling out paperwork," said Zucker.  "Creating a statewide network is expected to save hundreds of millions of dollars across the state and it will make healthcare more affordable to New Yorkers. It will also make it better quality care."

The state has not released a timeline for completing the project.