The Statewide Health Information Network of New York , also referred to as SHIN-NY, is a State-sponsored secure database network that is intended to house patient records, clinical data as well as other critical health care information across the State. The network is designed to be an “information highway” which will enable New York clinicians and patients access to a comprehensive medical record and supplementary functions from virtually any location. After several years of slow progress, the project is finally gaining momentum.
Most recently, the New York State Department of Health made progress on proposed regulations for SHIN-NY at the end of July 2014. Furthermore, the New York State legislature allocated funding in the state budget for SHIN-NY with up to $75 million in state and federal funding to cover the initial phase expected to be in place by the end of 2015. These developments suggest that the project is moving forward and stakeholders should take this opportunity to get up to speed on SHIN-NY and determine how SHIN-NY can help them improve patient care and otherwise benefit their business models.
SHIN-NY was originally developed to meet the needs of the New York health care system as an information technology networking tool which will enable sharing of health care records and related information among patients, providers, public health officials and the rest of the health care industry as a means of improving the efficiency and quality of care among the State’s various participants in the health care industry. As a result, SHIN-NY has been dubbed a “public utility” of clinical health information with participating health care providers growing the network by adding relevant information. The proposed regulations for the structure of SHIN-NY are among the first health information technology (“HIT”) regulations proposed by the State and detail the roles and requirements for the various Regional Health Information Organizations or RHIOs throughout the State, as well as other HIT Qualified Entities or QEs authorized to participate as health information exchange organizations under SHIN-NY.
With the Department of Health and the state legislature moving forward with implementing regulations and budget appropriations, the structure and funding of SHIN-NY appears to be on firm footing. Future plans call for collaboration with the HIT industry to develop software products and applications. These will make use of anonymized clinical and patient meta-data that SHIN-NY is to house and thereby offer technology innovations to help pave the way for the future of health care. Further information on SHIN-NY is available here and the proposed regulations may be accessed here at page 377.