Here you can find eHealth resources that will help you to make informed, meaningful choices about your health information.
New York is reaching out to consumers and the public across the state to help you get informed about eHealth, and be able to make important choices about sharing your health information through New York's developing eHealth networks.
Here, get direct online access to a variety of consumer education and outreach materials NY has developed to get the word out about eHealth in New York and what it means for you.
View and/or download these consumer education materials for New Yorkers here.
RHIO and other eHealth Projects Map - NYS is a national leader in health IT, and is supporting eHealth projects around the state through its HEAL (Health Efficiency and Affordability Law for New Yorkers) grant program. Here is a map of these projects by region:
Links to RHIOs in NY - Right now eHealth is becoming more available in areas throughout the state, as New York builds what will become the Statewide Health Information Network for New York (called the SHIN-NY). Interoperable electronic health information exchange (HIE) networks are becoming a reality, as networked health information systems, known as Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIOs), are being developed and "going live" in a growing number of communities. RHIOs give health care providers the ability to share their patients' health information with each other electronically - if and when they have your consent for them to do so.
Find out if there is a RHIO near you:
New York State eHealth Policy Developments
Here are resources that can help you find out about the statewide policies New York State is establishing to govern eHealth (health information exchange) networks being developed in New York:
Privacy and Security Policy Framework
A top priority of New York's health information technology strategy is ensuring that its eHealth policies protect privacy, strengthen security, ensure affirmative and informed consent, and support the right of New Yorkers to have greater control over and access to their personal health information as foundational requirements for interoperable health information exchange. New York has developed a Statewide Policy Guidance that sets out the policies the state has established to govern its eHealth network. The Statewide Policy Guidance includes the following:
- White Paper on Consumer Consent - This explains the bedrock policy decisions New York has made in establishing the policy framework for New York's developing statewide eHealth network. Core policy decisions included: ensure affirmative and informed consent for access to individuals' health information through eHealth networks (RHIOs), protect privacy, strengthen security, and support the right of New Yorkers to have greater control over and access to their personal health information.
- The Privacy and Security v2.0 Policies and Procedures for RHIOs and their Participants in NYS. (The Privacy and Security Policies for RHIOs and their Participants in New York State - Version 2.0.) This is the full set of Privacy and Security Policies and Procedures New York has adopted to govern health information exchange through NY's eHealth network. These policies establish the requirements for consent, authorization, access, authentication, audit, breach and patient engagement. All state funded health IT initiatives are required to comply with the statewide policy guidance. Version 2.0 of the Policies and Procedures were adopted in November of 2009. Click here to view version 1.0 of the Privacy and Security Policies and Procedures for RHIOs and their Participants in New York State that were first adopted in November of 2008.
- RHIO Model Consent Form (.doc) (.pdf) - Doctors and others involved in your care may see and share your medical records electronically through New York's eHealth network only if you choose to give your consent, in a consent form signed by you, that says who is allowed to obtain access to your information through the computer networks operated by RHIOs. This is the standard RHIO consent form that RHIOs and their participants must start using to obtain individuals' consent for health care providers to see and obtain access to their medical records through New York's eHealth network. As of June 1, 2009 RHIOs and their participants must use this form or a state-approved substitute for new consents.
Policy Development Process in New York State
Here is information about the policy development process that New York is supporting to develop the statewide privacy and security policies that govern interoperable health information exchange through New York's eHealth network:
The Key Leaders and Stakeholders:
- The New York State Department of Health and its Office of Health Information Technology Transformation (OHITT) work in partnership with the New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC) to develop common policies, standards and technical approaches for NY's health information infrastructure, including privacy and security policies that apply to RHIOs's eHealth networks across the state.
The Policy Development Process:
- New York Health Information Security and Privacy Collaborative - New York State began laying the groundwork for deciding what privacy and security policies should be established to govern the state's ehealth network through the New York Health Information Security and Privacy Collaborative (HISPC) initiative. In it, New York facilitated a statewide dialogue about how to protect privacy and strengthen security of patients' health information in an electronic and interconnected health care delivery system. It did this as part of a national initiative that was funded by the federal Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
This work led NY to adopt its core policy on consent: each patient has the right to make an informed decision about whether or not to allow health care providers (and other health organizations) to get access to, and share, his or her medical records electronically through the state's eHealth network. To ensure that New Yorkers are able to make meaningful consent decisions about the disclosure of their personal health care information in a health information exchange environment, affirmative consent by the patient, in a consent form that includes the information needed for people to make an informed choice to give or deny their consent, is necessary. This and other key policy decisions are explained in the White Paper on Consumer Consent.
- The policy development process has continued under the leadership of the NYS Department of Health (DOH) and the New York eHealth Collaborative, in partnership with DOH, through what is called the Statewide Collaboration Process (SCP). Through the SCP, the state is establishing the common policies, standards, and technical approaches for New York's health information infrastructure. A comprehensive set of health information policies has been developed and released as part of New York's Version 1.0 Statewide Policy Guidance. All state funded health IT initiatives are required to comply with the statewide policy guidance.
National eHealth Policy Developments
Here are resources that can help you find out what is happening nationally with eHealth/health information technology policy developments:
Here are links to other sites that have lots of great information about eHealth in New York State as well as in the rest of the country.
New York Sites:
Government (including federal) sites:
The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) provides guidance to the Secretary of U.S. Department of Health & Human Services other leadership in the Department to develop a national health information technology infrastructure.
The ONC not only coordinates a variety of programs to implement HITECH but also supports the efforts of several related initiatives to facilitate nationwide adoption of health IT. These initiatives include:
Our Q&A Section is still under construction, and coming soon! In the meantime, here are answers to some common questions people have about eHealth:
One good source of answers to New Yorkers' questions is the brochure "Better Information Means Better Care - A Guide to eHealth for New Yorkers." Click here to download the Word version of the brochure.
We are also developing additional questions and answers that we will post here soon.
Many of the RHIOs in New York have devoted sections to consumer questions and concerns on their respective websites. Take a look - you may find the answers to your questions.
Also, many of the websites we have listed in our Useful Links section include frequently asked questions (FAQs) and answers.