Tired of completing the same medical forms? You can change that with HEALTHeLINK.


By Daniel Porreca, Executive Director HEALTHeLINK

Imagine you’re lying unconscious in the ER. Because you can’t speak, you can’t tell the attending physician you’re a diabetic. You can’t let anyone know you were recently hospitalized with an infection. And you can’t tell anyone you’re allergic to a specific medication.

Until recently, health care providers had to rely on information that you had with you at the time you presented to them for treatment. But now all of that is changing because of HEALTHeLINK.

HEALTHeLINK is a collaboration of the region’s hospitals, health insurance plans, physician offices and other health care organizations to improve the delivery of care, enhance outcomes, and help control health care costs. It allows your providers to access life-saving information about you electronically. And it helps ensure that your physicians can administer treatment safely to you and your loved ones by providing them with the tools that they need, when they need it most – at the time they are caring for you.

So how does it work?

When you provide your consent through a patient authorization, the 3,400 physicians and providers currently participating in HEALTHeLINK can see your medical record if you go to any of them for treatment. They can securely access your lab results, tests, radiology reports and images, prescriptions, and a wide range of other health information to assist them in making treatment decisions. Being able to view your most up-to-date records and test results allows your doctors to view a complete picture of your medical history from all your health care providers. For example, when you visit your primary care physician, access to your radiology reports or lab results that may have been ordered by a specialist is available. There is no longer a need to bring those reports or X-rays with you to your doctor visits. In an emergency situation immediate access to your most current health information could be vital.

For years, physicians have had to share information by fax or by transferring files and x-ray films back and forth. This frequently resulted in information being lost, misdirected or even sent to the wrong provider. The security of your private medical information was anything but certain. With HEALTHeLINK, only authorized licensed healthcare providers are permitted to access the information they need in order to treat you. Additionally, access is monitored and tracked to ensure that no one inappropriately reviews your information.

It is Up to You to provide medical professionals access to your information.

It is important to understand that only you can provide medical professionals with the authorization to access the information they need to care for you more effectively. Western New York has a community-wide consent, where you only need to authorize your consent once to have it registered within the HEALTHeLINK system.

Thousands of Western New Yorkers have already signed a HEALTHeLINK consent form. If you haven’t already done so, consider signing one for yourself, and encourage members of your family to sign one, too. Ask at your next doctor’s visit or download a form today at www.getlinkedwny.com.