Q4 2017 Newsletter - Interview: Breaking the Glass with Sue-Ann Villano

By Hannan Sayed, MS-AHI

Hannan Sayed, MS-AHI and HIMSS member recently interviewed Sue-Ann Villano, MPA, Senior Director of Client Services, Marketing & Outreach, at the NY Care Information Gateway. He asked her what was a major change that was implemented within her Patient Engagement initiatives.

One major improvement has been the implementation of a process known as “Breaking the Glass.” This process occurs when a clinician determines that a situation is an emergency and gains access to vital information through the RHIO. In the Emergency Department, the doctor may encounter an unconscious patient and only know his or her name from identification found on their person. If there is not a consent form on file in the RHIO for the patient or if there is “emergency only” consent status on file, the clinician may attest in the system that this is an emergency and access information from the RHIO until that patient is no longer considered in an “emergency state.” All “Break the Glass” activity is audited to ensure the privilege is not abused and this ability is only issued to clinicians working in organizations that provide emergency services. Once the situation is no longer an emergency, RHIO representatives are required to follow up with the clinician and document the account. There have been countless occasions when “breaking the glass” has enabled clinicians to treat patients more effectively. The NYCIG RHIO is always looking to better understand and meet the needs of providers who are granted this role in the system.

NYCIG wants to achieve five different criteria:

  1. The first is to advance interoperable health information technology to improve the quality and safety of healthcare and reduce costs.
  2. Second, they want to advance, develop and operate a health information infrastructure based on a community-driven model. This model is open to all healthcare providers and facilitates the secure exchange of patient health information among disparate clinicians, other authorized entities and patients in real-time.
  3. Third, they are working to facilitate the exchange of clinical information among health information users enabling clinicians to have access to the information necessary to guide clinical decisions and care coordination.
  4. The fourth criterion is to promote a system where information follows the healthcare consumer so they are at the center of their care.

Finally, they wish to engage in the Statewide Health Information Network of NY (SHIN-NY) to create the ability to share data across the continuum of care, resulting in higher quality and better health outcomes in a more cost-effective environment for patients within the state of New York.

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