October 6, 2008

Bronx RHIO First to “Go Live” in New York City; Now Sharing Patient Data From 55 Care Sites

The Bronx RHIO, representing 80 percent of the providers in this borough of 1.36 million residents, went "live" in July, 2008, becoming the first RHIO (regional health information organization) in New York City to begin exchanging patient data. To date, the Bronx RHIO has received consent forms from over 4,000 patients, and has trained 79 "early adopter" clinicians. There are now 55 care locations in the Bronx whose patients' clinical data can be accessed with appropriate patient consent. These inpatient, outpatient and long term care locations treat 500,000 patients. An additional 70 care sites belonging to other Bronx RHIO participants have "view only" access to patient data.

"The Bronx RHIO is slowly, but steadily, breaking new ground in the improvement of patient care in New York," said Barbara Radin, executive director. "While other RHIOs in the metro area are under development, we are the first to go live and roll out our system to the benefit of patients. The Bronx represents a very large population by any measure. It is the equivalent of the tenth largest city in the nation, so we are very excited about the scale and the number of patients it will help."

"This launch puts the Bronx RHIO at the forefront of bringing medical care in the borough into the Information Age," said Don Ashkenase, executive vice president - corporate, at Montefiore Medical Center and chairman of the Bronx RHIO board. "While many individual health care organizations in the Bronx have established their own electronic medical record systems in recent years, the Bronx RHIO makes possible for the first time the exchange of patient data between these organizations and brings health information technology to many providers who until now have not had access to it."

"Secure data sharing through the RHIO, especially for a patient who receives care at multiple sites, allows physicians and nurses to instantly view critical patient information from these multiple sources," said Scott Cooper MD, chief executive officer of St. Barnabas Hospital and a Bronx RHIO board member. "With this integrated patient record, physicians are able to provide better care while preventing prescription errors, avoiding duplicate testing, improving efficiency and reducing costs."

What Patient Data is Exchanged?

The initial patient data being exchanged by the Bronx RHIO's hospitals, out patient clinics, physicians' offices, nursing homes and home care agencies includes: laboratory results, prescribed and dispensed medications, diagnoses, procedures, encounters, and demographic information. If patients do not sign the consent form, the Bronx RHIO cannot exchange their private health information and physicians will not have a complete picture of the patient's condition and prior treatment.

Once a patient signs a consent form allowing the Bronx RHIO participants access to his or her private health information, the Bronx RHIO has a number of policies and administrative checks to ensure the information remains secure.


The Bronx RHIO funding, since its inception in 2006, has come from three main sources: a $4.1 million start-up grant from New York State in 2006; an additional $8.9 million state grant in 2008; a $132,288 grant from HRSA (U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration) and contributions from participating member organizations. The Bronx RHIO web site contains general information about the organization. It is available at www.bronxrhio.org.

Technology Platforms

The Bronx RHIO's technology platform is built upon the dbMotion(TM) Solution (www.dbmotion.com) with additional services and applications provided by Emerging Health Information Technology (www.emerginghealthit.com), Initiate Systems (www.initiatesystems.com) and RxHUB (www.rxhub.net).

Participating Members

Hospitals: Bronx Lebanon Hospital, Children's Hospital at Montefiore, Jacobi Medical Center, James J. Peters Bronx Veterans Administration Medical Center, Lincoln Medical & Mental Health Center, Montefiore Medical Center, North Central Bronx Hospital, Our Lady of Mercy Medical Center, St Barnabas Hospital.

Community Health Centers: Bronx Community Health Network, Dr. Martin Luther King Health Center, Institute for Family Health, Mercy Community Care, MIC-Women's Health Services, Morrisania Neighborhood Family Care Center, Morris Heights Health Center, Segundo Ruiz Belvis Neighborhood Family Care Center, Union Community Health Center, Urban Health Plan.

Long-Term Care Facilities: Beth Abraham Family of Health Services, Bronx Lebanon Special Care Center, Hebrew Home for the Aged at Riverdale, James J. Peters VA Medical Center, Jewish Home and Hospital - Bronx Division, Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Campus, St. Barnabas Nursing Home.

Home Care Services: Beth Abraham Family of Health Services, Montefiore Home Health Care, Visiting Nurse Regional Health Care System, Visiting Nurse Service of New York.