HIE Critical To Care Continuity In Natural Disasters

Dan Bowman | FierceHealthIT | November 2, 2012

Hospitals' electronic records intact after Hurricane Sandy

As some hospitals in the New York metropolitan area were forced to evacuate patients and send them to nearby facilities in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, health information exchange proved to be a vital tool in making those transitions as smooth as possible.

David Whitlinger, executive director of the New York eHealth Collaborative, the organization that oversees the Statewide Health Information Network of New York (SHIN-NY), told Healthcare IT News this week that hospitals accepting such patients have been able to maintain continuity of care without having to do what he called "anything boots-on-the-street explicit."

"It's a matter of people utilizing the services--where they might not have had access to information, they now do, as long as they can get an Internet connection," Whitlinger said. "That's the power of the virtual network."