Person Data Sharing Shines in NYC COVID Response

A strong person data foundation connecting people and their health information is helping New York City accelerate its pandemic response, as described in a recent online panel featuring Healthix, the largest public health information exchange (HIE) in the nation, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), and Verato Chief Product Officer Joaquim Neto.

The panel reinforced that containing COVID-19 is a person data problem and illustrated the importance of an information-sharing infrastructure in fighting the pandemic. Healthix CEO Todd Rogow discussed how he and his team have partnered with the city and state in support of COVID-19 containment.

Listen to the webinar replay to hear all the examples shared. Here are a few highlights:

  • At the peak of the pandemic in NYC, the city’s 311 missing person hotline (originally launched in the wake of 9/11) was invoked to help reunify families. In partnership with Healthix, the NYC Emergency Management automated discovery of which hospital the person was at and empowered NYPD to follow up to reunify families.
  • In the early days of the pandemic, and for several months after, Healthix helped exchange patient information and pushed out more than 8 million real-time clinical alerts to care managers and care providers. Access to this information helped health teams better understand and act on patient needs.
  • Most recently, Healthix began working with the city DOHMH team in support of contact tracing.

Todd emphasized that high-quality data continues to be crucial to New York City’s COVID-19 response. “The thing that makes this all possible is that we can properly identify and match information about these patients and that’s thanks to our patient matching service, Verato,” he remarked.

Immediately following this conversation, I read a recent New York Times article indicating that nationally, 80% of coronavirus test results are missing demographic information and half do not have addresses. The information-sharing networks in NY and the commitment that they’ve made to a strong data infrastructure are a model that can help other states overcome these types of data challenges.