Doctors in Western New York have a new, electronic way to access patient records with the hope of reducing medical errors and avoiding costly duplicative tests. The HEALTHeLINK, the Western New York Clinical Information Exchange, is a step toward Gov. David Paterson's goal of creating a unified statewide system where doctors can access records that are now scattered among different clinics and offices.
"The emergency room doctor who's never seen that patient before ever will have access to their information, their medication history, any lab work, any radiology reports," HEALTHeLINK Executive Director Dan Porreca said.
Addressing privacy concerns, Porreca said the electronic files are more secure than paper, since only authorized people will have access to the Web-based system and to a patient's records.
"If it's a paper chart, you never know who's looked at that," Porreca said. "In electronic form, we can track who's looking at what."