After a Dynamic Five Months as Interim Executive Director of HealthlinkNY, Staci Romeo Lands the Job Officially

HealthlinkNY Continues Its Rapid Growth, Increasing Provider Users by 18%; Patient Consents by 19.6%; and Patient Record-Lookups by 57.6% Since January 2018

May 31st, 2018 - Staci Romeo, MBA, has been appointed Executive Director of HealthlinkNY, announced Rajesh Davé, MD, MBA, Chairman of the HealthlinkNY Board of Directors. Mrs. Romeo has been serving as Interim Executive Director since January 1, 2018 after the departure of the founding President and Chief Executive Officer. Mrs. Romeo formerly served as the organization’s Comptroller and, most recently, Senior Vice President.

“Staci stepped in to ensure that HealthlinkNY did not miss a beat after the change in leadership, and then quickly executed several initiatives that have led to rapid growth of our Health Information Exchange,” Dr. Davé explained. “She developed a vision for this organization’s future, and a solid plan to get us there.”

Under her leadership, HealthlinkNY renewed its focus on the “customer,” or, in this case, the providers who use the Health Information Exchange (HIE) to view their patients’ complete medical histories. Through the HIE, they can connect to their patients’ other healthcare providers. To make the HIE more provider-friendly, Mrs. Romeo reorganized staff to create a team  dedicated to serving existing provider users; expanded the team dedicated to adding new providers; and moved HealthlinkNY’s help desk team so it is supervised by the Chief Information Officer. HealthlinkNY has also begun offering providers generous incentives to connect and contribute data.

“We want providers to sign up and use the HIE,” Mrs. Romeo said. “The underlying mission of HealthlinkNY is to make people and communities healthier. When providers can see their patient’s complete health picture, and when they can have quick, easy, and secure access to the health records they need from the patient’s other providers, then healthcare quality is improved, healthcare costs are reduced, and the patient receives the best treatment possible. That’s what makes this job so fulfilling.”

By the Numbers

Mrs. Romeo explained that HealthlinkNY’s staff has embraced the organization’s new direction and run with it. Since the beginning of the year, HealthlinkNY has added 53 new provider organizations to the HIE, an increase of 18%, bringing its total number of participating provider organizations to 341.  Mrs. Romeo noted that in the first five months of 2018, HealthlinkNY already has exceeded or nearly met participation goals set by the New York eHealth Collaborative for all of 2018.

Providers are using the HIE more too. Since the beginning of the year, providers have pulled records for 377,175 patients for the first five months of 2018, compared to 239,311 for the same period a year earlier—a 57.6% increase—and compared to 624,822 for all of 2017.

HealthlinkNY also shows strong growth in another key metric: patient consents. HealthlinkNY is working with providers to collect consent forms from patients, who can choose to allow; not allow; or allow only in emergencies access to their HIE records. As of May 24, 2018, HealthlinkNY had collected 1,540,864 total patient consents. This number is up 19.6%, from yearend 2017, and includes patients who live in HealthlinkNY’s 13-county service area in the Hudson Valley, Catskills, and Southern Tier, as well as other New York State counties.

“The more provider organizations that participate, the more patients who consent, and the more times the HIE is used, the more valuable the HIE becomes,” Mrs. Romeo said. “Our team is doing an amazing job, and it is an honor to lead them.”

About Staci Romeo, MBA

Mrs. Romeo joined HealthlinkNY in 2014 as Compliance Manager and quickly was promoted to Comptroller in 2015. She was appointed Senior Vice President in February 2017 and oversaw finance, compliance, contracts, and security. She was named Interim Executive Director in January 2018 prior to assuming the permanent role as Executive Director in May 2018. Previously, Mrs. Romeo held positions at e-Systems Group and Vail-Ballou Press.

Mrs. Romeo earned a B.S. summa cum laude in Human Development at Binghamton University (SUNY), where she also received an Executive M.B.A. magna cum laude and a Lean 6 Sigma Green Belt Certification.

 

About HealthlinkNY

HealthlinkNY is a Qualified Entity (QE), funded by the New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC), which operates the Health Information Exchange (HIE) connecting providers and patients in 13 counties in the Hudson Valley, Catskills, and Southern Tier of New York. The HealthlinkNY HIE offers electronic access to patients’ community-wide health records and serves as the region’s access point to the Statewide Health Information Network of New York (SHIN-NY), supporting collaboration between healthcare providers across the state. As the region’s hub of health information and improvement, HealthlinkNY supports healthcare delivery reform (DSRIP) and fosters collaboration among public and private health plans. Through the HealthlinkNY Community Network, the organization also operates population health improvement programs (PHIPs) in the Hudson Valley and the Southern Tier of New York.

The HealthlinkNY HIE allows all of a patient’s participating providers to safely and securely access the patient’s medical records with the patient’s consent throughout New York State. With HealthlinkNY, providers have a clearer picture of their patient’s health history, including primary care visits, hospital records, discharge orders, ER visits, specialist consultations, lab and imaging reports, behavioral health services, long-term care records, and home care visits.