Frequently Asked Questions about THINC
What is THINC?
THINCó the Taconic Health Information Network and Communityó is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to improving the quality, safety and efficiency of health care for the benefit of the people of the Hudson Valley region of New York State.
It defines and sponsors research to advance improved patient care delivery models using health information technology; structures and implements pay-for-performance criteria associated with physician practice quality initiatives; and governs the regionís secure health Information exchange network.
What is THINCís mission?
THINCís mission is to advance health care quality and coordination of care among health care organizations in the Hudson Valley. THINC seeks to achieve its mission through sponsorship of health care transformation initiatives; health information technology adoption and secure health information exchange; and activities that enable population health and quality improvement. THINC is committed to rigorous independent evaluation of the efforts it sponsors.
What does THINC do?
THINC starts with the foundation of health information technology and then builds on that base for quality improvement that benefits the entire community. Specifically, THINC
- brings together the payers of health care to align payment incentives for quality improvement;
- sponsors a secure health information exchange network and supports consumer privacy;
- supports providers in the adoption and use of interoperable electronic health records;
- offers leadership and guidance to the provider community by managing population health improvement activities like care coordination and adoption of new care models; and
- partners in research to measure, evaluate and disseminate the work.
When was THINC founded?
THINC was founded in November, 2005.
What isTHINCís geographic area?
THINC serves the Hudson Valley area of New York, including Ulster, Dutchess, Putnam, Westchester, Rockland, Sullivan and Orange Counties. You can find more details about the service area here.
What grants has THINC received?
THINC received a $5 million HEAL 1 grant award in 2006 to support implementation of electronic health records in physiciansí offices. Under the HEAL 1 grant, practices can receive software licenses for the eClinicalWorks electronic health records system as well as support services, to include IT coordination, practice consultation, local implementation and support, clinical workflow redesign and community connectivity.
To support development of an enhanced health information exchange for the Hudson Valley, THINC subsequently secured $11 million in HEAL 5 grant awards. On the regional level, THINC has been an active subcontractor on phases 1 and 2 of the National Health Information Network (NHIN) and CDC HIE projects, garnering smaller sub-grant awards in amounts of $200,000 per project. Additionally, Taconic IPA continues to support THINC with annual administrative grant funding.
To support a care coordination program that will focus on patients with affective disorders,including depression, THINC secured $7.8 million in HEAL 17 grant funds in 2010. The HEAL 17 grants support projects that build on health infrastructure across New York State that improve coordination of care for patients with complex health problems, with a focus on improving delivery and coordination of mental health, long-term care and home care.
How is THINC governed?
THINC is governed by a multi-stakeholder board of directors . The organizational structure also includes an anchor partner, MedAllies, a health information service provider. MedAllies manages all technical aspects of the organization, including the day to day implementation and operations on behalf of and under the direction of THINC. Executive Director Susan Stuard directs the strategic planning, operations, and finance activities for THINCís health information technology and health information exchange efforts in the Hudson Valley.
What is health information exchange?
Health Information Exchange (HIE) is the secure exchange of a patientís medical information among approved providers, payers and patients. Ideally, multiple providers caring for the same patient would share and exchange relevant information, thus providing that patient with streamlined, more efficient care. Billing information would be transmitted electronically, thereby reducing paperwork and administrative costs. HIE allows the patientís record to be stored and accessed from multiple locations. (Source: Health Information Security and Privacy Collaboration, Master Document of Grouped Contract Provisions. 2009.)
What are electronic health records?
Electronic health records (EHRs) are a secure, real‐time, point of‐care, patient‐centered information resource for clinicians. The EHR aids cliniciansí decision making by providing access to patient health record information where and when they need it and by incorporating evidence‐based decision support. The EHR automates and streamlines the clinicians' workflow, closing loops in communication and response that result in delays or gaps in care. The EHR also supports the collection of data for uses other than direct clinical care, such as billing, quality management, outcomes reporting, resource planning, and public health disease surveillance and reporting. (Source: Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society)