Hospital and Health Plan CEOs Sign Patient Consent Forms to Kick Off Industry Drive

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Goal of drive is to secure 10,000 signed consent forms from hospital and health plan employees, Drive continues the momentum from recent $16.1 million Beacon Community Award from Obama Administration to HEALTHeLINK.

The CEOs of the region’s leading hospital systems and health plans who also represent the founding organizations of HEALTHeLINK, the Western New York Clinical Information Exchange, today launched a month-long drive to increase the number of completed patient consent/election forms. The CEOs gathered at Computer Task Group (CTG) headquarters in downtown Buffalo to sign their own consent/election forms as part of an effort to obtain an additional 10,000 forms from their employees. By signing a consent/election form, a patient indicates their choice as to whether or not they would like their clinical information accessible to physicians and other healthcare professionals through HEALTHeLINK. It is to the patient’s benefit to have his or her wishes about access to their information acknowledge before they are faced with a medical emergency.

“Today marks yet another example of the unprecedented level of collaboration among the leaders of the region’s health care system,” said Daniel Porreca, executive director, HEALTHeLINK. “This collaboration has been critical to the success of HEALTHeLINK which was illustrated through the recent announcement by the Obama Administration where our organization was awarded $16.1 million, which was the largest Beacon Community Program allocation in the United States.”

Among the CEOs who signed their consent/election forms at the event at CTG were Alphonso O’Neil-White, president and CEO of BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York; Joseph McDonald, president and CEO of the Catholic Health System; Jody Lomeo, CEO of Erie County Medical Center Corporation; Dr. Michael Cropp, president and CEO of Independent Health and the chairman of the board of directors of HEALTHeLINK; James Kaskie, president and CEO of Kaleida Health; Dr. Donald Trump, president and CEO of Roswell Park Cancer Institute; and Art Wingerter, president and CEO of Univera Healthcare.

“There is no doubt that HEALTHeLINK is among the leading regional health information organizations in the country, and credit for that goes to these CEOs who had the foresight to provide the human and financial resources to bring us to the level of success we are at today,” Porreca concluded.

To date, more than 90,000 individuals throughout Western New York have signed consent/election forms, with the vast majority agreeing to have potentially life-saving information available to physicians where and when it’s needed most.

Often patients are asked to acknowledge their choice in their physician’s office; however, patients need not wait for a visit to the doctor. Patients who sign consent forms outside a clinical setting must have a witness countersign the document as well. To learn more about HEALTHeLINK and the patient consent process, health care consumers are encouraged to call 716-206-0993 ext. 311.

Media Contact: 

Annie Deck-Miller, Senior Media Relations Manager
716-845-8593; annie.deck-miller@roswellpark.org