June 2017
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Welcome, WISHIN Pulse Participants!
  • Spooner Health System in Spooner, Wisconsin is live contributing labs, radiology reports and transcriptions.
  • Aurora Health Care based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin is live using the Patient Activity Report (PAR).
Who Can Use WISHIN Pulse?
As they are assisting clients in the onboarding process, WISHIN implementation specialists are frequently asked, "Who on my staff is allowed to access WISHIN?" The short and simple answer is: anyone who has access to patient health records and is involved in providing care to patients or supporting provision of care. These can include MDs, advanced practitioners such as PAs and APNPs, nursing staff, medical assistants, care managers, and intake clerks.

Similar to EHR systems, WISHIN Pulse has role-based security- defining access to specific types of data by the role of the user. The clients decide the roles each of their authorized users will be assigned.

Most organizations start using WISHIN in their emergency departments (EDs) since that's the scenario in which it's most likely providers will encounter patients who they've never seen before or who hasn't been seen in that hospital or health system before. Additionally, if a patient shows up in the ED unable to communicate, providers would be able to gather critical information on the patient such as allergies or recent test results, which could affect how the ED team proceeds with the patient's care.

Outside of the ED there are many users who could benefit from access to WISHIN Pulse:
  • Primary-care physicians and clinic staff could use WISHIN Pulse to see results and care summaries from hospitals or specialty clinics to which they've referred patients to.
  • On the other side of that exchange, providers at specialty clinics could get a better look at the complete medical history of their referred patients from the referring providers.
  • With access to WISHIN Pulse, skilled-nursing and long-term-care staff could review medications and recent procedures before or as patients arrive rather than waiting hours to have the information faxed or taking extra time on the phone trying to track down the records.
  • Care managers can use WISHIN to see a complete picture of where their patients have been receiving care and what care they've received.
  • Hospital pharmacists could review allergies, results and diagnoses and recent medications.
WISHIN Pulse can be thought of as a supplement to an organization's electronic health record (EHR) system, providing visibility into care delivered elsewhere. The information providers can see in WISHIN is simply patient records from another organization that has also agreed to the terms of participation with WISHIN as to permitted uses of the data. WISHIN Pulse participants agree to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).

If you're the WISHIN administrator for an organization and wondering if you should add more users or, if you work at a health organization and would like to enable end-user access to WISHIN, contact your implementation specialist at (608) 274-1820

HIE as a Critical Backup Tool for Health Care Organizations


It's every health care organization's nightmare: a cyber-attack that threatens the security of patient data. Unfortunately, this nightmare is becoming a reality as was seen last month with the WannaCry ransomware attack and a new malware attack just this week.

When Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) in Buffalo, New York suffered a malware attack in April it shut down a majority of the hospital's IT systems, including the electronic health record system (EHR), as a precaution. Fortunately, ECMC was a participant with HEALTHeLINK, the regional health information exchange (HIE) in Western New York. Almost immediately after the attack hospital staff were able to securely access patient data through the HIE (read more on this case at HealthData Management's website).

EHR System Failure & Natural Disasters

Two other examples of an HIE used as an emergency backup to an EHR were featured in the March 2017 issue of Connections: Door County Medical Center turned to WISHIN for access to patient data in the hours after its EHR failed to restore during routine maintenance. Several HIEs in other states have stepped up to provide critical patient information after natural disasters compromised paper records, local servers or entire hospital buildings, requiring patients to seek care outside of their typical system.

While the details of the cases vary, it's clear that HIEs are positioned to function as comprehensive backup tools in crisis situations. If your organization is contributing data to WISHIN, it will be there for your staff to access in an emergency.

Not sure if your organization is prepared to use WISHIN as an emergency backup or want to learn more about WISHIN's services? Contact us at (608) 274-1820.

Other News
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5 takeaways from Stanford Medicine's report on the present and future of digital health

The Washington Post
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Wisconsin Statewide Health Information Network | Company | (608) 274-1820 | wishin@wishin.org | www.wishin.org | PO Box 259038 | Madison, WI 53725-9038