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A Bidirectional National DPP Referral Platform for Central New York

State: New York

Submitted Date: 2018

Public Health Issue
  • Preventive services, like the National Diabetes Prevention Program lifestyle change program, can help people reduce their disease risk and improve their overall health.
  • To enroll people in needed lifestyle change programs and create a communication loop between the referring provider and the sites delivering the program requires an approach that extends beyond the primary care delivery system.
  • Implementing such a bidirectional strategy entails establishing infrastructure, paying attention to privacy laws and coordination.
Program Action
  • New York has eight Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIO) which oversee organizations participating in health information exchange. In the past several years, RHIOs and the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) successfully collaborated on projects such as developing prediabetes registries and the accompanying alert mechanisms for healthcare providers.
  • The NYSDOH, in cooperation with the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors, implemented a state engagement meeting (StEM) to help engage their network of partners in developing and implementing a diabetes prevention action plan for scaling and sustaining the National DPP.
  • RHIO representatives attended both days of the StEM where they joined the Screening, Testing and Referral workgroup in discussing the potential of using health information exchanges for development of bi-directional referral systems for the National DPP in New York.
  • The Central New York RHIO,HealtheConnections, a member of the NYS Diabetes Prevention Action Network and a sub awardee under New York’s State and Local Public Health Actions to Prevent Obesity, Diabetes, and Heart Disease and Stroke (DP14-1422) funding, developed a referral platform embedded in their health information exchange. The NYSDOH provided technical assistance and resources for this work.
  • The new RHIO referral platform enables bi-directional sharing of National DPP participant information between Central New York medical practices and lifestyle change program providers. 
  • Participating organizations share the information electronically according to accepted healthcare information technology standards that promote secure transmission.
  • To evaluate the new platform’s utility, the RHIO implemented a three-month pilot project with a local primary care practice and a local YMCA branch that delivers the National DPP lifestyle change program. 
  • The 45 National DPP referrals generated during the three-month pilot resulted in formation of three National DPP lifestyle change program classes.
  • Two more counties began supporting referrals to three additional self-management programs using this bidirectional system, following the pilot.
Susan Millstein
New York State Department of Health