Geographical distribution of patients visiting a health information exchange in New York City
- 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, USA
- 2NYCLIX, Inc., New York, USA
- 3Department of Information Systems, New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York, USA
- Correspondence to Arit Onyile, Department of Emergency Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, 1 Gustave L. Levy Place, Box 1620, New York, NY 10029, USA;
- Received 18 July 2012
- Accepted 6 October 2012
- Published Online First 27 October 2012
Objective For a health information exchange (HIE) organization to succeed in any given region, it is important to understand the optimal catchment area for the patient population it is serving. The objective of this analysis was to understand the geographical distribution of the patients being served by one HIE organization in New York City (NYC).
Materials and Methods Patient demographic data were obtained from the New York Clinical Information Exchange (NYCLIX), a regional health information organization (RHIO) representing most of the major medical centers in the borough of Manhattan in NYC. Patients’ home address zip codes were used to create a research dataset with aggregate counts of patients by US county and international standards organization country. Times Square was designated as the geographical center point of the RHIO for distance calculations.
Results Most patients (87.7%) live within a 30 mile radius from Times Square and there was a precipitous drop off of patients visiting RHIO-affiliated facilities at distances greater than 100 miles. 43.6% of patients visiting NYCLIX facilities were from the other NYC boroughs rather than from Manhattan itself (31.9%).
Discussion Most patients who seek care at members of NYCLIX live within a well-defined area and a clear decrease in patients visiting NYCLIX sites with distance was identified. Understanding the geographical distribution of patients visiting the large medical centers in the RHIO can inform the RHIO's planning as it looks to add new participant organizations in the surrounding geographical area.