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Keeping track of health information for children and the elderly has always been a complicated task. Care for these groups has slowly moved to the Internet to make their personal information easier to manage and access by their loved ones. But does that convenience endanger the privacy of their information at all?

This week on “Take Care,” hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen talk to Jonathan Schwartz about the benefits of using a new website to manage loved ones’ health information. Schwartz is the co-founder and chief executive officer of CareZone, an online service that enables families to organize care of their relatives.

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Doctors are less likely to order unneeded repeat tests when they have patient information at their fingertips. A study in the American Journal of Managed Care shows use of an electronic health information exchange reduces repeat medical imaging.

X-rays, CT scans, ultrasounds and other medical imaging test are useful in patient diagnosis, but doctors say they can be overused.

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The New York State Palliative Care Collaborative was formed recently to promote more access to this specialized type of medical care that provides relief to patients with serious diseases.

Palliative care emphasizes improving quality of life while a person copes with chronic and serious health conditions.

Michael Burgess, New York government relations director of the American Cancer Society, says the collaborative wants to assure comfort care is a right to all seriously ill patients.

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Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse has been able to turn a small profit after two years of deep losses, due in part because the hospital reduced its staff and increased bill collection.

The public hospital eliminated 139 positions in 2013 through attrition. It also relied a little more on contracted labor, said Stuart Wright, the hospital’s chief financial officer.

"Sometimes they can be cheaper, overall, but it’s not our overall goal to have temporary labor, but it can be slightly less expensive," he said.

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Two New York state regional health information exchanges have been nationally accredited for the security of their systems. 

The Healthcare Information Xchange of New York and Rochester RHIO (Regional Health Information Organization) were recently accredited by the Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission.

The commission evaluated the regional exchanges for the privacy, security, and confidentiality of a program that directly alerts primary care doctors when their patients have been treated, for example in an emergency room.

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Many health care providers don’t know when their patients are admitted or discharged from the hospital or seen by an ambulance crew. That makes it harder to deliver comprehensive care.

To address this issue, the Rochester Regional Health Information Organization (RHIO) has set up a simple alert system that’s aimed at improving quality of care.