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Mandy Fallon HCA Education and Research. HPN/HCS Update. Background. In January, 2005, all Home Care Agencies were required by regulation to gain access to the Health Provider Network (HPN). DOH has folded the HPN into the Health Commerce System Portal. NYS Regulations require agencies to:

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Mandy fallon hca education and research l.jpg

Mandy Fallon

HCA Education and Research

HPN/HCS Update

Background l.jpg

In January, 2005, all Home Care Agencies were required by regulation to gain access to the Health Provider Network (HPN).

DOH has folded the HPN into the Health Commerce System Portal.

NYS Regulations require agencies to:

Obtain and maintain account(s)

Have “knowledgeable” sufficient HPN/HCS Coordinators

Maintain current information within the Communications Directory on a monthly basis.

The health commerce system l.jpg
The Health Commerce System

The Health Commerce System (formerly known as the Health Provider Network) is:

An internet-based communications infrastructure system that supports reporting and information exchange pertaining to vital records and registries, disease surveillance and response, and health facilities management.

NYSDOH's principal means for disseminating and gathering important and sensitive information and data regarding bio-terrorism preparedness, surveillance and response.

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New HCS Portal

Introduced in March 2010

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HCS Portal Features

Fixed Menu Bar

HCS specific Google Search

My Applications

My Favorites

Live Help button

Important Situations

Health Alert Network

News Room

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HCS Portal Specifications

Browser Requirements

Requires use of Internet Explorer 7 or Firefox 1.5 or newer.

Must have 128 bit encryption for security purposes.

Browser set to accept cookies and Javascript enabled.

Screen resolution should be set at 1024 x 768 pixels or larger to view the portal properly.

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Menu Bar

The menu bar is fixed at the top of the screen.

Clicking on the orange arrow will hide your Google search, “My Applications” and “My Favorites” making the Menu Bar and items below the full width of your screen.

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Google Search and Live Help

Google Search tool for users to find information within the HCS Portal.

Live Help

Available 8:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday - Friday.

Input your name, email address and phone number.

Instant Message (IM) chat.

Trainers can also call user to offer assistance.

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My Applications

Users can customize the “My Applications” space with frequently used HCS Applications.

A simple interface to add or remove frequently used applications.

Your Contact Role designations will affect what HCS Applications you can access for your agency.

Contact your HPN/HCS Coordinator to be added to the role for application access.

Some applications may require DOH approval.

Click on the application name and a form will open up. Fill it in and submit. DOH will contact you concerning access.

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My Favorites

Build your “bookmark list”

HCS Applications

Topics list on the main menu bar.


Training Materials

Other information you refer to on a regular basis

Organize by creating New Folders

Click and drag files and applications.

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Health Alerts

Prominently displayed on the opening portal page.

Interface allows easy sorting of HAN messages by each heading feature.

Also allows user to display by specific time periods (i.e. week, month, quarter, year and all).

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Group delineation filters what you will see under “Topics” to just the documents and web pages appropriate to that group.

Minimizes non-relevant material the user sees.

The HCS portal sets your default group to “Getting Started”

Two access points lead to same “Edit Groups” function.

Home > Edit Groups

Topics > Edit Groups

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New layout leaves a “bread crumb trail” for users to see where they are in the folder structure.

Group choice impacts Topics.

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HCS Portal and Emergency Preparedness

Health Alerts

Preparedness Topics

Communications Directory

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Communications Directory

One part of the HCS Portal

Central database of contact information for all NYS health care providers.

In the event of an emergency the Department of Health will be able to send an immediate and timely alert to all contacts in the key roles.

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Emergency Preparedness Roles

The following roles have been identified as essential to Emergency Preparedness:

HCS Coordinator (formerly HPN)

This is a Survey Element. Coordinators must have active accounts and demonstrate ability to log on.

Emergency Response Coordinator


Director, Home Care Patient Services

Infection Control Practitioner

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Emergency Office Contacts

24 by 7 Facility Contact

Having this information up to date in the Communications Directory is a Key Survey Element.

Office of the Administrator

Both are:

Critical as a contact point in a crisis.

Requires a point of contact where someone in your agency can be reached. A telephone number and email address are required.

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New Learning from HCS


Self-paced, interactive modules to train HCS Coordinators on the use and management of HCS accounts and Communications Directory Roles for their agency.

Webinars – HCS Coordinators 100

Accounts Request Process

User Data and Person Records

Coordinator's Update Tool

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Assistance with Communications Directory Updates

Commerce Training Unit - (518) 473-1809

Live Help button on HCS Portal

Assistance with the portal and Communications Directory Role updates.

CAMU Hotline - 1-866-529-1890

Account Information and troubleshooting

HCS Portal Assistance

Live Webinars – Sign up at