More Colorado Hospitals Ink HIE Deals

Posted: 7/30/2013

As seen on HealthcareITNews.com

By: Erin McCann

More than half of all hospitals in Colorado have now connected or are in the process of connecting to a health information exchange network. The Colorado Regional Health Information Exchange announced Monday that after inking its most recent HIE contract, 29 hospitals are connected to CORHIO, and 15 more are in the process of connecting, representing all Colorado hospitals with more than 100 beds.   

According to CORHIO officials, there are also more than 1,800 physicians, 100 long-term and post-acute care facilities, 13 behavioral health centers and five national and regional medical laboratories either connected or in process of connecting to the CORHIO HIE.   

There are 78 hospitals in Colorado, of which 61 are located within CORHIO's service area. CORHIO is next working on connecting the more rural hospitals to ensure they are able to participate in HIE in a cost-effective way. CORHIO has partnered with the Colorado Rural Health Center to facilitate this plan.

Hospitals participating in the CORHIO HIE are able to exchange and share vital patient information, such as hospital discharge notifications, lab test results, X-rays, imaging reports and physician transcription reports, with community-based providers across the state. This, officials say, ultimately results in patients getting more appropriate treatment, recovering from illnesses and surgeries more quickly and being healthier overall.

"Hospital leaders across Colorado recognize that a statewide health information exchange network is key to delivering high-quality healthcare in the twenty-first century," said Larry Wolk, MD, chief executive officer at CORHIO, in a news release. "As baby boomers age, and with chronic disease now affecting nearly half of all Americans, healthcare leaders understand the importance of real-time electronic communication between disparate providers and facilities."

Wolk went on to explain that patients typically visit multiple care providers in a year, and the fact that their medical histories and test results are frequently housed in separate systems could have a detrimental effect on patient care and overall healthcare costs. "Allowing clinical information to be shared among all of a patient's healthcare providers, regardless of their affiliation, allows for the elimination of unnecessary, duplicative testing as well as a reduction in avoidable hospital readmissions, making the process of getting good healthcare much less cumbersome," Wolk added. "Health information exchange is helping to solve these critical, system-wide challenges."