CORHIO, the Colorado Regional Health Information Organization, has announced that as a result of Exempla Healthcare signing a contract to participate in its health information exchange (HIE), all Colorado hospitals with more than 100 licensed beds have connected or are in the process to connect to an HIE network. Exempla Healthcare, an affiliate of SCL Health System, operates three hospitals in Colorado: Exempla Good Samaritan Medical Center in Lafayette, Exempla Lutheran Medical Center in Wheat Ridge and Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital in Denver. All three will connect to the CORHIO HIE as a result of the agreement. SCL Health System also operates St. Mary’s Hospital and Medical Center in Grand Junction, which is connected to the Quality Health Network (QHN) HIE.
Twenty-nine hospitals are connected to the CORHIO HIE and 15 more are in process to connect–a total of 44 hospitals in all. In addition to hospitals, there are more than 1,800 office-based physicians, 100 long-term and post-acute care facilities, 13 behavioral health centers and five national/regional medical laboratories either connected or in process to connect to the CORHIO HIE.
There are currently 78 hospitals in Colorado, of which 61 are located within CORHIO’s service area. CORHIO is committed to working with all the hospitals in its region, some of which are located in rural areas of the state, to ensure they are able to participate in HIE in a cost-effective way. CORHIO has partnered with the Colorado Rural Health Center (CRHC) on this effort.
Hospitals that connect their electronic health record (EHR) systems with CORHIO’s HIE ensure that their patients receive better follow-up care with their primary care doctors or any other community-based health care providers they choose to visit that are also part of the CORHIO network.
Hospitals participating in the CORHIO HIE share vital patient information, such as hospital discharge notifications, lab test results, x-ray, MRI and other imaging reports and physician transcription reports, with community-based providers across the state. This 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 health care in the twenty-first century,” says Larry Wolk, M.D., chief executive officer at CORHIO. “As baby boomers age, and with chronic disease now affecting nearly half of all Americans, health care leaders understand the importance of real-time electronic communication between disparate providers and facilities. The reality is patients typically visit multiple care providers in a year and there’s no reason their medical histories and test results should be stored in separate systems, inaccessible to the patients’ entire care team. Allowing clinical information to be shared among all of a patient’s health care 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 health care much less cumbersome. Health information exchange is helping to solve these critical, system-wide challenges.”