Published On: September 3, 2014
Critical Access Hospital in the Mountain Town of Estes Park is Now Using the CORHIO Health Information Exchange to Improve Patient Care and Streamline Medical Transfers
DENVER, Colo. – September 3, 2014 – CORHIO, the Colorado Regional Health Information Organization, announced today that Estes Park Medical Center has successfully connected its electronic health record (EHR) system to the health information exchange (HIE) network. Estes Park Medical Center is the first independent critical access hospital to connect to the CORHIO HIE.
Critical access hospitals, such as Estes Park Medical Center (EPMC), serve rural or remote mountain communities, are smaller in size, and generally do not have some of the specialized capabilities that large, urban hospitals have. Therefore, patients with complex and urgent needs, such as traumatic injuries or serious neurological conditions, will be stabilized and transferred to a larger hospitals for care.
Without HIE technology in place, managing the transfer of patient information during the transition from one hospital to another can be cumbersome. Conversely, with HIE technology in place, a hospital preparing to receive a transferring patient can electronically access complete and up-to-date clinical information, including test results and doctors’ notes from the referring care facility. Many times, HIE technology allows for the information to be accessible prior to the patient’s arrival at the large hospital so that a treatment plan can be established and put into action more quickly.
“We transfer a lot of patients down to the larger hospitals on the Front Range—stroke victims, patients that require an ICU and others,” said Gary Hall, VP of information services and CIO for EPMC. “It’s a great advantage in those transfers, for the hospitals and providers receiving the patients, to have access to CORHIO’s PatientCare 360 tool, and to be able to quickly look at clinical results from EPMC. Use of the CORHIO system helps reduce the need to send information about the transferred patients by more primitive methods—such as paper, faxing and email—and helps expedite patient care.”
“Critical access hospitals are a vital component of Colorado’s overall health care system,” said Morgan Honea, executive director for CORHIO. “Coloradans living in mountain towns and rural farming communities depend on them for many of their health care needs. When rural patients need specialized or intensive care, and are referred to a doctor or hospital along the Front Range, HIE technology helps simplify the process. HIE also helps rural providers stay informed about their patients in the event they are out of town for specialist care. Helping to keep health care close to home for patients, whenever possible, is important for long-term continuity of care.”
The CORHIO HIE is one of the largest and most robust health information networks in the United States, providing participating physicians and other clinical caregivers real-time access to comprehensive information about their patients including lab test results, x-ray, MRI and other imaging reports, physician transcription reports, and hospital admission and discharge summaries. Thirty-six hospitals, more than 2,000 doctors, 126 long-term care facilities, 24 behavioral health centers, four large medical laboratories and the state health department are currently connected to the CORHIO HIE, with hundreds of individual health care providers and dozens of organizations in the process of connecting.
With streamlined access to up-to-date and accurate patient information within the CORHIO HIE, health care providers are better equipped to manage their patients’ care needs, resulting in higher patient satisfaction, more expeditious care, and fewer duplicative medical tests, which can be costly and sometimes painful.
CORHIO is dedicated to improving health care quality for all Coloradans through health information exchange (HIE). As the state designated entity for HIE, CORHIO collaborates with health care stakeholders including physicians, hospitals, clinics, public health, long-term care, laboratories, health plans and patients to improve care collaboration through secure systems and processes for sharing clinical information. CORHIO is a not-for-profit supported in large part by grants, including awards from the Colorado Health Foundation and from federal ARRA HITECH funds. CORHIO’s technical infrastructure is built on industry-leading HIE technology developed and maintained by Medicity. For more information about CORHIO, please visit www.corhio.org.