Colorado’s Health Information Exchange landscape: Partnering to improve health in Colorado
by Morgan Honea, MHA, CEO, CORHIO; and Dick Thompson, Executive Director and CEO, QHN
We are incredibly lucky to live in a state where health care reform is being approached so comprehensively, but thoughtfully. Colorado’s health information exchanges, Quality Health Network (QHN) and Colorado Regional Health Information Organization (CORHIO), are playing a significant role in these efforts through improved point-of-care decision-making tools, robust clinical data to support quality improvement programs, real-time event notifications, and infrastructure that can improve clinical workflows.
In particular, Colorado’s health information exchanges (HIEs) are united in their support for telehealth expansion by providing a more streamlined coordination of the patient’s medical record between health care settings. Due to Colorado’s vast geography, telehealth creates a tremendous opportunity to provide expanded health care services in a local setting, and will likely be a game changer for health care in Colorado. This reduces the burden on patients, providers, and the overall health care system. When coordinated with robust health information exchange, telehealth services only become more efficient and effective by ensuring that providers and care teams have the right information at the right time to support services being provided across vast and challenging geographies.
In order to support telehealth expansion, among all of the other initiatives in Colorado, QHN and CORHIO will continue to expand the bi-directional health information exchange network over the next 24 months. However, as we all know too well, the ability to glean information from these varying data sources requires a tremendous amount of work to normalize and standardize. For this reason, QHN and CORHIO are working together to develop multiple ways to accomplish meaningful health information exchange that can be scaled across the continuum of care and create the greatest value for our participants. As we develop these mechanisms, we will also be adding functionality to our existing infrastructure in order to continuously improve and simplify clinical workflows.
Aside from growing the breadth and depth of the health information exchange networks, QHN and CORHIO are also working with their partners and one another to support delivery system and payment reform efforts. As the payment system in Colorado shifts from a fee-for-service to a risk-based model, robust health information exchange will be critical to ensuring our providers have a global perspective of their patients’ utilization and clinical outcomes. Colorado’s HIEs are currently working with a number of partners to provide real-time clinical event notifications as well as clinical quality reporting. These are particularly exciting opportunities that only grow in value as the network expands.
Most importantly, QHN and CORHIO are working to support various patient engagement strategies throughout the state. Despite the vast industry efforts, true health improvement cannot happen without effective patient engagement. For this reason, we are working with our partners to implement shared care management programs, leveraging HIE data as well as supporting regional care coordination organizations’ patient engagement efforts. These collaborations between Colorado’s HIEs and community-based partners will ensure that patients are able to have their health care needs served in their own communities in the most efficient and effective manner possible.
Both QHN and CORHIO are excited about all of the tremendous work going on across this great state and stand ready to support you in your efforts to keep health care local and improve the health of all Coloradans!
Posted in: Colorado Medicine | Health System Reform