News Feature | September 10, 2014

Hospital EHR System Connected To State HIE To Improve Transition Of Care

By Karla Paris

Hospital EHR HIE Connection

Colorado critical access hospital begins using the CORHIO to improve patient care and streamline medical transfers.

Recently, Estes Park Medical Center (EPMC) announced it has successfully connected its electronic health record (EHR) system to the health information exchange (HIE) network of the CORHIO, the Colorado Regional Health Information Organization. Estes Park Medical Center is the first independent critical access hospital to connect to the Colorado HIE.

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.

"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."

CORHIO 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.

EPMC is a 25-bed critical access hospital with a 24-hour emergency department, 24-hour Advanced Life Support Ambulance Service, medical/surgical services, obstetrics, and home health and hospice services. Emergency air transport services are available from its healthcare associates in the Colorado Front Range communities. EPMC has served the Estes Valley and surrounding areas since 1975, and is designated as a Level IV Trauma Center. Because EPMC is a not-for-profit, it reinvests its revenues to enhance the medical center’s capacity to deliver high-quality health care to the community it serves. 

SOURCE: PR Newswire