Children's Colorado connects to HIE

Connection expected to boost coordinated care

Children’s Hospital Colorado has successfully connected to CORHIO, Colorado’s health information exchange (HIE).

By connecting its electronic health record system (EHR) with CORHIO's HIE, Children's Colorado is ensuring that its patients will receive better follow-up care with their regular pediatricians, family doctors and any other Colorado healthcare providers patients choose to visit and who are part of the CORHIO network, officials said.

Children's Colorado is known for being a pioneer in enhancing the quality and continuity of care for patients through health information technology. It was one of the first free-standing children's hospitals in the country with a fully integrated EHR.

[See also: CORHIO exceeding its initial HIE goals.]

Since 2009, Children's Colorado has been able to electronically share patient information with two Metro Denver area providers — Exempla Healthcare and Kaiser Permanente Colorado — through functionality in their Epic EHR software system, and has since added University of Colorado Hospital.

Despite the important advancements that the shared Epic network has brought to coordinating care for some Metro Denver patients, it doesn't allow the vast majority of independent, community-based medical practitioners to access and share information as needed because they use a different EHR product or none at all. To ensure that all patients can benefit from better care coordination, Children's Colorado connected to the CORHIO HIE, which can connect to virtually any ONC-certified EHR product, in addition to medical offices that do not use an EHR system, officials added.

[See also: CORHIO puts an emphasis on community.]

"We've seen first-hand that real-time accessible information for patients and healthcare providers is a meaningful step towards high-quality, coordinated care," said Children's Hospital Colorado President and CEO Jim Shmerling, who also is board chair for CORHIO. "We've joined CORHIO to broaden the HIE networks we already have in place and to ensure the medical treatment we provide is immediate and safer for our patients from all corners of the state."

By joining the CORHIO HIE, Children's Colorado providers will be able to share vital patient information with community-based providers across the state, Shmerling said. The HIE gives physicians and other care providers access to health information about their patients including hospital discharge notifications, lab test results, X-ray, MRI and other imaging reports, physician transcription reports and referral information. Later, the network will be upgraded to include patient medication lists, allergies and immunizations.