Colorado network off and running
A rural area in Colorado hopes to use a cash windfall and close relationships between providers to quickly create a community health information network.The Mesa County Health Information Network was quickly pulled together this year and is now reviewing a feasibility study by CareScience, an operating unit of Quovadx Inc., Englewood, Colo.
If the study passes muster, the company will begin to write code to enable providers' systems to share data and start operations by late fall, said Curt Hatch, executive director of Mesa County Independent Physician Association.
The network, which will serve an area 250 miles from the nearest metropolitan area, will build off technology developed for the Santa Barbara County Care Data Exchange. CareScience has been working with that initiative since 1998.
Partners in the Colorado network include Rocky Mountain Health Plan, Community Hospital, St. Mary's Medical Center and Primary Care Partners. The county has 110,000 residents spread over 2,000 square miles. It's served by over 300 physicians and two hospitals.
The initiative will draw on $2.5 million set aside in a fund as a result of a settlement with the state's Medicaid program. Hatch believes the effort will succeed because networking technology has matured and providers in Mesa County are few and tight-knit.
The initiative will be modeled on the peer-to-peer approach envisioned for Santa Barbara County.