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Healthcare IT News
(March 5, 2015)
The ability to access and communicate the right patient information, at the right time, in the right place, is critical. To illustrate this point, imagine an elderly woman, Betty, who lives alone and has two chronic medical conditions. She takes a number of medications and receives care from multiple specialists in addition to her primary care physician. Betty’s specialists try their best to send test results and notes to her PCP in a timely fashion, but sometimes it can take several weeks to process the information. In the interim, Betty misunderstands her doctor’s instructions. She takes her medications incorrectly, prompting an issue that leads her to call 911. Unfortunately, she has had three emergency department visits and two hospital admissions in the past six months. As this example illustrates, timely physician and provider communication are crucial to helping patients like Betty manage chronic conditions and avoid unnecessary hospital visits. Fortunately, the use of health information exchange and better technology can help to improve care coordination.
(March 2, 2015)
For coordinators at Professional Home Health Care (PHHC), a Boulder, Colo.-based home health agency serving more than 700 individuals across the state, tracking clients after they had been admitted into a hospital had become something of a game of hide and go seek. Since PHHC staff didn’t always know where their clients had been admitted, they would first have to call around to as many as eight different hospitals. After tracking them down, they then would have to make another series of calls to learn who would be responsible for their discharge. Once staff secured the discharge planner’s contact information, they had to make regular calls to check on their clients’ status, ask what treatments or medications the hospital was administering to them, and find out when they were expected to go home. “The entire process from start to finish took about 10 hours for every client,” says Alexis Bellinger, a care coordinator and registered nurse at PHHC. Everything about that process changed after PHHC, by means of a health information technology (HIT) challenge grant, joined a long term care transitions program offered by one of Colorado’s state health information exchanges (HIEs).
(February 19, 2015)
Over the past five years, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) funded 62 Regional Extension Centers (REC) to help more than 100,000 priority primary care providers* (PPCP) adopt and use electronic health records. With the REC program in its fifth year, a number of RECs are expanding services to include consulting models. One is the Colorado Regional Health Information Organization (CORHIO). After achieving its goal of helping almost 3,000 providers with EHR implementation, CORHIO, in cooperation with several of its former REC partners, announced it will help providers with practice transformation, including future stages of Meaningful Use, quality initiatives, PQRS and medical home recognition, on a fee-for-service basis.
Health Data Management
(February 12, 2015)
CORHIO has announced the number of participating healthcare users and data available in the network grew by 111 percent and 118 percent respectively in 2014. This marks the third consecutive year of triple-digit growth rates for the Colorado health information exchange organization.
(February 11, 2015)
At a time when the broad survival of health information exchanges (HIEs) is in question nationwide, a number of such organizations are actually flourishing, among them the Denver-based Colorado Regional Health Information Organization (CORHIO), which is a public, non-profit HIE run by a private entity. Indeed, on Feb. 6, CORHIO’s leaders announced that their organization had seen the number of participating healthcare users in its network grow by 111 percent, and the amount of data available in the network grow by 118 percent, in the past year. That marks the third consecutive year of triple-digit growth rates for the organization.