Diverse HIE Users Find Unique Value, Innovation Opportunities

February 22nd, 2021 | Published Under HIE Participants by Jennifer Mensch

CORHIO’s 10th anniversary celebration on Feb. 11 featured a panel discussion with leaders from four very different organizations. The group highlighted some of the ways they’re using the HIE to improve care coordination, care management, quality reporting, COVID-19 response, and bidirectional data exchange.

Donor Alliance: Screening safely and efficiently to enable life-saving transplants

The nonprofit, federally designated organ procurement organization and accredited tissue bank serves Colorado and Wyoming. They receive approximately 1,600 referrals a month for organ and tissue donation and the same number of individuals waiting for a transplant. With a 24-hour time limit to recover donor tissue, Donor Alliance is regularly racing against the clock to save lives.

“We have to screen a lot of referrals with a very small staff in a very short amount of time and CORHIO really allows us to do that,” says Steve Selby, director of Information Systems. “We can log in to see admits, disease process, and lab results. After we recover tissues, we do an extensive quality review. When organ results and serologies that are ordered by the hospital come back, we make sure that there aren’t any changes in the condition or disease process of the donor, so we continue to ensure those organs are safe for the transplant recipient.”

He adds, “[The HIE is] a game changer. We would otherwise have to keep up with about 115 logins and passwords in different systems, which is just unworkable.”

Broomfield Police Detention Center: Cutting costs and enhancing COVID-19 response

The 218-bed facility operates within a division of the Broomfield Police Department for adult inmates and averages 89 bookings a day. Broomfield estimates a $41,000 savings in staff support time using the HIE instead of fax machines.

“[The HIE] enables us to collect important information right off the bat and make a good strong recommendation for the care and custody of an arrestee and fold in data through their time here with us. When they are discharged back into the community, that information goes with them,” says Shawn Laughlin, Support Services Commander.

Laughlin also shared how CORHIO’s COVID-19 Notifications helps with the department’s pandemic response.

“You don't close jails, not even in a pandemic. All jails had to set up isolation areas, and we use Notifications to make informed decisions. As we head into the future and see more people vaccinated, we hope to add in real-time vaccination data so individuals will not need to be in 10- to- 14-day isolation, or can be fast tracked into other programs throughout the facility. It’s really about respecting the balance between what is best for the inmate and maintaining public safety,” he says.

Colorado Access: Building risk scores and fostering more information exchange

The nonprofit community-based health plan serves more than 550,000 Coloradoans and is innovation-focused. They are the only organization in Colorado caring for members across a continuum of health services, including Child Health Plan Plus, Health First Colorado, physical and behavioral health, and long-term support and services.

“[One project] we are currently working on is a custom-built maternity risk score between our claims data and the information we get from CORHIO so we can develop a risk score matrix and do better outreach to potential high-risk pregnant moms, which is hugely important,” says Paula Kautzmann, Chief Information Officer, and a CORHIO board member.

Kautzmann adds that she is eager to partner with CORHIO to help bring further enhancements to benefit her members, especially for broad access to social determinants of health information.

“How do we develop opportunities for trading social determinants of health information? As far as I am aware, there’s not a current transaction standard around screenings,” she says. “[We’re] trying to figure out how do we utilize the data and the HIE to exchange those transactions, so everybody has access to it.” 

Ute Pass Regional Health Service District: Innovating in crisis care and empowering patients with real-time data

The emergency services district includes non-emergent and critical care medical transport, 911 response, a paramedic advanced care team, and is a leader in its crisis support services approach. They serve more than 19,000 residents spread across parts of Douglas, Teller, and Park counties.

“With our HOME program, when people call 911 a lot of the time, they don't know where else to turn. It’s not necessarily that they need to go to the ER, they just need help, and don’t know how to navigate our very complex healthcare system,” says James “Tiny” McLaughlin, Director of Community Paramedicine. “We’ve teamed up with telehealth emergency physicians to do full assessments, labs, and other advanced diagnostic testing -- acting as their eyes and ears -- and in real-time can provide the physician with important information so decisions are made at the point of care.”

He says using CORHIO helps support decision-making, decreases unnecessary ED visits and helps connect patients to any needed community services and resources.

“When the client can become empowered to make better healthcare decisions for themselves – really that is our goal. We not only want to take care of the immediate crisis, but we want to work with the information we have to empower them to be better consumers of the healthcare system -- CORHIO allows us to do that.”