Physicians, Patient Discuss Importance of HIE

Date: October 12th, 2011Category: CORHIO e-NewsletterTopics: HIE

Patients often require care from multiple providers and organizations, but this simple act can lead to the fragmentation of patients’ data and ultimately, a disruption in the continuity of the care they receive.

Karen of Grand Junction experienced this phenomena first hand. She was surprised when her husband went to see a specialist in the Denver area and the physician was unaware of tests that were recently taken at another facility. Like many people, Karen assumed that this type of communication was taking place automatically.

Karen’s assumption was rooted in the fact that Grand Junction-area providers have been sharing patients' clinical information in a timely manner through the QHN health information exchange for several years. By connecting to QHN’s HIE, physicians and other health care providers on the Western Slope get immediate access to their patients’ health information.

Physician: I Can Spend More Time With Patients

Dr. Jesse Flaxenburg, a nephrologist at Pikes Peak Nephrology, has benefitted from access to a limited HIE system that exists within his practice in Colorado Springs. “(HIE) saves a tremendous amount of time and frustration, but ultimately results in better care for the patient, because I can spend more time with them figuring out what their problem is as opposed to just trying to locate the data.”

HIE also helps to “speed up treatment and have more accurate follow-up,” said Dr. Joel Montbriand, gastroenterologist at Gastroenterologist of the Rockies. Additional benefits of the HIE, include avoiding duplication of tests, a decrease in medication errors and reducing costs.

“If you have a tool that’s readily available to you that can dramatically improve the level of care that you can provide and save lives, why wouldn’t you use it?” said Flaxenburg. “We need to practice medicine like we’re in the 21st Century.”

There are currently 27 hospitals and more than 370 private-practice physicians that have joined CORHIO’s network. View a list of participating providers.