Quality Health Network Is Taking HIE to the ‘Next Level’ in Western Colorado

Date: December 14th, 2011Category: CORHIO e-NewsletterTopics: HIE

Pilot Project Utilizes Patient Information to Assist Patients with Healthy Lifestyle Choices, Reduce Risks for Disease

Quality Health Network (QHN) has been helping western Colorado providers improve quality of care through health information exchange (HIE) since launching in 2005. Initially started as a community-based effort in Mesa County, QHN now provides service to more than 600 western Colorado providers in a 40,000 square mile region. Providers actively use QHN for the secure and timely exchange of clinical information to support more effective care processes, improve patient outcomes and reduce costs.

“I think it is a leap of faith, to some degree, to take the plunge to electronic health information, but for us we would never go back,” explains Dr. Gregory Reicks, of Foresight Family Physicians in Grand Junction and user of QHN since 2005. “There’s a number of different ways [HIE] has improved care. Just having all the information that you need at the time you see the patient makes the efficiency of your care much better.”

QHN and Dr. Reicks are currently collaborating on a pilot project, called IndiGO, that introduces an interactive software tool to patient encounters.  The tool uses an individual’s personal health information—aggregated through Quality Health Network—to calculate and visually display the risks and benefits of various interventions. IndiGO improves the quality of communication between provider and patient by showing in simple graphic form the impact of health choices, and empowers the patient to actively participate in health options. The result is increased patient adherence to treatment, avoidance of preventable hospitalizations, improved patient outcomes and reduced costs.

The IndiGO project is made possible by funding awarded to QHN as a member of the Colorado Beacon Consortium, one of 17 Beacon Communities nationwide selected to demonstrate that exchange of health information improves care delivery and health outcomes. IndiGO is one of four technological advancements that QHN is pioneering through Beacon funding. Dr. Reicks is one of 36 practices in western Colorado who are participating in the three-year $12,000,000 Colorado Beacon Consortium aimed at improving how care is delivered. 

Dr. Reicks and QHN are currently testing IndiGO with the plan to “go-live” with the system in early 2012. Early results are promising.

If you have questions about QHN, or are a health care provider on the Western Slope, you may call them at (970) 248-0033 or send an email to klevad@qualityhealthnetwork.org.