Newborn Babies in Colo. Now Benefitting From Improved Care Coordination Thanks to Public Health and HIE

Date: November 28th, 2012Category: CORHIO e-NewsletterTopics: Care Coordination, Public Health Reporting

Approximately 70,000 Colorado newborns are screened every year for life-threatening disorders and now their health care providers have instant, electronic access to their test results through CORHIO.

Thousands of newborn babies avoid serious illness and death each year due to proactive screening tests required by the state of Colorado. The screening requires a small blood draw, taken at birth and repeated two weeks later, and sent to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). In the past, the only way for a health care provider to access the lab results was through a phone call from a CDPHE lab technician, who calls if one or more of the test results is positive, or through a fax or mailed paper letter indicating any negative results— which could take up to three weeks to arrive.

Now, thanks to a collaborative effort between CDPHE and CORHIO, providers across the state have an easier and quicker way to access newborn screening results. CDPHE and CORHIO have successfully connected their IT systems so that provider practices and hospitals can receive newborn screening results directly into their electronic health record (EHR) system or via a Web-based community health record through a CORHIO HIE connection.

Colorado's Long History of Newborn Screenings

Colorado began screening newborns for disorders in 1965 for PKU using one screen and the program has expanded greatly since then. In addition to hemoglobinopathies, thyroid disorders, CAH and cystic fibrosis, to name a few, CDPHE now uses Tandem Mass Spectrometry testing to detect more than 30 additional disorders, including amino acid, endocrine, fatty acid oxidation, and organic acid disorders. TREC analysis for Severe Combined Immunodeficiency was added in early 2012.

Because these disorders typically don’t have associated symptoms in newborns, they can go undetected without these important screenings. Early diagnosis, further testing and treatment can prevent serious illness, neurological damage, disabilities and death.

“We are very excited about this new ability to make newborn screening results available electronically to providers. This should greatly improve efficiencies in care delivery,” said Dave Butcher, Laboratory Services Division Director.

For More Information

If you are a health care provider and would like to have instant, electronic access to your patients’ newborn screening results, please contact CORHIO at or 720-285-3200.