22 New Skilled Nursing Facilities Join Health Information Exchange

Date: March 13th, 2013Category: CORHIO e-NewsletterTopics: SNF, Long-Term Care, CORHIO Network

Life Care Centers of America to use HIE to improve patient care and reduce avoidable hospital readmissions

At the national level, skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities have generally lagged behind hospitals and large medical groups in their adoption of health information technology (HIT). That trend, however, is changing, and there are many examples right here in Colorado.

In fact, Life Care Centers of America (LCCA), which operates or manages dozens of facilities in Colorado and 200 nationwide, uses an electronic medical record system throughout their organization. And just this month, they signed an agreement to connect 22 of their facilities to the CORHIO health information exchange (HIE).

Health Information Exchange Strengthens Patient Care Program

LCCA has always focused on providing the highest quality care possible, but in recent years they have also made a concerted effort to improve transitions of care for patients coming to or from a hospital facility. Part of that strategy includes enhancing how their caregivers receive patient data from facilities their patients are transferred from. It’s vital for them to understand exactly what procedures, tests, and medications the patient has received before they take over care.

With the CORHIO health information exchange (HIE), LCCA’s Colorado facilities will have instant access to critical patient health information. This will eliminate staff time spent chasing down records, receiving incomplete or incorrect records and performing duplicative tests. The intake process will be smoother, which will improve patient satisfaction as well as clinical outcomes.

In addition to technology upgrades, LCCA recently began implementing a unique program: placing a physician in each facility. In just one year, at those facilities with a full-time physician, LCCA reduced re-hospitalizations from 40% to 15%. In addition to a dramatically reduced readmissions rate, LCCA also reduced staff turnover and improved clinical outcomes. The company’s move to utilize health information exchange expands on this program and reinforces a strong commitment to patient care.

Staggered Connections Make the Most of Hospital Data

A total of 22 LCCA facilities in Colorado have signed agreements to join CORHIO’s health information exchange. The first eight facilities to be connected to CORHIO include:

  • Evergreen Nursing Home, Alamosa
  • San Luis Care Center, Alamosa
  • University Park Care Center, Pueblo
  • Life Care Center of Pueblo
  • Cañon Lodge Care Center, Cañon City
  • Life Care Center of Longmont
  • Life Care Center of Colorado Springs
  • Life Care Center of Westminster

These additional facilities will connect to CORHIO once more Denver metro hospitals, such as HealthOne hospitals and University of Colorado Hospital, and other hospitals from around the state, are connected:

  • Berkley Manor Care Center, Denver
  • Briarwood Health Care Center, Denver
  • Hallmark Nursing Center, Denver
  • Garden Terrace Alzheimers Center of Excellence, Aurora
  • Life Care Center of Aurora
  • Life Care Center of Evergreen
  • Life Care Center of Greeley
  • Life Care Center of Littleton
  • Life Care Center of Stonegate, Parker
  • Villa Manor Care Center, Lakewood
  • Western Hills Health Care Center, Lakewood
  • Columbine Manor Care Center, Salida
  • Heritage Park Care Center, Carbondale
  • Valley View Villa, Ft. Morgan

“We’re very pleased to have Life Care Centers of America join the health information exchange,” says Pamela Russell, Development and Outreach Manager of Long-Term Care at CORHIO. “They will join other skilled nursing facilities that have found the HIE an invaluable tool because of the quick access to a patient’s community health record during the crucial transition of care. Now they’ll be able to identify key medical issues at the start of care to avoid confusion, improve communication and reduce hospital readmissions.”

“Our associates are enthusiastic about this opportunity,” says Kelley Hamm, Director of Clinical Services for Life Care’s Mountain States Division, which encompasses Colorado and several other states. “CORHIO’s mission and vision aligns with Life Care’s. We believe our patients are our highest priority and that each of our facilities should be responsive to the long-term health care needs of its community and should direct its resources to meet those needs.”