Colorado Advanced Interoperability Initiative Improves Clinical Data Exchange

Date: December 18th, 2017Category: CORHIO e-NewsletterTopics: HIE, Interoperability, Long-Term Care, Behavioral Health, Care Summaries


With the goals of increasing the data in Colorado patients’ longitudinal health records and enhancing care coordination, CORHIO engaged long-term care, behavioral health and primary care practices to share their care summaries in the Community Health Record.

A grant was awarded in 2015 to the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). CORHIO, along with Quality Health Network on the western slope, were selected to provide health information exchange (HIE) services for the program. The program aimed to generate smoother transitions between care settings by facilitating the seamless exchange of health information. (A brief summary of the Advance Interoperable Health IT Program on the ONC website here.)

ONC awarded funds to 12 states, and Colorado’s focus was on enabling bidirectional data exchange, where participants both receive and submit data into an HIE. In particular, Colorado sought to improve transitions of care between ambulatory providers, behavioral health, and long-term and post-acute care organizations.

Because of this program, 470 ambulatory providers are currently sending care summaries into the CORHIO Community Health Record, called PatientCare 360. This includes 31 long-term and post-acute care organizations and two behavioral health facilities. (Note: Because some projects are still in the final phase, not all of the Continuity of Care Documents (CCDs) are viewable yet.)

More Complete Picture of Patient Health

The Colorado Advanced Interoperability Initiative has enabled CORHIO to greatly increase the amount of clinical data from providers in the HIE. The format of the care summaries being sent to CORHIO is CCDs. These comprehensive documents are generated from the practices’ electronic health record systems and can include vital patient health history, medication lists, recent procedures and problems, lab results and advance directives. This data enriches the community health records for patients, enabling their providers to see a more complete picture of medical history and recent encounters, regardless of which electronic health record systems are used by collaborating providers.

“Having the CORHIO records available with the hospital information has been a huge impact for us,” says Shanae Zion, Quality Assurance Support Supervisor at Professional Home Health. “It’s been really nice to get the information on our clients that come in and out of the hospital, find out what’s going on with them, and then being able to provide our information back.”

Participating long-term and post-acute care providers are sharing the Minimum Data Set (MDS) and Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS) information they are already required to send to CMS through a tool that converts the data into CCDs. “For the most part, it was just taking what we already had existing and uploading it,” says Zion.

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