Following a successful year of testing an electronic health records system among AspenPointe behavioral health, Colorado Springs Health Partners and Peak Vista Community Health Centers, the group is ready to roll out a longitudinal health records database across all regional providers, to include active-duty military and TRICARE patients.
The Community Health Partnership, in a year-long beta test, partnered last June with the Colorado Regional Health Information Organization, or CORHIO, a health information exchange network based in Denver, to streamline access to electronic patient records across several regional providers.
“By connecting CHP members to the statewide [Health Information Exchange] network, which will include bi-directional data exchange, health care providers participating in the coalition will have faster and more complete access to their patients’ most critical health information,” a CORHIO release stated, adding that the streamlined access to patient information improves care coordination, reduces treatment delays, eliminates unnecessary testing and leads to more targeted diagnoses and treatment recommendations.
“Say a primary care physician at Peak Vista saw you on Monday and referred you to an ankle specialist at CSHP and to a behavioral health specialist for depression,” said Jim Callani, chief technical officer with Community Health Partnership. “The next day the patient goes to CSHP, someone types their name into the [electronic health record] system and the doctor can see their records. Then they go to AspenPointe, type in their name, and they can see the records from the patient’s CSHP visit. On Thursday, when you go back to your primary care doctor, he sees everything.”
Callani said the statewide system would crack down on “doctor shopping” and the illicit use of prescription drugs, and integrating electronic health records would support the move toward a reimbursement model based on results, rather than on the number of (often unnecessary) procedures performed.
“We need to do health information sharing,” Callani said. “Providers across the community are seeing the same patients and not talking to each other. They rely on what the patient tells them. … This provides real time access to longitudinal health records to physicians, pharmacies and hospitals. Everyone is looking at the same thing.”
CHP’s goal is to fully interconnect the health care community, including each hospital, specialist, urgent care clinic and physician, Callani said.
“We’d like to see this utilized for vision appointments and nutritionists and physical therapists, chiropractors — the entire health care community,” Callani said, adding social services can have access to records for the homeless and address rehabilitation and substance abuse issues.
The region is an “island of health care,” and nearly any vital service can be found without leaving El Paso County, Callani said.
Following a successful, small-scale launch, the project has entered its third phase of implementation. Phase III, projected to go through June 2017, is estimated to require an investment of approximately $4.7 million, according to information provided by CHP.
“During this period CHP will manage CORHIO’s outreach and connectivity efforts, initially focused on providers who accept Medicaid,” according to CHP. “This will include preparation of the practices for implementation along with training of practice physicians and staff as well as support post-implementation.”
CHP is able to offer providers sizable incentives to get on board, Callani said, adding about one in 10 physicians still uses a paper health records system.
Eventually, Callani said, a patient portal will also be created, giving patients access to their records.
Health information exchanges, he said, will one day be able to coordinate across state lines, creating a national health information database.
About Community Health Partnership
Community Health Partnership is a member-based community coalition of more than 25 provider organizations in southern Colorado. CHP includes some of the largest health care provider organizations in Colorado Springs and the greater Pikes Peak region, and collectively provides care to more than 143,000 patients.
For more information about CHP, visit ppchp.org.
CORHIO is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health care quality for all Coloradans through health information technology and health information exchange. CORHIO collaborates with all health care stakeholders, including physicians, hospitals, clinics, public health agencies, long-term care, laboratories, imaging centers, health plans and patients to improve care coordination through secure systems and processes for sharing clinical information.
For more, visit corhio.org.