Peak Vista Community Health Centers is now tapped in to the Colorado Regional Health Information Organization. Peak Vista is a nonprofit whose mission is to provide exceptional health care to people facing access barriers through clinical programs and education.
CORHIO’s PatientCare 360 is a secure, web-based portal that provides real-time patient information to better coordinate patient care, according to a Peak Vista news release.
According to Dr. Darvi Rahaman, vice president of medical services at Peak Vista, the technology provides Peak Vista staff information such as labs, discharge summaries and emergency department notes from local providers, such as UCHealth hospitals, Centura hospitals and Children’s Hospital.
“If patients opt to send their information to CORHIO, they will no longer need to bring extensive information or paperwork to their appointments,” said Halie Anthony, vice president of information technology, in the release.
According to Peak Vista, CORHIO provides more opportunity for collaboration between providers from different organizations. For instance, medical records from Peak Vista will be available for emergency department providers to review, and upon discharge, primary care providers can see results of a patient’s visit. As a member of CORHIO, AspenPointe, a behavioral health organization, will allow for better communication between patients’ primary care providers and behavioral health colleagues.
Are there proven positive health outcomes because of systems like CORHIO in other regions?
According to Peak Vista’s communications department, there are.
“A recent study found that if all physicians in the U.S. had been using Health Information Exchange, Medicare would have saved $63 million annually for each therapeutic procedure performed at physicians’ offices,” according to a Peak Vista statement. More on the study can be found here: healthcare-informatics.com/article/hie/brookings-scholar-touts-recent-hie-study-economically-significant.
And Peak Vista should save money due to increased efficiencies.
“We will see the cost savings in the forms of time and paper usage while providing a better patient experience,” said Kelly Utermoehlen, director of communications at Peak Vista, in an email. “Implementing CORHIO required us to look at our scanning process and categories within Peak Vista. We had around 110 categories and it was a challenge for our providers to find documents. We were able to take our scanning categories from roughly 110 to seven within our Electronic Medical Records. This makes it easier for patient data to flow through the HIE and get put into the correct category within the EMR. This also allows our providers to find necessary documentation faster. It will decrease our faxing, scanning and paper use all around. This will lighten the load for our medical records technicians, patient navigators, and receptionists which will allow their time to be utilized more efficiently in other areas. This also creates more efficiency for our patients. They won’t have to bring certain documents to appointments. It now takes less time to get the data into the patient record. The data is practically instant which allows providers to make more accurate decisions in the moment to drive better patient outcomes.”
The implementation project took six months from start to finish, Utermoehlen said.
“At the start of the project, we spent a lot of time in the planning phase to make sure that we would catch any potential challenges early and have a plan in place to mitigate them,” she said. “One of the potential challenges that we identified early on is culture based. Rather than have IT drive decisions that could negatively impact our clinician’s and patients, we needed to partner with our providers to champion the project and drive the decisions that affect patient care and quality. Because we approached it in this manner and had CORHIO and their experience, we were able to avoid many of the challenges that we identified early on. Our mission here at Peak Vista is to provide exceptional health care to people facing access barriers through clinical programs and education. Becoming a part of an HIE has allowed us to further meet our mission.”