Successful Health Information Exchange Improves Patient Care and Delivery of Healthcare in Western Colorado
GRAND JUNCTION, COLORADO – Quality Health Network (QHN) is celebrating six years of improving healthcare in western Colorado. Beginning as a collaborative effort among visionary area healthcare leaders, the non-profit organization has built trust and commitment among health professionals and facilities throughout the region and has created a Health Information Exchange (HIE) system powered by Axolotl’s Elysium® Exchange focused on improving the health and healthcare delivery in the area.
QHN researches, acquires, and deploys cost-effective shared IT products and services that are essential to the success of western Colorado’s high performing healthcare communities. Currently, QHN supports more than 75% of medical providers in Mesa County and surrounding areas by connecting them to the HIE system. The numerous community participants include hospitals, physicians, surgical centers, emergency departments, pharmacies, extended care facilities, home health services, public health, hospices, and many others. More than 550 physicians currently use the system to help improve their care of patients. QHN helps facilitate the delivery of the right medical data to the right place at the right time with the goal of reducing costs, increasing efficiency and improving patient outcomes. QHN’s HIE has been recognized as a national leader and is a member of the Colorado Beacon Consortium.
QHN’s quality improvement efforts, which are focused on improving care transitions and care coordination within and between medical neighborhoods, is making a difference for all patients served by area providers. With the IT support of QHN, “patients are now being served by multiple providers, in multiple health care settings with confidence,” notes Amy Davis, MD, Medical Director of the Marillac Clinic, which provides medical services to low-income populations in Mesa County.
Beyond its original base in Grand Junction, QHN services have expanded successfully over the past year to support and incorporate other western Colorado medical communities in Montrose, Delta, Gunnison and Aspen. Initial results show that the adoption of QHN’s HIE tools is growing at a fast pace in order to securely share clinical information. This expansion plan for western Colorado has been facilitated by funding from area providers and from the generous support of the Colorado Health Foundation. Their support validates the vision of QHN’s founders and improves the ability of area physicians to deliver high quality care.
“QHN delivers an efficient, reliable and low cost clinical exchange solution for hospitals and doctors. Our community is pleased to be an early adopter of this quality improvement initiative,” said David Ressler, CEO of Aspen Valley Hospital (AVH). “We see a high value in providing our area physicians with timely access to complete patient information at the point of care. It helps them better serve their patients.” Similarly, David Hample, CEO of Montrose Memorial Hospital (MMH) said, “We recognize that patients benefit from the timely exchange of clinical information among all health care providers in our regional area. We want to improve patient satisfaction and reduce costs: and, our connection to the QHN HIE helps us do that.”
Using Axolotl’s Elysium Exchange, QHN will continue to expand into new medical neighborhoods to enhance electronic and technological capabilities, maintain exceptional privacy and security standards, and help providers and patients work together to improve outcomes and reduce costs. “A central tenet of QHN’s growth and high rate of adoption is an abiding respect for local leadership coupled with the provision of high quality support and guidance from QHN,” emphasized Jane Foster, QHN Clinical Director.
QHN is one of four local organizations comprising the Colorado Beacon Consortium. The consortium is one of 17 health IT pilot communities receiving grants, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) to serve as a national model for the broad use of healthcare IT. “The Colorado Beacon Consortium’s mission is to optimize the health and quality of life for all members of the community through the meaningful use of health information technology, and improve the cost-effectiveness and quality of their health care regardless of personal means or coverage status,” said Dick Thompson, CEO of QHN.
Since its inception, QHN’s live operations have delivered nearly 7 million patient clinical results to regional medical providers. The network supports more than 120,000 server requests monthly from greater than 130 participating organizations. In addition, QHN provides HIPAA compliant transfer of over 500,000 electronic prescriptions to pharmacies in western Colorado on an annual basis. Their services are anticipated to grow exponentially over the next few years.
December 01, 2010
For further Quality Health Network information contact:
Dick Thompson, CEO 970-248-0033
Christina Beck, Marketing & Communications 720-289-2565