The two major health information exchanges will potentially connect roughly 1,320 healthcare organizations between Colorado and Arizona.
Colorado Regional Health Information Organization (CORHIO) and Health Current, an Arizona-based health information exchange (HIE), announced they are planning to join forces to create the most extensive regional HIE in the western part of the country.
The two HIEs connect roughly 1,320 healthcare organizations as a whole, and it would significantly increase interoperability between health organizations in Colorado and Arizona.
“This strategic alignment of two established, successful and long-standing HIEs is crucial to drive increased value to our healthcare communities and employees,” Melissa Kotrys, CEO of Health Current, said in a statement.
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“By joining forces and partnering with additional organizations who wish to join this regional HIE, we will be well positioned for successful participation in national interoperability models.”
As bordering states, CORHIO and Health Current are sound regional partners, said the two HIE providers. The HIEs share similar values, goals, and culture, while also operating in positive business and financial health.
The two HIEs share and support Arizona’s and Colorado’s HIE and health IT initiatives, and also aim to boost care coordination and clinical outcomes in their respective communities.
“The next evolution for HIEs is to become regional health data utilities for their communities, providing vital services just like the water, electric, and other essential utilities,” Morgan Honea, CEO of CORHIO, said in a statement.
“CORHIO and Health Current are among the forerunners to strategically align and create the infrastructure for regional and nationwide interoperability by building a business and operating model that will further advance our collective services and community support.”
Regional HIEs are becoming more prevalent across the country. Ninety-two percent of American citizens are covered by a regional HIE, according to a survey completed by the Strategic Health Information Exchange Council.
HIEs help providers work together toward a more seamless and secure patient data exchange process. Operating an HIE on a region-wide scale ultimately expands those benefits.
As two large HIEs in the Arizona-Colorado region, CORHIO and Health Current are joining forces to demonstrate a model for regional interoperability services that can join together to create a wider footprint, according to the two organizations. It also aims to boost the region’s patient data exchange services and healthcare innovation.
The two HIEs said the deal would be official once the organizations settle the formal agreement.
This is not the first time CORHIO partnered with a nearby HIE to widen its interoperability footprint.
Within the last year, CORHIO expanded its HIE coverage when it partnered with another Colorado-based HIE, Quality Health Network (QHN).
The timing of the December 2019 announcement was crucial because of the popularity of skiing and winter sports in the state of Colorado. Many citizens travel within the state to ski resorts, and the injury risk tends to be higher during the winter season.
With the partnership, patient health information now travels with the patient across the state. In case of emergency or injury, the nearby hospital will now have instant access to patient data.
“The improved flow of information between QHN and CORHIO improves the quality and affordability of care Coloradans receive, for not only ski injuries but for all medical needs, by ensuring clinicians have access to the right information at the right time,” Dianne Primavera, Colorado lieutenant governor, said at the time of the announcement.
“This also reduces the need for duplicate tests and labs which ultimately saves Coloradans money,” continued Primavera. “As the Director of the Office of Saving People Money on Health Care, I support this important work and applaud the Office of eHealth Innovation and eHealth Commission for leading these improvements through Colorado’s Health IT Roadmap.”
At the time of the collaboration, roughly 90 hospitals and over 7,600 providers connected.
Source: EHR Intelligence