Estes Park Medical Center: Critical and Connected

July 24th, 2015 | Published Under HIE Participants by Jennifer Mensch

Just this summer, Estes Park Medical Center (EPMC) celebrated 40 years of serving the community. They’ve survived the area’s worst flooding in decades, weathered endless regulatory changes, and remained a beacon of care for the rural community near Rocky Mountain National Park. PMC is a critical access hospital with 25 beds, 24-hour emergency care, and a variety of inpatient and outpatient services. They also run a 60-bed skilled nursing facility. With over 3 million visitors a year to the national park at their doorstep, EPMC is often the trauma center for people who have an incident during their trip.

In 2014, EPMC connected to the CORHIO health information exchange, making their patient results available to other providers in the state. EPMC sends laboratory results, radiology reports and information on patient admissions, discharges and transfers into the HIE. These results are useful for both local providers coordinating patient care and for hospitals along the Front Range that receive transferred patients with critical illnesses and traumatic injuries who need more advanced medical care.

“We transfer a lot of patients down to the larger hospitals on the Front Range — stroke victims, patients that require an ICU and others,” says Gary Hall, VP of Information Services and CIO. “It’s a great advantage in those transfers, for the hospitals and providers receiving the patients, to have access to CORHIO’s PatientCare 360® tool, and to be able to quickly look at clinical results from EPMC. Use of the CORHIO system helps reduce the need to send information about the transferred patients by more primitive methods — such as paper, faxing and email — and helps expedite patient care.”

Depite their “lean and mean” IT staff and resources, EPMC is technologically advanced. They use an electronic health record (EHR) system and are attesting to Meaningful Use. They’ve also recently introduced an online patient portal that serves both their hospital and their outpatient clinic patients.