The Independence Center Supports People With Disabilities, Utilizes HIE for Better Care Coordination

April 26th, 2016 | Published Under HIE Participants by Jennifer Mensch

The Independence Center provides home health care for people with disabilities in the Colorado Springs area. The agency offers skilled medical care and personal care support that enables their clients to stay at home where they’re most comfortable. In addition, The Independence Center offers skills classes, employment assistance and peer support to people with disabilities and family caregivers. The Center also advocates for people with disabilities through lobbying for better legislation and collaborating within the community for progress in areas such as more accessible housing and transit.

With a field staff of approximately 250 people, The Independence Center Home Health department serves more than 230 clients a year, providing either traditional home health care directed by a physician or self-directed care with assistance from a qualified selected caregiver, such as a family member. When a client is admitted to the hospital, it’s very important that the home health nurses and physicians are notified with the details.

“When a family member or field staff member reports that a client has gone into the hospital, that’s when I get on CORHIO and look up when they were admitted,” says April Clark, Home Health Office Administrator. “We can get updates on their progress when they’re in the hospital and pull their paperwork, especially with discharge information, which can sometimes be tricky to get from hospitals.”

Before having access to CORHIO’s PatientCare 360 secure portal, The Independence Center had to call the hospital (or multiple hospitals if they were unclear which one) and ask for information to be faxed over. Sometimes that could take up to 30 days and wasn’t always useful once it arrived. “CORHIO has been immediate access for us, which is awesome,” says Clark. “So far, every time I have looked up a patient, I have found information on them.”

The nurses at The Independence Center also appreciate being able to see specific lab values when reviewing a recent hospital encounter. “Labs are really important, sometimes even little details are relevant,” says Clark. “I’m able to download the information and upload it into the patient chart so everything is in one place.”