Community Health Record Saves Lives, Improves Care

Date: June 5th, 2013Category: CORHIO e-NewsletterTopics: HIE, PatientCare 360, CORHIO Network

Take an in-depth look at the patient data available to Colorado providers for improved care coordination.

Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) like CORHIO are based on the foundation of patient records being secure and accessible by different health care providers across a community, or state, regardless of what type of provider they are, their location or their computer system. This is made possible by what CORHIO calls the Community Health Record (Quality Health Network on the western slope calls it a Virtual Health Record). So what exactly is a Community Health Record?

The Community Health Record is a query-based HIE system that allows providers to access aggregated patient records from multiple systems throughout a community. Sometimes called a “longitudinal health record,” it includes information from visits to different hospitals. For example, if a patient has visited two different hospital emergency rooms in the past year, all of the data from their lab tests, reports, physician notes, and more would be in one place – all easily viewable under that patient’s name.

This data sharing helps patients by reducing redundant and avoidable diagnostic tests, which saves them time and expense and reduces risks associated with repeated X-rays and MRIs. And when providers have the full picture of a patient’s health care history, they can provide more accurate diagnoses and treatment.   

Who uses Community Health Records?

Community Health Records are used by hospital providers, primary care physicians, specialists, home health agencies, nursing homes, hospices, retirement communities, behavioral health facilities, and other specialized providers. The data in CORHIO’s Community Health Record comes from those organizations participating in CORHIO, so if a hospital or system is not participating, that data would be missing in the patient’s record. To date, CORHIO has 28 connected hospitals (with 12 more in development), two national labs, and more than 2 million unique patients in Colorado.

Through CORHIO’s Community Health Record, providers can search by name to find clinical results on a patient from past encounters at a participating hospital. For example, a specialist can look up a new patient and find out their history before the visit so that they’re better prepared to discuss the patient’s condition at the point of care. Or a home health nurse can review what happened with a patient at a recent hospital stay, improving the transition of care.

What information is included?

CORHIO’s Community Health Record includes:

  • Patient (H&P) history
  • Laboratory results
  • Pathology results
  • Radiology reports
  • ADT information
  • Discharge summaries
  • Consult reports
  • Hospital ER, admit, and discharge alerts
  • Newborn screening results
  • Continuity of Care Documents

In addition, CORHIO’s technical team is working on adding immunization queries, lab and radiology ordering, diagnostic-quality medical images, and public health alerts and modifications to the Community Health Record.


This view shows a sample Community Health Record, with information organized by tabs at the top of the page, including patient demographics, face sheets, reports, and tests. The area on the right shows sample search results.

How are Community Health Records accessed?

The query-based access to a patient’s longitudinal data is provided via a secure, web-based portal, PatientCare 360®, available by participating with CORHIO. The portal can be accessed via an application on a desktop, laptop, or tablet computer. After training from CORHIO and with policies and procedures in place, an authorized clinician or caregiver can search for a patient and access a longitudinal view of that patient's medical history. A provider must have an existing relationship with a patient to view the information. If a provider tries to access a patient for which there is no previously established relationship, the Community Health Record application will require the provider to select a reason for their need to access the information, such as “a new patient” or “emergency medical services.” This information is recorded and regularly audited to prevent unauthorized access to patient information.

For more information on CORHIO’s Community Health Record, please visit or contact us at or 720-285-3200.


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