Health Information Exchange Expands to Trinidad, Colo.

Date: March 19th, 2014Category: CORHIO e-NewsletterTopics: HIE, CORHIO Network, Colorado Hospitals & Health Systems, Critical Access Hospitals

Mt. San Rafael Hospital and Clinic will participate in the CORHIO health information exchange (HIE) network.

Known as one of the most historic towns in Colorado, Trinidad is a quaint small community of nearly 9,000 people. With beautiful old buildings and brick-paved streets, the downtown area is straight out of the Old West. Trinidad is close to the New Mexico border, and travelers often stop by the town on their way in or out of the state.

There are a few health clinics in the community, but Mt. San Rafael Hospital and Clinic are the central hubs for health care services in Trinidad. The 25-bed hospital cares for inpatient, outpatient, and emergency room patients, and participates in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The Mt. San Rafael Hospital Clinic has eight providers who offer mainly family medicine, pediatrics, and internal medicine.

Innovative Approach to Health Information Exchange

Mt. San Rafael Hospital and Clinic are taking an innovative approach to medical records and care coordination. Both facilities have signed on to participate in the CORHIO HIE, but not in a typical fashion. Mt. San Rafael Hospital has decided to send clinical results data to their clinic via the CORHIO system. As a second phase of the project, the hospital itself will have access to these data results via CORHIO’s PatientCare 360® secure online portal. So they are in essence creating a truly bidirectional and interoperable system of health information exchange within their network. The hospital will be one of the first critical access hospitals in the state to connect to CORHIO.

Hospital and Clinic Look Forward to Vast Improvements

Because Mt. San Rafael Hospital performs labs for both the hospital and clinic, the ability to send laboratory and pathology results and radiology reports will greatly improve communication throughout the network. In addition to results, they will send transcription notes and admit/discharge/transfer (ADT) reports into the HIE, giving their providers at both locations access to this critical information.

Michael Archuleta, director of information technology at Mt. San Rafael Hospital, is steering the project for both the hospital and clinic. “Our number one priority is patient care. We expect the HIE to improve medication distribution, reduce medical errors, improve public health reporting, and cut down on redundant testing. The patient information we’ll have access to will now be easier to access and we’ll spend less time chasing down charts,” he says. “We want to go electronic and paperless to increase efficiencies, overall patient care, and patient satisfaction.”

“This project is extremely beneficial to the overall performance and success of the organization, especially taking into consideration that we are such a small critical access hospital. Implementing this high-tech solution will allow our organization to further help assist our patients while also assuring accuracy,” says Archuleta. “We are ahead of the game compared to many small hospitals and we’re very excited and proud to bring this to our community.”