VA Medical Center Pilots Health Information Exchange to Improve Patient Care

Date: August 27th, 2018Category: CORHIO e-NewsletterTopics: HIE, Care Coordination, Care Summaries


VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System has implemented CORHIO’s PatientCare 360® health information exchange portal to improve care coordination for Colorado veterans.

A pilot is underway with the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System (ECHCS) to incorporate local health information exchange into their provider workflow to improve patient care. The VA has been working for several years on a national health exchange system known as the Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record, which connects VA medical records with community healthcare records. This new partnership with CORHIO represents an innovative solution to meet a local need specific to caring for Colorado veterans. 

“We decided to add CORHIO to our national VA record keeping system in pursuit of one goal - improving patient care outcomes,” says Josh Pridgen, Associate Director, ECHCS. “The VA is constantly updating our healthcare delivery systems and partnering with CORHIO allows us to streamline the exchange of medical records.

ECHCS hopes to improve consults and referrals with area hospitals and providers by accessing information on patient care regardless of healthcare system. “ECHCS partners with healthcare providers in the community to ensure health services are available when Veterans need them,” says Pridgen. “Joining CORHIO ensures that VA providers and community providers have access to the most up to date medical history when taking care of our Veterans.”

“Our initial impressions of PatientCare 360 have been positive,” says Pridgen. “Our clinical staff have reported that information contained within this program is extremely well organized and easy to navigate. We are extremely pleased to join Colorado’s HIE.”

“I received my sign on codes for PatientCare 360 and have gone into it,” says Dr. Don Weinshenker at ECHCS. “I have found it easy to use and I have been able to pull up what I wanted quickly.”

 Future Plans to Expand Health Information Exchange

In addition to the PatientCare 360 pilot, the ECHCS plans to implement a connection with CORHIO that allows data from their facilities to be exchanged with community providers outside of the VA network. This will be done through a Cross-Community Access (XCA) connection, which is a query and retrieve process where community providers query a patient and CORHIO retrieves data from the VA’s records, but does not store it.

“The XCA connection through Medicity fits our EHR well,” says Pridgen. “Joining CORHIO’s vast network of providers in Colorado greatly increases our ability to ensure VA providers and community providers have the most up to date health information for our patients.”  

 About VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System

VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System (ECHCS) is made up of 13 sites of care providing inpatient and outpatient services to over 120,000 enrolled Veterans. A new Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center in Aurora opened this month and is a 1.2 million sq. ft. state-of-the-art facility providing inpatient and outpatient services featuring 148 acute care beds including a new 30-bed spinal cord injury unit.  ECHCS also has Community Based Outpatient Clinics throughout the eastern half of Colorado from Burlington to Lamar, La Junta, Alamosa, Salida, Pueblo, Colorado Springs and Golden. The system includes a 40-bed community living center in Pueblo, 40-bed Domiciliary in Lakewood and 19 bed PTSD Residential Rehabilitation Unit in Denver. ECHCS has a long-standing academic affiliation with the University of Colorado, supporting 148 medical residents, and training over 400 allied health professionals.