CORHIO (the Colorado Regional Health Information Organization), the Denver-based, statewide health information exchange (HIE) in Colorado, announced late last month that “The State of Colorado Division of Youth Services and their 10 medical clinics are undergoing a multi-layered initiative to improve the care they provide for at-risk youth and has turned to CORHIO to complete an important piece of the puzzle. In addition to adopting health information exchange, they are also adopting an advanced electronic health record system, integrating physical and behavioral health, and seeking new accreditations.
CORHIO’s announcement, released on Feb. 26, included a statement from Peggy Baikie, medical operations coordinator for the state’s Division of Youth Services. Baike said that “The division is really working hard to use the taxpayers’ money wisely and provide excellence in care.”
The youth in the division’s care fall into two categories, with two different average lengths of stay. With an average stay of two weeks, youths who are making their way through the court system, are seen at the health clinic for an initial assessment. For convicted youths, they can stay an average of 15-16 months, and have a more complex health assessment and examination.
“We needed CORHIO because getting information about a kid’s health was difficult and we had pretty inconsistent results,” says Baikie. “If the youth even knew where he had obtained recent treatment, or what exactly was going on, it would be hard to get the records to verify what they said was true.”
Now that the Division of Youth Services is using PatientCare 360® to view past medical histories, they are better informed to help patients. And if they send a patient offsite to an area hospital for treatment, they can now see exactly what happened, even reviewing laboratory results.
“We have a fairly unique population – they often bounce around from place to place, with multiple providers. They can be poor historians or even be embarrassed to tell us about a medical incident or condition, such as a mental illness or even asthma. CORHIO is a great addition to help us improve their care,” says Baikie. “The ability to have accurate information on our patients and where their health is at is invaluable.”
As it explains on its website, CORHIO (the Colorado Regional Health Information Organization) “empowers people, providers and communities by providing the information they need to improve health. Improving health through enhanced use of information technology and data exchange is the heart of what we do. We manage one of the country’s largest and most successful health information exchange (HIE) networks, provide advisory services that help healthcare professionals effectively use technology and improve care delivery, and supply health plans and accountable care organizations (ACOs) with valuable data that enhance analytics and population health programs.” And it adds that, “As an independent, nonprofit organization, we are dedicated to serving all of Colorado's healthcare stakeholders including physicians, hospitals, behavioral health, emergency medical services, public health, long-term care, laboratories, imaging centers, health plans, communities and patients.”