More than 70 providers at the Colorado-based Boulder Medical Center, a multi-specialty group that also operates an urgent care clinic, are now using health information exchange (HIE), in addition to an advanced electronic medical record (EMR) system, to coordinate care for more than 200,000 annual patient visits.
Through the Colorado Regional Health Information Organization’s (CORHIO) secure electronic network, Boulder Medical Center doctors are now receiving laboratory results from hospitals and labs around the state without having to wait for faxes or other paper-based methods of communication. This is reducing patient wait times, helping doctors make faster and more accurate clinical decisions, and saving staff time previously spent tracking down patients’ medical records, according to CORHIO officials.
All three office locations of Boulder Medical Center have connected with the HIE facilitated by CORHIO, including two locations in Boulder and a third in Louisville on the Avista Adventist Hospital campus.
Patients, who might be students or travelers new to the area, sometimes don’t have a history with Boulder Medical Center or nearby Boulder Community and Avista Adventist hospitals. So the doctors don’t know if patients might have a medication allergy, for example. “When a patient shows up at our urgent care and they don’t have a history with us, it’s best for their care if their health history is in a central place,” David Glow, EMR project manager at Boulder, said in a statement.
“With Boulder Medical Center joining the CORHIO network, approximately half of practicing physicians in Boulder County are now participating in HIE,” added Morgan Honea, executive director of CORHIO. “All four hospitals in the area are also participating. This makes Boulder County one of the most technologically advanced communities in the entire country when it comes to healthcare information systems.”