The Colorado Beacon Consortium made gains in quality improvement as physician practices adopted electronic health records and joined a health information exchange (HIE) known as the Quality Health Network (QHN), according to a case study by The Commonwealth Fund. The seven-county region on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains is one of the most sparsely populated areas in the United States, where the common practice of local referrals makes information exchange seem more natural, the authors state.
According to the report, QHN and Rocky Mountain Health Plans worked together in providing “macrointegrator” leadership. Smaller, rural communities value a local, trusted community resource to support HIE adoption more than financial incentives to move toward efficient data sharing, the report notes. Up to 85 percent of physicians are now electronically connected to the HIE.