The Colorado Regional Health Information Organization (CORHIO) is launching a pilot program to improve patient information exchange between providers and caregivers. This program is designed in a way that once consent is given by patients, their Behavioral Healthcare Information will be shared with long term care providers and hospitals. The newly accessible documents will summarize clinical information during transitions of care so patients can be treated by community providers, all who have access to more details on the care received by the patient outside of the facility.

Federal regulations, in attempt to maintain the integrity of patient privacy, state that patients must provide explicitly written consent each time their Behavioral Health treatment records are released, and that the name of the provider receiving the records must be on file as well. These regulations have interrupted the flow of care in the past, and Colorado’s pilot program is hoping to fix the issues in these statutes.

This pilot program will ease patient care transitions and help ensure that quality continuity of care is being delivered as a result of seamless information exchange.

According to Toria Thompson, CORHIO’s behavioral health informational exchange coordinator, the pilot program will facilitate certain amount of customization to please patients and providers. “They’ll be given a way to electronically choose, probably on an iPad, which community providers they would like the information to be shared with automatically.”

There are high hopes for this pilot program, and it is important for other states to recognize the benefits of new methods of information exchange.

We hope to see other states following in Colorado’s footsteps in the next year.