Colorado has become one of the first states in the nation to demonstrate that electronic health information can be securely shared between hospitals and health care organizations at a statewide level, according to Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter. This data exchange will benefit more than 1 million Coloradans.

The effort, a key component of Ritter's Building Blocks to Healthcare Reform, aims to prevent medical errors, streamline care, improve quality, eliminate costly duplication of tests and promote health care affordability through interoperability of health information.

"Our health care system is broken and inefficient," said Ritter. "Our medical records systems have been virtually untouched by the technology wave that's transformed so many other aspects of our society. This innovative effort will have a tremendous impact on improving the quality of health care and lowering the cost of its delivery."

Currently, 500 emergency clinicians are being trained to use the system, which shares the following information across emergency departments at The Children's Hospital, Denver Health and Hospital Authority, and University of Colorado Hospital, as well as Kaiser Permanente Colorado:

  • Laboratory results
  • Medication history 
  • EKG images 
  • Radiology text reports 
  • Simple "problem lists" based on common diagnosis language

As a result of the new system, emergency clinicians have immediate access to critical, accurate health information that before was often difficult to track down in a timely manner or at all.


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