Quality Health Network eNewsletter
November 2014

QHN's New Platform Solution Launches 

The transition to a new platform for a health information exchange, with a significant data repository and broad interoperability such as QHN, is not for the faint of heart. The project took years of discussion, due diligence and planning. The moving of more than 20 million clinical results, eight years of historical pathology data and establishing receipt and delivery for more than 115 EHR and data source interfaces, was an enormous undertaking all which was done with the commitment of no downtime and limited disruption to QHN Users.


Considering the above, the question that typically arises is why make such a transition?  "We needed more control of the data in and out of our systems and the user experience, those were the two key pieces," said Marc Lassaux, QHN Chief Technology Officer. "In our previous system we had to contract with our vendor to do much of the change work. In the new system we can choose to use the vendor or complete the work ourselves, with our in-house expertise. This was a driving factor - to be more in control of our destiny - from both a data in and data out perspective, the matching and normalization of the data, and the user experience."


Limiting Disruption to our Customers Was the Priority


"Our priority was limiting the disruption to our customers. Obviously we went to a new system so there is the impact of a learning curve, but we didn't want our in-bound and out-bound interface customers to have to re-do interfaces on their side and we wanted no disruption in results delivery," noted Rich Warner, QHN Project Management Coordinator.  "Data validation was paramount, we ran parallel systems to assure they matched, spending many weeks in data validation, making sure no historical data was lost and assuring all data from our source interfaces populated the system correctly."


Finding a Balance - One Size Does Not Fit All


QHN understands that no two clinical settings are exactly alike, so one size definitely does not fit all. Clinicians, physicians especially, are sensitive to changes in their workflows and some of these workflows vary dramatically depending on a provider's specialty. "We had to look at how we could present the data in a format that was user friendly, accurate and timely and will work for most," continues Warner. The previous QHN system went through iterations, with the  feedback and input from QHN Users over a 10 year period. 


A Decade of Data Exchange... and SO Much More

This month QHN kicks-off our yearlong 10th anniversary celebration. We invite you to join us as we take this unique opportunity to reflect on how our history, founding principles and vision have shaped our success and help to inspire and guide our future. 


We are excited by the opportunity to reconnect and recognize those whose contributions have played such a significant role in the development of QHN and QHN's contributions to the industry and the medical neighborhoods we serve. We will share their stories though our eNewsletter, on our website and special stakeholder events.


QHN's CEO Reflects on QHN's Decade of Success


To commence our celebration we asked Dick Thompson, QHN's Executive Director and CEO to share with us his thoughts on QHN's decade of success.


"Ten years ago our founders came together to establish QHN as a trusted data "Switzerland" with a focus on helping providers improve the quality and consistency of the region's healthcare delivery system.  Our initial goal focused on the idea that no matter where a patient presented for care, that treating clinicians would have easy and low cost access to all of a patient's clinical information.  With thanks to our many contributing stakeholders and a dedicated staff, QHN has largely achieved that vision - and so much more.


In this challenging and rapidly evolving healthcare industry, QHN stakeholders have recognized that not all systems can change at the same time.  They rely on us to connect these different and evolving systems together as well as provide reliable access to longitudinal clinical data archives to help them bridge the gaps which inevitably occur during these periods of rapid change."


QHN Helps Pilot Innovations to Improve Outcomes and Reduce Costs


"QHN's participation in regional and national programs such as Regional Extension Center (REC), Beacon, Sustaining Healthcare Across Integrated Primary Care (SHAPE) the Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative (CPC), and Regional Care Collaborative Organizations (RCCO) over the past decade has helped western Colorado clinicians be recognized for their leadership in piloting innovations intended to improve outcomes and reduce costs," continues Thompson.


"As a result of our collective successes, QHN has been able to improve, and in some cases replace, our infrastructure so that we can become "nimble" enough to meet tomorrow's needs - whatever they may be. 


There is no shortage of challenging opportunities ahead.  With your help, guidance, and sustained support we will continue to set the standards of reliability, innovation, and execution needed to succeed in this era of rapid change.  We look forward to our future together."  

VA Medical Center Makes the Connection!

The large rural expanse and geologically challenging area Western Colorado encompasses can make access to VA facilities difficult.  Consequently, veterans must also seek care from their community's private hospitals, physicians and other healthcare providers. This makes it difficult for the VA to coordinate veterans' care, something critical to improving quality and reducing costs.


The majority of providers in Western Colorado are connected to QHN and have access to the extensive patient data repository to share critical health information when it's needed for care, regardless of where the patient is treated. But for veterans, when they are seen by VA providers at the local VA Medical Center (VAMC) facilities this information has not been accessible. This means providers are often unaware of services their patients receive outside the VA system.


QHN was pleased when the local VAMC recognized the value of this resource and signed an agreement to connect more than 100 of their providers and care team members to have access to the QHN data repository. This will impact the care of approximately 40,000 VA patients across Western Colorado and Eastern Utah.


"The VA Medical Center in Grand Junction is extremely happy to participate with QHN," says Beth Roten, RN, MSN, VAMC Education and Development Program Manager. "We care for patients who come from many communities across the western slope of Colorado and they are frequently seen by multiple providers. The QHN System allows those providers with access to obtain critical lab, radiology data and physician notes concerning our patients, no matter where the tests or imaging were performed, and to do so in real-time. This means the VAMC staff no longer needs to solely depend on phone calls, leaving messages or sending faxed releases to multiple facilities and providers to obtain this information. We believe QHN will definitely help us improve our ability to care for patients." 

November Events and Education
Meaningful Use 
Hot Topics
Conference Call
November 19, 2014 
12:15 - 1:15 pm


Topic: QHN's New Platform - HOT Navigation Tips and Shortcuts



The QHN Clinical Team
New QHN Platform 
Tip Sheets 
QHN has developed a series of Tip Sheets on the New QHN System to help answer many of the frequently asked questions.

QHN to Create Direct Central Email Address Repository


QHN is creating a Address Repository to support QHN Users in meeting the electronic Transitions of Care (ToC) requirement for MU Stage 2.

It will list the preferred Direct email address at which Users receive ToC messages and the email address(es) where they prefer to receive general secure messaging. The listing will be updated weekly and posted to the QHN website.


Please provide us with your Direct messaging preferences by completing this form.


CMS to Reopen Submission Period for Hardship Exception Applications

Hardship Exception Applications to Avoid the 2015 Medicare Payment Adjustment - New Deadline -

November 30, 2014


For more information and to download an application, click here. 


Contact Information

Quality Health Network




Mesa County Physicians


Western Colorado IPA

Mesa County Medical Society

Mt. Sopris Medical Society