Patients |FAQ's for Patients

Who We Are

Quality Health Network (QHN) is a quality improvement organization that provides secure electronic health information exchange (HIE) services.

Our HIE gives your authorized medical care team access to information like test results, lab and radiology results, medication history and insurance eligibility - when and where it’s needed - to help you stay healthy and receive the best possible healthcare.

Our Mission

To facilitate the availability of information to optimize the health of our communities, improve economic efficiencies of patient care, and bring value to our stakeholders.

Our Values

  • Honesty & Integrity
  • Positive 'can do' Attitude
  • Creative & Innovative Problem Solving
  • Grit & Tenacity

Fast Facts

  • Download The QHN Brochure
  • Download The Current QHN Dashboard
  • QHN securely exchanges health information among 14 hospitals, more than 1,300 medical providers and over 350 other healthcare organizations in western Colorado.
  • QHN helps medical providers improve the quality of care and lower healthcare expenses, while keeping your information secure.
  • QHN was cited by the National eHealth Collaborative in 2011 as one of the nation's 12 most successful health information exchanges.
  • QHN serves as a national model for health information exchange and was one of 17 "Beacon Communities" designated by the federal Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) projects.


FAQ's for Patients

What is Health Information Exchange (HIE)?
HIE is the secure electronic movement of health-related information among organizations utilizing nationally recognized standards and policies. HIE is key to ensure high quality, more efficient and cost effective patient care. As patients move from one healthcare setting to another, HIE makes sure their appropriate health information is available at the point of care when and where it’s needed.

Like many states, Colorado has more than one regional HIE. QHN, based in Grand Junction, was the first HIE to develop in the state, being established in 2004. QHN has focused on advancing the adoption of health information technology (HIT) and advanced utilization of HIT in the western Colorado medical trade area. The Colorado Regional Health Information Organization (CORHIO), located in Denver, began offering HIE services to providers along the Front Range in 2010.

How does the exchange of health information improve patient care?
Health care providers need real-time health information to accurately diagnose and treat patients. A patient’s physician in Delta may have part of the medical record, while the treating specialist in Grand Junction another. If both physicians can access each other’s records and see more complete health information, they can provide the patient with better care without duplication and unnecessary delays.

Why is QHN's HIE important?
HIE is key to ensure high quality patient care. As patients move from one healthcare setting to another, HIE makes sure their appropriate health information follows them and is available at the point of care when they or their medical providers need it. Many healthcare quality and cost concerns related to missed opportunities for preventive care, medical errors, redundant testing, hospital re-admissions and adverse medication interactions can be addressed through the secure electronic exchange of medical information. With QHN, your health information is electronically available in real-time when and where it's needed, while protecting your privacy and security.

Our western Colorado home is a vast frontier and often patients visit multiple healthcare providers, in different locations, when getting the care they need. Equipped with accurate, up-to-date information from a single online resource, medical providers can make more informed decisions, faster and more efficiently than with paper-based records.

QHN improves the quality of healthcare by:
  • Reducing the need for repeat or duplicative diagnostic testing
  • Reducing the risk of adverse drug reactions
  • Minimizing errors caused by lack of access to needed health records, missing or hard-to-read paperwork
  • Allowing for easier specialty care and second opinions with simplified access to all current patient information
  • Improving emergent and urgent care by providing immediate access to critical, potentially lifesaving, health information
  • By allowing healthcare providers to work more efficiently, QHN helps to moderate the growing costs of healthcare
Who created QHN?
QHN is a nonprofit, community partnership founded in 2004 and initially funded by St. Mary's Hospital and Regional Health Center, Hilltop Health Resources, Community Hospital, the Mesa County Independent Physicians Association (IPA) and Rocky Mountain Health Plans (RMHP). QHN was established in 2004, became fully operational in 2005, and is nationally recognized as one of the leading HIEs in the country.

Who provides patient information to QHN?
QHN's health information exchange contains patient information from many sources including hospital systems, reference labs, diagnostic centers, physician practices and other healthcare providers across western Colorado. New organizations are continually being added to the network, sharing thousands of clinical results each month. View the current QHN Dashboard.

What area is being served by QHN?
QHN serves the western Colorado medical trade area. View the QHN Regional Connectivity Map.

Who runs QHN?
QHN is a nonprofit organization created by and for medical providers, privacy officers, hospital systems and health insurers in Western Colorado. It is governed by a board of directors made up of a diverse group of Western Colorado community stakeholders. QHN's many volunteer committee and sub-committee participants advise and provide strategic direction to QHN’s initiatives.

Who will be able to access my personal health information using QHN?
Your personal health information is accessible only to QHN authorized health providers who provide you with care, such as primary care physicians, specialists and hospital staff. QHN provides a secure method of exchanging information more quickly and efficiently than unsecured faxes, phone calls and postal mail or hand delivery.

For more information on protecting patient privacy, click here.

How do I know if my medical provider(s) participate in QHN?
You can search our Participating Provider directory for the providers currently using the QHN health information exchange.

How will my physicians and other health providers use my information?
QHN-connected providers will use your information to provide you with health care and treatment. Quick and accurate access to test results such as blood tests, x-rays, CT scans, MRI’s and other diagnostic testing is available through QHN. Your medication history, allergies and prescriptions are also available in the system. Access to this information frequently means improved diagnosis and treatment and avoids the hassle and expense of duplicate testing. The system has a data repository that creates a longitudinal (over-time) patient record or full “Patient” view. By having this longitudinal view a consolidated record of your health information follows you when you see a specialist, change providers or need emergency care.

Who is protecting the privacy of health information shared by QHN?
Your personal health information is protected by physician-patient confidentiality, federal and state privacy regulations and the most advanced technical safeguards available. QHN’s technical safeguards include encryption and multiple levels of password protection. Electronic records offer the added security of electronic tracking systems, which provide a history of when records have been accessed and who has accessed them.

Is QHN likely to be a target for identity thieves and hackers?
It is important to understand that QHN does not store, or structure, patient information in a way that would be of any value to identity thieves or hackers. The exchange retrieves and displays information as it is requested from participating providers, for viewing purposes only. Your health information remains protected with your personal healthcare providers, as it is now.

Our HIE technology supplier, Mirth, provides the most advanced information safeguards available to protect health information as it is exchanged between healthcare providers. This includes encryption, password protection, and the ability to track anyone who has viewed your record.

Aren't paper records safer than sharing information electronically?
Unauthorized access to paper records is a frequently reported problem. With the common use of fax machines in many systems, there is no record of who saw, reviewed or filed the information, and any number of unauthorized office staff can access it. Electronic exchange of records adds speed, convenience and security to the delivery of health information while providing the ability to track each user who accessed the information. This secure exchange offers much greater privacy protection than paper-based record systems.

What if my medical provider is not a participant?
If you agree that the electronic exchange and access to health information is valuable and important to improved medical care, we welcome you to encourage your medical provider to join.

Are doctors and hospitals required to use QHN or provide patient data to it?
Providers are not forced to participate. However, connecting to QHN is extremely valuable as providers implement electronic health record (EHR) systems and other health information technology to improve the delivery of care. Federal health programs provide financial incentives, and penalties, to promote and support providers as they transition to new payment models; click here for more information.

How much does this service cost, and who’s paying for it?
QHN was created in 2004 using seed capital contributed by four tax exempt nonprofit organizations: St. Mary’s Regional Health Center, Hilltop Health Resources, Community Hospital, and Rocky Mountain Health Plans, as well as the Mesa County Independent Physicians Association (IPA). After beginning the live exchange of information in 2005, QHN worked with our partners to create a financially equitable and sustainable fee structure to pay for ongoing operations by charging users for our services. We have also received grant support to develop new services and expand the QHN regional network from the government and The Colorado Health Foundation. QHN has become a nationally recognized model for financially self-sustaining health information exchange.

What if I still have questions?
Please feel free to contact us at: webguest@qualityhealthnetwork.org, or call 970-248-0033.
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