News & Events

QHN Celebrates 20 Years of Connecting and Innovating

Quality Health Network (QHN), the region’s health information exchange (HIE),is celebrating 20 years of connecting care providers and innovating in western Colorado in 2024.

QHN has worked for two decades to connect medical, behavioral, and social organizations to securely provide crucial health data that ensures people get the care and services they need quickly and efficiently across our community.

Formed in 2004, QHN was envisioned as a quality improvement organization by five founding healthcare partners: St. Mary’s Hospital, Community Hospital, Rocky Mountain Health Plans, Hilltop Community Resources, and the Mesa County Physicians IPA (Independent Practice Association). While each of the founding organizations used different technology platforms, they recognized the need to share health data safely and securely to better coordinate care for patients who were regularly using multiple health systems. QHN and improvements in technology made this data exchange possible.

“Being one of the first HIE’s in the nation meant we had to trailblaze through technology, privacy, security, and other hurdles to protect patient information while reducing duplication and sharing it with the providers who needed it to deliver high-quality care,” said Marc Lassaux, Executive Director and CEO, QHN. “We wanted to help improve the whole health for people in western Colorado, and we quickly learned that to be successful we had to do it together as close partners with care organizations.”

Building a network across 30,000 square miles of mountainous terrain and a mosaic of doctors, hospitals, and other providers presented a challenge the early employees and stakeholders of QHN had to navigate creatively. Today, QHN is supporting more than 1.3 million lives, hosts over 6,400 users on multiple technology platforms, and serves more than 90-percent of providers and 100-percent of hospitals.

In 2020, QHN’s vision and mission grew with the launch of the Community Resource Network (CRN), a social information exchange. CRN enables medical, behavioral, and social service providers to better coordinate care with almost 600 organizations connected across western Colorado.

“The future of QHN is bright as the organization evolves to connect even more providers and better support whole person care,” said Greg Reicks, DO, QHN Board Chair. “With CRN and our new convener service, Collaborise, we aim to keep pushing for streamlined care addressing the Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) that will go even further to improve the lives of all Coloradans and beyond.”

Recently, QHN announced it was exploring an affiliation with Contexture, the health information exchange serving Colorado’s front range as well as Arizona. A unified health information exchange for Colorado would build on the data sharing QHN and Contexture already enable.

QHN plans to celebrate their beginnings, tenacious growth, and bold future throughout 2024 across the western Colorado community, beginning with their annual Healthier Together Summit on April 25th at Colorado Mesa University.

Watch the first video in our “20 Years of Connecting and Innovating” series- Relationships Matter: Better Together in Western CO.