Case study: Improving laboratory data quality

IMO Precision Normalize helps one of the largest HIE networks in the US standardize data from a variety of disparate sources.
data quality

Company profile

CORHIO is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving healthcare quality through the optimal use of health information exchange (HIE). Part of the regional organization Contexture, CORHIO is one of the largest and most robust HIE networks in the United States, connecting more than 78 hospitals and 7,700 office-based providers.

The challenge

As new federal regulations address the issue of data blocking and electronic health record (EHR) vendors expand their roles regarding patient data interoperability, CORHIO has begun seeking new ways to innovate and add value in the Colorado healthcare market and beyond. As part of the HIE’s evolution, CORHIO is looking to expand their scope, solving unmet needs for their participants with greater speed and efficiency.

Integral to this drive to innovate is the need to address and standardize the variable quality of data sent to CORHIO from a host of sources including government, payer, and provider organizations. This data, however, can be incomplete: an issue that came into sharp focus as the COVID-19 pandemic spread. Lab data, in particular, may be sent to CORHIO absent essential details like LOINC® codes – making initiatives like quality reporting and COVID-19 surveillance a significant challenge.

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The solution

After early discussions with IMO, it was clear their robust terminology and forward-thinking approach could make a powerful impact at CORHIO. Of particular interest was the fact that IMO is used for point-of-care documentation by over 740,000 US physicians every day, giving the company unparalleled reach and the unique ability to capture clinical intent. CORHIO was also drawn to IMO’s ability to “future-proof” their data by connecting clinical terminology to the most appropriate and up-to-date codes behind the scenes. Knowing that so much of the information sent to CORHIO is already coded to industry standards by IMO at the source, they felt confident in the quality of the data they could then send back to their partners.

IMO is now helping CORHIO to identify patient details that are either lost on route to the HIE, are poorly documented at the source location, or perhaps not captured at all. This ability to quickly and accurately fill in the blanks and seamlessly connect to the right standardized codes has proven invaluable.

“Putting timely and accurate information into the medical ecosystem is a critical task. Partnerships, such as the one between CORHIO and IMO, help to promote the distribution of actionable information as a key component of data exchange with the goal of enabling better patient care.”

Key results

IMO Precision Normalize is a key component of CORHIO’s Enterprise Terminology Services (ETS) platform that provides inbound and outbound normalization of data from CORHIO participants. The initial focus for ETS deployment was the normalization of HL7 v2 lab, blood bank, and microbiology messages to support LOINC reporting and interoperability requirements, including an existing COVID-19 surveillance product.

  • In the first four months since the IMO implementation, CORHIO’s ETS platform has normalized more than 6.1 million messages. On a more granular level, over 20.3 million lab order and result message segments were individually normalized.
  • The improvements now enable CORHIO to normalize blood bank and microbiology messages, the latter of which is improving visibility for COVID-19 surveillance.
  • In addition to LOINC codes, the new ETS platform also stores a variety of additional codes provided by IMO Precision Normalize, allowing for rapid expansion into new use cases including imaging studies and diagnosis normalization.

To learn more about IMO Precision Normalize, click here.

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