DENVER – From the Rockies to the plains, close to 400 healthcare providers in Colorado will be linked through a new communications platform in what’s being billed as one of the largest healthcare information networks in the nation.
Qwest Communications is providing high-speed broadband services to the Colorado Telehealth Network, a consortium of 370 healthcare providers overseen by the Colorado Hospital Association and the Colorado Behavioral Health Council. The network is being funded by two grants from the Federal Communications Commission, totaling $9.8 million, as well as a 15 percent match from participating health centers.
“We’re not talking about pushing data between midnight and 6 a.m.,” she said. “In healthcare you need a reliable partner to get the information there when it’s needed.”
“They’ll be able to get on the highway and go anywhere,” he said.
“The Colorado Telehealth Network will promote better health in many ways, while greatly reducing the need for rural residents to travel long distances to receive quality care,” added George DelGrosso, executive director of the CBHC. “This innovative system will save lives and scarce healthcare resources.”
Summer said the network will be agnostic – “Everyone has to be at the table or nobody’s going to be at the table” – so it’s important that health plans are included in the mix. In addition, he said, physicians have to be comfortable with telehealth.
“The ability of Colorado’s healthcare providers to accurately exchange information with each other in a timely fashion is a critical component of the state’s efforts to make healthcare more affordable, and to improve coverage and access,” said