Colorado's "Beacon" Lighting the Way for Health IT in Rural Communities

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<p>The mission of the federally funded Beacon Community Program is to demonstrate how a strong local health information technology infrastructure can lead to better patient care and improved health at lower cost. In a new <a href="/publications/case-study/2013/apr/colorado-beacon-consortium-strengthening-capacity-health-care">case study</a> of the Colorado Beacon Consortium (CBC), Douglas McCarthy and Alexander Cohen describe how physicians, hospitals, and other care providers in seven predominantly rural counties managed to build the capacity needed to exchange health data and transform clinical care.</p><p>McCarthy and Cohen trace how community stakeholders in western Colorado, led by a regional health plan and a regional health information organization, came to deploy health IT for quality improvement. They also explore how the CBC is preparing physician practices and communities for a reformed health system. Early results of the CBC’s activities indicate that patients are receiving more preventive and chronic care services, while physician practices are using teamwork to deliver care more efficiently.</p>
<p>The case study was conducted for the AcademyHealth Beacon Evidence and Innovation Network with support from The Commonwealth Fund. Visit <a href="/publications/case-study/2013/apr/colorado-beacon-consortium-strengthening-capacity-health-care"></a> to learn more about how communities can adapt local circumstances to achieve their health care goals.</p>
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