Colorado Beacon receives Healthcare Informatics Innovator Award

Annual award honors CBC’s pioneering initiatives to transform health care delivery 


Grand Junction, Colo., Feb. 6, 2013–The Colorado Beacon Consortium (CBC) is one of six teams of health care informatics pioneers to receive the Healthcare Informatics Innovator Award. The award recognizes CBC’s efforts to share data and improve care management and care communications across a 17,500 square mile region of Western Colorado.

CBC, which operates with a cooperative agreement from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, an alliance of physician leaders, hospitals, a community-based health information exchange and a local payer, is strengthening existing IT infrastructure, advancing patient-centered primary care and creating a better system for patients, providers and the community. It develops, tests and executes new ways to improve health care while controlling costs. Its  2012 annual report and a video provide the backstory about how CBC fosters better health by meaningfully using health IT to transform care delivery.

“CBC’s success represents precisely what we had hoped to achieve through Beacon,” said Farzad Mostashari, MD, National Coordinator for Health IT. “We recognized the hunger to do things differently, to make better use of data and technology to improve patient care. Now, CBC has shown us how to accomplish that, demonstrating how health care organizations can improve population health through the use of health IT.”

The award recognizes how CBC uses an advanced regional health data architecture (through the Quality Health Network) to deploy a decision-support tool, Archimedes IndiGO, across multiple, independent primary care sites with different EHRs throughout Western Colorado. CBC will be able to perform data analytics across a base of more than 55,000 patients by the end of the first quarter of 2013.

“We are honored to receive this award; it recognizes the value of bringing clinical and administrative data together in one place–at the point of care–to more closely correlate quality with outcomes and value,” said CBC Executive Director Patrick Gordon. CBC’s success offers lessons for communities with independent care providers. “We can collaborate across multiple independent organizations and still achieve community goals and population-level impact. This isn’t corporate health care integration; rather, we are working to show what integration can look like when it is created on a community basis.”

A profile of CBC’s efforts appears in the February issue of Healthcare Informatics, and the winning teams will be honored at the Healthcare Informatics Innovator Awards Reception March 4, 2013, in New Orleans during the annual HIMSS Conference. To learn more about the award, read the FAQs here.

CBC’s undertaking represents a convergence of advanced population health analytics, risk stratification, targeted clinical interventions and patient activation in a single architecture. The effort supports truly patient-centered care. The patient-facing component of IndiGO aligns with the active promotion of new skills (e.g., motivational interviewing) and measures (e.g., a Patient Activation Measure), in comprehensive primary care models. CBC-region physicians report that the use of IndiGO in patient encounters has resulted in improved patient medication adherence and behavior change, as well as more effective shared decision-making.

Communities that want to replicate CBC’s success must act. Gordon offered two pieces of guidance: “Perfect is the enemy of the good,” and “Waiting is wasting.”

He continued: “Had we waited for perfect interoperability standards and vendor solutions to emerge, we would not be receiving this award today. The imperative is for immediate action, amid incomplete insights and solutions within the industry.”

About the Colorado Beacon Consortium

The Colorado Beacon Consortium is made up of executive-level representation from four mission-driven, not-for-profit, Western Colorado-based organizations, all of which have nationally acknowledged track records of coordination to achieve superior outcomes. They are Mesa County Independent Physicians’ Practice Association, Quality Health Network, Rocky Mountain Health Plans and St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center. The Colorado Beacon Consortium’s mission is to optimize the efficiency, quality and performance of our health care system, and integrate the delivery of care and use of clinical information to improve community health. The geographic focus of the Consortium’s activities includes the Colorado counties of Mesa, Delta, Montrose, Garfield, Gunnison, Pitkin and Rio Blanco. To learn more, visit