Health Information Management (H.I.M.)

H.I.M. (Medical Records)

Our experienced team of health information management specialists are responsible for making sure that your medical data is accurately recorded and maintained. We take patient privacy very seriously and our professional staff understands the importance of protecting your confidential information.

The Health Information Management department is responsible for organizing and maintaining patient records; diagnostic coding for hospital reimbursement statistical and research purposes; transcription; releasing medical records to appropriate parties in accordance with strict privacy guidelines; communicating with physicians and hospital staff as needed to ensure an efficient flow of information; and answering questions that patients have about obtaining their health records.

If you have questions about your health records, including how to obtain copies of documents or have your information transferred to another healthcare facility, please call the department at 970-564-2311 (or fax to 970-564-2333). 

For access to your results and patient information, click here.

For your convenience, an authorization form for the release of medical records can be downloaded here.

Southwest Memorial Hospital
Attn: Release of Information
1311 N. Mildred Rd.
Cortez, CO 81321

Choosing a Provider

There are many options from which to choose when it comes to medical care – primary care physicians, specialists, and nurse practitioners and physician assistants who work in conjunction with doctors. To make the best choices for you and your family, it’s helpful to understand how healthcare practitioners are educated, trained, certified, and licensed to practice. Southwest Health System can assist you in your search for the provider you need. Our New Patient Coordinator is a valuable resource.

Becoming a physician generally requires four years of college and four years of medical school followed by residency training for three or more years in the doctor’s chosen specialty. Some physicians then also do what’s called a “fellowship” to receive even more training in a specific discipline.

Physicians may be either MDs or DOs. An MD is an allopathic physician and a DO is an osteopathic physician. Both attend four years of medical school where the training is very similar, except that osteopathic medical schools emphasize the structural integrity of the body. MDs and DOs attend the same residency training programs, so you may have a family physician, orthopedic surgeon, emergency physician, or most any other specialty doctor who is a DO.

Podiatrists (DPMs) are physicians who treat lower extremity problems, most often those affecting the foot and ankle. Podiatrists attend podiatric medical school and complete a three-year residency program to become licensed to practice. They treat patients in their offices and perform surgery at the hospital.

Frequently you’ll see the term “board certified” next to a physician’s name. Board certification is not required to practice medicine, but it means that a doctor has taken extra steps to demonstrate proficiency in his or her specialty. In order to be eligible to take a specialty board exam, a physician must have completed an approved residency and/or fellowship training program. Doctors are required to be either board certified or board eligible (meaning they are qualified to take the exams but have to practice for a certain period of time before doing so) to be on the staff at Southwest Memorial Hospital.

Nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) are an integral part of the healthcare delivery system in most communities, including here in Montezuma County. Nurse practitioners have either masters or doctoral degrees as well as advanced clinical training in their field. Physician assistants are graduates of accredited training programs and, like NPs, are licensed by the state to provide medical care to patients. NPs and PAs who work for Southwest Health System do so in coordination with licensed physicians. This team approach allows area clinics to accept more patients and provide the highest quality of care.

All providers – whether, MD, DO, DPM, NP, or PA – must be licensed to practice medicine by the state. Additionally, they must engage in continuing medical education (CME) activities in order to maintain their medical license. This CME requirement helps ensure that provides stay up-to-date as science and technology change and as new medical studies are released that might impact patient care decisions.

Just as important as knowing that your healthcare provider is well-trained is being comfortable with their philosophy. Ask your doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant about his or her approach when it comes to preventive care, recommending screening and diagnostic tests, prescribing medications, and the use of alternative and complementary medicine, for example. These are practice style issues, and it’s up to you – the patient– to partner with your provider when making important decisions about your health. Communication is key, so always be honest with your healthcare provider and expect the same in return.

Community Support Programs and Services

Community Support Programs and Services

Community family services, financial services, transportation, mother and child programs, wellness, social services, protective services, senior services, support groups, and care coordination groups.

Below you’ll find information on some of the community programs we provide as well as information and links to other programs in the Four Corners. If you have questions, please contact us at for more information.

  • Montezuma County Public Health Department: Housing, Senior Services, Family Services, Preventative Care and More. More information and programs can be found on their website.
    • Women, Infants and Children: WIC is an educational and supplemental nutrition program for pregnant women, infants, and children 1-5 years old. Appointments are made to evaluate the nutritional health of the family and tailored food package checks are then issued for each participant.
    • Presumptive Eligibility: Medicaid and Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) Presumptive Eligibility (PE) provide immediate, temporary health care coverage for children under 19 and pregnant women who have applied for either program and appear to be eligible. PE allows children presumed eligible for Medicaid to access early and periodic screening. Pregnant women can access important prenatal care while their Medicaid or CHP+ Prenatal application is processed.
    • The Nurse-Family Partnership is a program for women who are having their first baby. If you enroll, a registered nurse will visit you in your home throughout pregnancy and continue to visit until your baby is two years old.
      Any woman who is pregnant with her first child, meets the income requirements, and lives in the service area may enroll in the program.
  • Hospice of Montezuma:
    • Hospice services are available to persons who can no longer benefit from curative treatment, or choose to end curative treatment.  The typical hospice patient has a life expectancy of six months or less.  Most receive care at home, but we do provide care in assisted living facilities, nursing homes and hospitals.  Services are provided by a team of trained professionals – physicians, nurses, counselors, therapists, social workers, aides and volunteers – who provide care and support services not only to the patient, but to the patient’s family and loved ones.
    • Suicide Support Group: Meeting has been moved to the Last Wednesday of Every Month from 5:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. at the Hospice office ~ 1345 S Broadway, Cortez. Call Sunny at 970-565-4400 for more information
  • Patient Financial Services Programs
    • CICP: Colorado Indigent Care Program
    • Discounts and savings on your bill for self-pay
    • Free assistance with qualifying you for insurance, programs, and more
    • Sign up or referrals for Medicaid
    • FAP Charity Program
    • Connect for Health Colorado Assistance Site.
  • Long Distance Medical Transportation Services
    • Affordable medical transportation with certified EMS providers
    • Call 970.564.2315 or for more information.
  • Community Paramedic
    • Home safety evaluations, nutrition evaluations, home health services, blood pressure checks, glucose and oxygen checks. Call 970.564.2091, extension 5 for more information.
  • CareLink Medical Alert Devices and Medication Dispensers
    • Locally managed in-home emergency response and medication delivery systems.
    • 24/7 on call service
    • Low cost and no contracts
  • Montolores Cancer Fund
    • The Southwest Memorial Hospital Foundation has a program to assist cancer patients and their families with transportation, living expenses, travel and related needs during treatment. Montelores Cancer Care Assistance Grants provide up to $1000 for these expenses, and receipts are requested.
  • The Pinon Project
    • Early Childhood Programs include literacy, parents as teachers,
    • SafeCare® Colorado: SafeCare® is a structured, evidence-based, in-home program that provides direct skill training to parents in the areas of parenting, child safety, and child health. The program targets families with children ages zero to five years. SafeCare® typically takes 18-20 sessions to complete (about 4-6 months) and each session lasts 1-1.5 hours. SafeCare® is delivered in the home by trained staff. Montezuma County Public Health Department offers SafeCare® in Montezuma, Dolores, Archuleta, La Plata and San Juan Counties, as well as the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute tribes.
  • Bariatric Surgery Support Group
    • Free support group for those considering bariatric surgery for weight loss or those who have undergone surgery.
  • Diabetes Support Group
    • Free support group for anyone with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.