When the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic started to reach Colorado back in March, health systems across the state created a collaborative to address the dire needs of the communities they serve. These efforts were spearheaded by the CEOs of Colorado health systems, who quickly engaged and empowered their physician leaders within each system to lead the response to the pandemic.
“As physician leaders, we were able to develop and share best practices and data that helped our frontline heroes - physicians, healthcare workers and first responders - safely, effectively and compassionately care for the people of Colorado most impacted by COVID-19,” shared J.P Valin, MD, Senior Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer at SCL Health. “This unified response undoubtedly saved lives and has positioned us well for any future waves of COVID in Colorado.”
The collective goal of bringing the major health systems together was to identify issues, share best practices, align on difficult decisions, and provide guidance based on the rapidly evolving CDC and state guidance on how to address the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19.
From this collaboration, the group was able to pull together data around trends related to COVID-19 in Colorado, as well as what we learned about patient treatments and outcomes across the state. This data was shared with state leaders to help inform a Colorado-specific model for COVID-19 moving forward.
The data showed a significant improvement in patient outcomes. Health systems who coordinated this work cared for more than 95 percent of Colorado’s positive COVID-19 patients admitted to hospitals in March, April and May. The data shows that collectively, we were able to reduce the use of mechanical ventilation, reduce average length of stay and most importantly, reduce mortality rates.
Harnessing the power of our own health systems and coming together as a united force will continue to allow our frontline heroes – our doctors, nurses and emergency responders – to have the information they need to continue to care for and protect the lives of all Coloradans.
Click here to learn more about the collaborative and their research findings.