Mesa County, Colorado is a unique
healthcare community. We benefit from an
investment of $1 million donated from the local physician's group with $1.5
million offered by the local health insurance company that self-started a
regional health information organization (RHIO). This technical collaboration unites the
health records of our entire community.
Similarly, the primary care
physicians and mental health providers in our community have a long history of
collaborating for quality patient outcomes.
This is most striking in the collaboration between for-profit and
non-profit offices. These efforts were
originated and maintained through the coordination of the Integrated Care
Council of Mesa County.
The Integrated Care
Council's successes have gained some recognition on a state and national level,
but they remain largely unknown among the inhabitants of our own
community. This is to our detriment
because it hampers our ability to grow our model. So, earlier this year the Council set a goal
of publishing a white paper that would be endorsed by all the major healthcare
players in our community. This was a
daunting task because many of these stakeholders are competitors and some of
them would be hearing of the council for the first time when we approached them
for a signature.
Undaunted, we facilitated
several brainstorming and writing sessions to craft the text of our
document. Our aim was to convey the
stats and stories of collaborative care in Mesa County, to celebrate success,
to increase buy-in from the community, and to launch a next round of
initiatives. From the outset, we set a
goal of limiting the document to a one-pager (front and back) that could be
easily distributed and digested.
Once we had edited it to the
council's liking we began distributing it to community leaders. Everyone we spoke with signed the document
and requested very few changes to the wording.
This includes the heads of:
- The largest for-profit primary care offices,
- The local independent physicians association,
- The safety-net clinics,
- The community mental health center,
- The largest for-profit behavioral health office,
- The RHIO,
predominant insurance company,
- The predominant hospitals from the 2
- The local NAMI affiliate, and
- The largest human services non-profit.
The Council paid a nominal
amount to have the content and digital signatures formatted by a graphic
designer. Just this week, the
dissemination-ready draft was given final approval by the signatories and the
Council and this blog post is the official launch of our white paper. See the final document by clicking here.
Our next challenge is to
capitalize on this momentum by going back to the signatories and partnering
with them to advance the initiatives proposed in the white paper.