Health Care Innovation Awards: Project Profile


Project Title: "Southwest Colorado cardiac and stroke care"
Geographic Reach: Colorado
Funding Amount: $1,724,581
Estimated 3-Year Savings: $8,100,000


The Upper San Juan Health Service District is improving care for cardiovascular disease and risk through a multifaceted approach in order to reduce costs and to improve the quality of care in rural and remote areas of southwestern Colorado.  The care delivery model will offer cardiovascular early detection and wellness programs, implement a telemedicine acute stroke care program, use telemedicine and remote diagnostics for cardiologist consultations, and upgrade and retrain its Emergency Medical Services Division staff to manage urgent care transports and in-home follow-up patient care for patients in medically underserved areas in Southwest Colorado. A cardiovascular patient navigator integrates care through the continuum and assists in removing barriers, resulting in better care through all phases of the intervention. The program will provide access to cardiologists and neurologists and is expected to reduce cardiovascular risk, improve patient outcomes, create healthier communities, and reduce health care costs with estimated savings of approximately $8.1 million.  Over the three-year period, the Upper San Juan Health Service District's program will train an estimated 25 paramedics and telehealth clinicians and create 13 new jobs. These workers will provide a new type of clinical team that will improve care outcomes for rural cardiovascular patients.

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