Two Western Colorado health care organizations have reached an agreement in which a larger system in Grand Junction will offer services and resources in collaboration with a smaller system in Craig.
SCL Health, which operates St. Mary’s Medical Center in Grand Junction and Memorial Regional Health in Craig announced the care affiliate agreement.
The agreement builds on a decades-long working relationship, said Dr. Brian Davidson, president of St. Mary’s Medical Center. “Medical teams from St. Mary’s Medical Center and Memorial Regional Health have been coordinating care since there was a road between us. Our long-standing partnership is the foundation for this new care affiliation agreement.”
Representatives from both organizations will form a steering committee to determine specific areas of focus. The collaboration is intended to protect local care and governance while improving access and quality of care.
“Rural medical facilities are under great pressure to maintain local patient services and independent operations in an environment of limited resources,” said Andrew Daniels, chief executive officer of Memorial Regional Health, “I reached out to St. Mary’s to discuss an agreement to support those goals.”
Memorial Regional health operates a 25-bed hospital, four medical clinics and a retail pharmacy while also providing rehabilitation, home health care and hospice services.
“This collaboration will improve care as our new steering committee works together,” Daniels said. “Our objective is to keep our patients as close to home as possible and access the larger system services that St. Mary’s can bring to the table. It’s a great way for both organizations to work together on behalf of the patients.”
Memorial Regional Health will continue to operate outreach clinics for medical oncology, neurology, and neurosurgery as the steering committee considers additional areas of focus. Expanded clinical and telehealth services also will be discussed.
Electronic medical records could be another component of the collaboration. SCL Connect uses a version of the Epic electronic medical records system. Patients on the Epic system gain centrally located medical records accessible to caregivers across the nation. Epic is the one of the largest EMR systems in the United States.
“At the end of the day, this agreement can support better outcomes through better care coordination. That’s what really matters,” Daniels said.