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Community Benefit
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Care Collaborative

The University of Kansas Health System Care Collaborative is a patient safety organization (PSO) dedicated to delivering high-quality clinical care to improve the health of people living in rural Kansas communities. The collaborative is a network of healthcare providers and care teams who use evidence-based treatment models to achieve the best outcomes. Patients receive advanced, cost-effective care close to home and experience better results.

The Care Collaborative has helped educate more than 1,800 healthcare providers to deliver proven care to more than 9,000 patients experiencing a stroke, heart attack or sepsis infection. The collaborative also supported more than 49,000 healthcare interactions from emergency department visits to home health visits and health coaching phone calls.

People across Kansas benefit by receiving high-quality care close to home. Many people participate in sessions with a health coach by phone or mobile device and engage in telehealth consults.

Continuous improvement

PSOs focus on improving healthcare quality and patient safety by reducing the occurrence of adverse events that harm patients. They help provider members collect and analyze data to use to inform and implement care and process improvements.

Members of PSOs experience diverse benefits, including:

  • Evaluate quality and safety events in a confidential environment in an effort to learn and improve
  • Leverage the value of deidentified data, both in comparison with peers and in aggregate, to learn from combined experience of members
  • Receive objective, expert advice on improving the quality and safety of patient care

The Care Collaborative achieves ongoing improvement by collaborating and applying metrics to deliver a higher level of care across Kansas. Our members seek to improve the health of their communities through partnership with The University of Kansas Health System, a leading academic medical center.

Care Collaborative programs apply evidence-based care protocols at the local level to improve outcomes while helping patients stay in their own communities. Our programs focus on:

  • Heart failure occurs when the heart does not pump blood efficiently to other organs. Congestive heart failure is a type of heart failure that requires seeking timely medical attention, although sometimes these terms are used interchangeably. As the heart works harder to maintain blood flow, it starts to weaken and enlarge. About 7 million adults live with heart failure, and the disease is on the rise, according to the American Heart Association. The condition can lead to frequent hospitalizations and multiple complications.

    Working together, we can provide quality outcomes, fewer readmissions and reduced healthcare costs through evidenced-based care, patient and family education, and continued chronic care management.

    Learn more about our heart failure education program.

  • Palliative care enhances the quality of life for people living with serious or chronic conditions. This type of care is not only provided near the end of life, but is effective when provided throughout the course of an illness. When care providers initiate goals-of-care conversations with patients and their families, patients are better able to make informed decisions about their care management, which reduces pain and discomfort, enhances well-being and improves quality of life.

  • Every day hundreds of Americans are affected by sepsis – the body's overwhelming and life-threatening response to infection that can lead to tissue damage, organ failure and death. It's the body's overactive and toxic response to infection. Sepsis is frequent, debilitating and often unrecognized. Good outcomes are possible using evidence-based protocols to help identify and diagnose sepsis, severe sepsis and sepsis shock and treat it promptly.

    The collaborative supports members in managing sepsis across the care continuum – including long-term care facilities, EMS and hospitals – to improve outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.

    Learn more about our sepsis education program.

  • A STEMI – ST-elevated myocardial infarction – is the deadliest type of heart attack. It occurs when a coronary artery that supplies oxygen to the heart muscle is totally blocked, causing the heart to fail. Prompt treatment is critical to preventing permanent damage or death.

    Evidence-based STEMI care guidelines lead to optimal outcomes. The Care Collaborative helps extend these to each member organization. We strive to help staff increase recognition of STEMIs and implement quality improvement measures. By working with other providers – including EMS professionals – we can improve outcomes and save lives.

  • Stroke is the top cause of long-term disability and among the leading causes of death in the U.S. According to the American Stroke Association, nearly 800,000 Americans experience a stroke every year. That's 1 every 40 seconds. Yet 80% of strokes can be prevented. Most can be treated if patients and physicians act quickly.

    Access to evidence-based care and protocols is essential for fast and accurate stroke assessment, diagnosis and treatment. Lasting outcomes depend on continued care management and education. Together, we can improve outcomes – and reduce healthcare costs – for rural Kansans affected by stroke.

  • The State Trauma Registry reveals that 38 Kansans require trauma services every day . Serious injuries occur in rural settings and in every age, social and economic group. Together, we can improve outcomes and reduce costs for trauma patients and providers statewide.

    Consistent adoption of evidence-based protocols improves the ability to evaluate, stabilize and, when necessary, transfer patients following a trauma.

Health coaching

We provide community members with a health coaching program. This is a preventive service doctors can recommend for Medicare patients with multiple conditions, like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease and arthritis. Health coaches partner with patients to help them set relevant goals and make better health decisions to achieve them, such as about diet and exercise.

Case-based continuing education series

As members of Kansas patient care teams united in a mission to elevate health outcomes throughout our state, our peers are our own best learning resources. The Care Collaborative offers a case review continuing education (CE) series as an opportunity to promote best practices, knowledge-sharing and collaboration. Together, we can improve quality care and achieve better outcomes.

Join us as experts present patient care cases involving time-critical diagnoses or chronic conditions. We explore cases on conditions including:

  • Heart failure
  • Palliative care
  • Sepsis
  • Stroke
  • Trauma/burn

Each event is a 30-minute case review conducted online via Zoom from the comfort of your own desk, home or conference room. CE credits are available for providers, nurses, physicians' assistants, nurse practitioners and EMS professionals.

Together, we'll explore the strengths, challenges and opportunities of each case and learn from the collective experience of colleagues across the state.

To sign up for the Care Collaborative Case Review series and earn CE credit, email


Working together, Care Collaborative members can better identify patients who will benefit from these programs and provide a higher quality of care. We provide comprehensive training at each member site for each program and development opportunities throughout the year to sharpen and enhance each site's capabilities, apply standard order sets, and partner with local resources to provide care to meet the needs of patients and families.

To become a member of the Care Collaborative or to learn more, contact Jodi Schmidt at 913- 574-0445 or by email.

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