A High-Performance Public Health Care System
Denver Health, a comprehensive and integrated medical system that is Colorado's largest health care safety-net provider, has a national reputation as a high-performance organization. Members of The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System observed Denver Health during a site visit in March 2006, to assess its operation and determine whether it might serve as a model for other public and private health care systems around the country. The Commission concluded that Denver Health is indeed a "learning laboratory." It has succeeded at providing coordinated care to the community, promoting a culture of continuous quality improvement, adopting new technology and incorporating it into everyday practice, taking risks and making mid-course corrections, and providing leadership and support—and accepting accountability—both at the top and throughout the organization. Moreover, it has accomplished these objectives and others in straightforward ways that could be adapted elsewhere.