Better Together: The Value of Scale

The many benefits multi-state health systems bring to their communities

August 2021


Executive Summary

Spanning seven states, the Providence family of organizations delivers the same high standard of excellence in every area we serve, from rural communities to large cities. During more than 25 million patient visits each year, we are creating health for a better world and enabling our patients to find the care they need, closer to home. Together, we are using our scale to relentlessly pioneer new and better ways to bring health, hope and healing to more people in need.

Our multi-state network shares medical innovations and best practices, administrative efficiencies and emergency support and advocates for patient-centered policies while giving back to the many diverse communities we serve. The full value of scale often is demonstrated over time, but many shorter-term benefits are already available to patients. Today, our size enables us to meaningfully invest in medical research, including more than 1,400 active clinical studies; develop new ways to deliver care, such as our Maternal Early Warning Trigger System; partner with like-minded community-based organizations to invest $1.7 billion in community benefit in 2020; and protect rural health care access at our 10 critical access rural hospitals.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought into sharp focus the strengths that the Providence system offers to the communities we serve. After treating the first confirmed COVID-19 patient in the U.S., we were able to use our scale and scope to quickly ramp up and deploy resources in response to this unprecedented public health emergency. Some highlights include:

  • Updating our COVID-19 screening protocols in Epic, our electronic medical record, across the health system within 24 hours of admitting the first confirmed COVID-19 patient.
  • Dramatically expanding telehealth services from an average of 50 visits per day to a peak of more than 12,000 per day, totaling more than 1.7 million virtual visits in 2020. Patients continue to value this service, with 530,000 telehealth visits during the first quarter of 2021.
  • Operating some of the largest clinical trials in the country for drug therapies, including Remdesivir and antibody testing.
  • Advocacy to secure regulatory flexibility, enabling us to serve where needs were greatest.
  • Leveraging technology to support our patients and inform the public with a coronavirus consumer awareness hub, assessment and triage chatbot and urgent virtual visit platform.
  • Providing behavioral health and child care support for our caregivers.
  • Supporting mass and targeted local vaccination efforts across the Western U.S., administering more than 900,000 doses to date, with special emphasis on vulnerable groups.

The pandemic has changed life as we know it, but the entire Providence family of organizations continues to invest in the future of health. We are transforming health care to help people live their healthiest lives, and make our services more convenient, accessible and affordable. Longer term benefits of scale are starting to emerge, for example from our investments in mental health, and from our population health approach to Medicare participation that is delivering consistent savings and quality scores. Our goal is a continuum of care with closely aligned partners that is focused on compassionate, value-based care for all.

Click the Key Resources link below to download the Better Together: The Value of Scale PDF.

Better Together: The Value of Scale cover.