The Harris health care system is preparing to shift its focus to helping patients avoid serious and preventable illnesses and disease.
Health officials announced Friday they are moving toward a new approach that focuses on helping patients with a range of conditions including diabetes, hypertension, cancer and heart disease.
“It’s an exciting time for Harris because we’re seeing new diseases that we didn’t know existed and we’re doing all the work we can to prevent those diseases from occurring in the first place,” said Dr. Paul Harris, chief medical officer for the Harrs system.
“The changes we’re making now will help Harris to be able to better serve our patients in the years ahead.”
The Harris system operates under a multi-million dollar contract with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to treat people with a variety of illnesses, from diabetes to cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
In 2017, the agency also announced the Harries system would use its technology to detect and prevent COVID-19-related illness.
The Harries health system’s goal is to be the most effective and efficient provider of health care in the country, according to Harris.
The Harrs health system has received more than $1 billion in federal grants, $750 million in private funding and $1.5 billion in Medicaid reimbursements from the federal government to help cover the cost of treating people with COVID.
Health officials also said they plan to start a new national database of COVID infections to help patients better manage their own COVID symptoms and prevent their healthcare providers from misdiagnosing them.
The new system will not be based on location but will be based in one location and use a more efficient and cost-effective system of diagnostics and treatments, Harris said.
“We’re working with the CDC to understand the nature of the disease, the severity and the duration of the symptoms that we are seeing, to identify potential treatments,” Harris added.
“We are also trying to make sure that we have the right people available to help.”
Harris Health System has seen a surge in cases of COH-1, a coronavirus-like disease, with the first cases being reported in the early hours of April 26.
Harriscoll’s new plan will focus on treating patients who have a range