Clinical Focus on Quality
Respiratory therapists provide an array of services, including diagnostic testing, patient assessment, treatment recommendation, medication delivery, and life-support management for newborn, pediatric, and adult patients.
At Intermountain Healthcare, Respiratory Care Services is part of the Clinical Operations team, and its integration with Intermountain's Clinical Programs is crucial to providing consistent, high-quality care. Respiratory Care is a component of many Clinical Program teams that are designed to standardize care delivery, reduce practice variability, implement best practice guidelines, and support quality improvement and clinical collaboration.
Here are some examples of Respiratory Care quality initiatives that have resulted in improved outcomes and more efficient care:
- ROCs. Following a model developed at Dixie Regional Medical Center, Respiratory Care has worked with the Pediatric Clinical Program to develop Respiratory Outpatient Clinics (ROC). The ROCs are designed to treat the more mild cases of bronchiolitis in outpatient settings, leaving the inpatient hospital beds for more severe patients. During the winter and early spring months, ROCs remain open 24 hours per day to treat pediatric patients with bronchiolitis. The 15 ROC locations are a great example of how Intermountain provides high-quality care with proper allocation of resources and high satisfaction of both patients and physicians
- Ventilator Associated Pneumonia (VAP) is a hospital-acquired infection that causes increased complications and cost of care for patients receiving mechanical ventilation. Respiratory Care has worked with the Intensive Medicine Clinical Program to develop a Ventilator Bundle, a group of best practices that are known to reduce the incidence of VAP. By tracking the incidence of VAP, along with compliance to the Ventilator Bundle, Intermountain's VAP rate has decreased by 77 percent. (A VAP rate tracks the number of patients on ventilators who develop a VAP for every 1,000 ventilator patient days.)
- CPMs. Working with SelectHealth and the Primary Care Clinical Program, Respiratory Care has helped develop Care Process Models (CPMs) for patients with asthma, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and sleep disorders. These CPMs are designed to assist primary care physicians with the diagnosis and treatment of patients with these conditions.
Currently, Respiratory Care is working with the Women and Newborns Clinical Program on two initiatives. We have developed a ventilator bundle for neonatal patients and are tracking compliance and corresponding rates of VAP. We have also collaboratively developed an Early Lung Recruitment protocol to help transition newborn babies following delivery. This reduces the number of transfers to newborn intensive care units (NICUs) and helps keep mothers and babies together. Presently, this is being rolled out at Rural Region facilities.
In addition, Respiratory Care practitioners throughout Intermountain are involved in research projects, publications, and presentations. Respiratory Care continues to manage and support projects that define best practice for our patients-and provide them with extraordinary care.
Ask the leaders in your region about Respiratory Care accomplishments in your areas.