Excellent clinical care is at the heart of our mission – we’re always looking for ways to improve the healing experience for our patients. Intermountain is fully committed to clinical research, and our focus on quality improvement has helped us achieve outcomes among the best in the nation.

Clinical Programs

Intermountain's clinical programs focus the efforts of physician specialists, nurses, administrators, and other caregivers on the processes of care within Intermountain. Our goal is to deliver the best care to every patient every time. Below are Intermountain's nine clinical programs and some of their recent achievements and projects:

Behavioral Health. The program is focusing on improving metrics related to the "therapeutic alliance": the working relationship between a clinician and patient. In 2011, a primary focus is to reduce obesity, which includes measure weight change and provide education for overweight behavioral patients in all settings.

Cardiovascular. Heart patients at Intermountain's hospitals consistently experience among the lowest mortality rates for cardiac surgery in Utah (severity adjusted), as well as fast emergency response times and other indicators of excellence. In addition to saving lives, these achievements have reduced heart damage to patients and have lowered hospital readmission rates. The goal for 2011 is tracking cumulative radiation exposures in an effort to minimize total radiation dosage.

Intensive Medicine. Intermountain has educated caregivers on practices that help prevent the onset of Ventilator Associated Pneumonia, and the incidence of VAP in ventilated patients dropped more than 55% from 2004 to 2006, and in 2008 the program focused on the diagnosis and treatment of sepsis. The 2011 program goals are centered around improving outcomes for stroke patients.

Intermountain Homecare. Intermountain Homecare is a full-service home health and medical equipment provider, offering services to communities across Utah and southern Idaho. This year's goals include reducing re-hospitalization rates and improving Homecare/Home Health's acute care re-hospitalization rates.

Oncology. Intermountain is a leader in oncology-related clinical trials in Utah, providing patients with leading-edge modes of treatment. Patients benefit from a multidisciplinary approach to care, in which teams comprised of medical, radiation, and surgical oncologists; radiologists; pathologists; plastic surgeons; nurses; and other clinical experts collaborate in patient care. Current focus is to improve pre-operative staging for lung cancer patients and increase the percent of non-small cell lung cancer patients who have pre-operative PET/CT scans prior to surgery.

Quality & Patient Safety. Intermountain's focus on quality improvement has helped us achieve outcomes that are among the best in the nation. In 2011 quality and patient safety include goals focus on attaining a statistically significant reduction in the inpatient fall rate for the system.

In addition, Intermountain has a Patient Safety Initiative that functions like a clinical program. This initiative has created guidelines to help protect patients from falls and reduce the incidence of pressure sores (i.e., bed sores). It is currently focusing on "Medication Reconciliation," a process for reviewing medications administered to patients in order to avoid adverse drug events (ADEs).

Pediatric Specialties. Intermountain developed and implemented specific bronchiolitis care guidelines at major facilities, resulting in faster recoveries and shorter hospital stays for children with this lung condition. Goals for 2011 include improving asthma care for children between the ages of two and 17 admitted to pediatric units, through implementation of a written Asthma Action Plan at the time of discharge.

Primary Care. Intermountain is improving routine physician care provided to patients in a number of ways, including diabetes, asthma, and mental health. Goals for 2011 focus on improving blood glucose levels in patients who are diagnosed with diabetes.

Primary Children's Medical Center. The referral pediatric center equipped to treat children with complex illness and injury and is recognized as one of the top children's hospitals in the United States, serving five states in the Intermountain West. Goals for 2011 focus on reducing blood stream infections, in particular the nosocomial catheter-associated blood stream infection rate for Hematology / Oncology / Transplant service line patients.

Rural Facilities. Intermountain's rural community hospitals have medical teams committed to providing high-quality, affordable healthcare with a personal, hometown touch in smaller communities. In 2011 the focus is on reducing medication errors, by attaining a statistically and clinically significant reduction in the bar-coding medication administration override rate for the rural facilities.

Surgical Services. This clinical program established care process models for excellence in bariatric surgery, total joint replacement, and pain management. In 2011, the program is focusing on reducing blood transfusions through the implementation of an automated system that documents the reason a blood transfusion is being ordered for a patient.

Women and Newborns. Premature births and elective inductions prior to 39 weeks of gestation have been significantly reduced, resulting in improved outcomes for mothers and newborns (e.g., decreased caesarean section rate and time in labor). Specifically, the percentage of elective inductions performed at less than 39 weeks of gestation fell from nearly 30% in 1999 to less than 5% in 2005. Also, perinatal care managers help expectant mothers who are experiencing problems with their pregnancies. The 2011 program goal focuses on reducing the incidence and complication of blood clots, improve compliance with mechanical venous thromboembolism prophylaxis in antepartum and cesarean section patients.

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